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February 25, 2014

Schofield shows he's ready to compete

Former Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan stole the show at the NFL combine, with some estimating he'll be a top 10 pick. His former roommate, Michael Schofield, isn't far behind.

Schofield clocked a 5.01 40-yard dash, sixth among offensive linemen, and was impressive in front of reporters. Lewan, however, earned this write-up from NFL.com for his exploits, including a 4.87 40 - the fastest among linemen.

"With much of the attention on [others], Lewan quietly provided an extraordinary all-around effort at the combine. He recorded the fastest 40 time among offensive linemen, while also displaying impressive explosiveness in the broad jump (9-9) and three-cone drill (7.39). Those marks not only reveal an elite athlete, but suggest that Lewan has the physical tools to be a Pro Bowl-caliber player at the next level.

"From a position-specific standpoint, Lewan showed exceptional footwork, agility and balance while executing various drills. He floated across the turf on lateral slides, but also showed outstanding body control while changing directions in tight quarters. The combination of athleticism and technical savvy displayed in the workout leads me to believe Lewan should be included in the conversation as a top-10 talent at offensive tackle."

Schofield, meanwhile, has been projected as a fourth- to sixth-round pick. He measured at 6-6, 301 pounds and was praised for his versatility.

He played guard at the Senior Bowl and held his own.

"I switched positions to guard, and the first day I was a little rusty," he recalled. "As practices went on, I thought I got better and better. My last practice was my best there."

Lewan and Schofield got to know each other well at U-M, sharing a house and, and one point, housing a pig with them (Dr. Hamlet). Their goal, Schofield said, is to live up to the legacy left by other former Michigan linemen who played in the NFL.

"Obviously, if you look at the history of the Michigan offensive linemen going back - Steve Hutchinson, Jon Jansen, Jake Long - they are great offensive linemen," Schofield said. "Hopefully, me and Taylor could build on that."

Lewan continued to be the life of the party at the Combine, the way he was at Michigan. The soft-spoken Schofield remained in the shadows, just the way he likes it.

"I never really minded it. It never bothered me," he said. "I'm a quiet guy, and he's outspoken. He'd always do the media interviews and I sat back and did my own thing. I like it a lot. I'm more the quiet guy, anyway."

The film, though, should show a guy who had his best year at Michigan, he said, and he hopes the scouts take noticed. Power, zone blocking, name it - he handled it and handled it well and excelled against top-notch talent, earning honorable mention All-Big Ten honors.

How he's ready to get paid for his work, and he's well prepared for the opportunity.


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