Okung finishes what he started at NFL combine

Russell Okung got a chance to finish what he started at the NFL

The standout left tackle for Oklahoma State was the star
attraction at the school’s pro day Wednesday for 40 representatives
from 27 NFL teams, including general managers from the Detroit
Lions, Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers.

“I like him a lot,” Pittsburgh Steelers scout Joe Greene said.
“Russell is a good player. He’s got the size. He’s got the length,
the athletic ability to play the position. He just needs to get a
football team now.”

At the NFL combine in Indianapolis, Okung ran the 40-yard dash
in 5.17 seconds and had 38 repetitions in the 225-pound bench
press, the second-highest total among offensive linemen. But he
suffered a minor groin injury and skipped four other drills – the
vertical jump, broad jump, three-cone drill and shuttle run.

Saying he is healed and with his groin area wrapped, he
performed those four drills Wednesday, recording a vertical jump of
32 1/2 inches and a broad jump of 8 feet, 9 inches – both of which
would have ranked him in the top 10 at his position had he done
them at the combine.

His times in the other two drills weren’t immediately available.
He skipped the bench press and the 40-yard dash.

“I don’t really see the point in an offensive lineman running
out 40 yards unless you’re about to knock off a safety,” he said.
“You don’t really get that opportunity a lot, so the 40 really
just wasn’t that important to me.”

The 6-foot-6, 310-pound All-American Okung started 47 straight
games for the Cowboys, who finished 9-4 last season.

“I really haven’t been trying to separate myself
individually,” Okung said after the workout. “I’m just trying to
go out there and do what I do best … and compete. If they like
what they see, they like what they see.”

Okung also performed position drills with other Oklahoma State
linemen. After he was finished, he and his agent spoke briefly on
the field with Buffalo general manager Buddy Nix, whose team has
the ninth overall pick in next month’s draft. Also attending the
workout were San Francisco general manager Scot McCloughan, whose
team drafts 16th, and Detroit general manager Martin Mayhew, whose
team drafts second.

“I think I’m a person that’s willing to accept the pressure
that’s going to be put on me,” Okung said. “That’s become kind of
natural … through the whole season. You’ve got a big old target
on your back so you definitely have to welcome all the

Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant opted to skip the workout in favor
of a solo outing later this month. Bryant, also projected as a
first-round prospect, played in only three games last season before
he was suspended after lying to an NCAA investigator about his
relationship with former NFL star Deion Sanders.

Another high-round draft prospect, cornerback Perrish Cox, was
banned from the workout by Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy. Gundy
also had suspended Cox from playing in the Jan. 1 Cotton Bowl.

Quarterback Zac Robinson, who by most accounts had a solid
outing at the NFL combine, threw again for scouts Wednesday.
Robinson said a shoulder injury that he suffered on Nov. 14 against
Texas Tech has healed. Robinson was overshadowed during his career
by other standout Big 12 Conference quarterbacks including
Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford and Texas’ Colt McCoy but is hopeful an NFL
team will take a chance on him.

“It was just a matter of getting my strength back in my …
shoulder and just letting it rip like I used to,” Robinson said.
“They said they saw everything they needed and I feel really good
about it. I’ve just got to keep working.”