Bradley Roby healthy, looking to boost draft stock at combine

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Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby had a disappointing junior season that included a one-game suspension for off-field issues, but he says he is healthy and ready to put up big numbers at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Roby (5-foot-11, 192 pounds) went into the 2013 season as the No. 1 cornerback prospect in college football, but he has dropped a bit and now is considered one of the top five corners. A good showing at the combine could help rehab his stock.

He suffered a hyperextended left knee and a bone bruise in the same knee during the Big Ten championship game loss to Michigan State and missed the Buckeyes’ Orange Bowl loss to Clemson.

“Bone bruises take six to eight weeks to heal,” Roby told the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch. “I only had a three- to four-week turnaround. My knee was so swollen that I couldn’t practice.

“That last week before the game, I could run a little bit more and tried to go out and do some things, but I just wasn’t ready.”

Roby told the Dispatch he is healthy now. He was clocked as fast as 4.31 seconds in the 40-yard dash at Ohio State and hopes to match or surpass that at the combine.

Roby, who is from the Atlanta area, surprised some draft observers when he stayed in school following the 2012 season, and though he struggled at times in ’13, he told the Dispatch staying in school was worth it.

“I’m glad I came back,” he said. “I learned a lot of valuable things — about myself, about football, about [life] off the field.”

Roby is part of a cornerback group that will be closely scrutinized at the combine. Michigan State’s Darqueze Dennard generally is regarded as the top corner, but there are concerns about his overall speed. Oklahoma State’s Justin Gilbert has great speed and doubles as a dangerous return man, but his technique and inconsistency are issues. TCU’s Jason Verrett lacks height and bulk, though his instincts are excellent. Thus, it’s not a stretch to think that Roby will climb back near the top of the cornerback rankings with a good showing at the combine. He should be one of the most athletic corners in attendance.