Todd Porter of the Canton Repository writes that the Falcons flew to Columbus to work out two Ohio State prospects a few weeks ago. One was wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez and the other being quarterback Justin Zwick.
Gonzalez (6′ 193) is considered one of the premier receivers in this draft, but was overshadowed throughout much of his career with the Buckeyes by Ted Ginn. He did not become a starter until this past season, but was very productive catching 51 passes for 734 yards (14.4 avg) and 8 touchdowns. Prior to this past year, he had started 5 of 20 games, catching a total of 36 passes for 552 yards () and 5 scores.
He impressed the Combine with a 4.44 40-yard dash, 38-inch vertical leap, also with his interviews with teams, many believe that he is moving up draft boards, and perhaps has transformed himself from a second round pick into a first rounder.
Zwick is another prospect that was overshadowed during his career at Ohio State, but it was by Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith. He actually began the 2004 as the team’s starter, but was sidelined with an injury that allowed Smith an opportunity, one in which he never relinquished. For his career, he completed 158 of 276 passes (57.2%) for 1779 yards, 7 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions. He started a total of 9 games, going 5-4 in those games.
At his pro day, Zwick measured 6’3″ 230 pounds and ran a 4.77 40. He’s considered an undrafted prospect due to his lack of experience at the collegiate level, although Porter doesn’t rule out the possibility of him being drafted. It wouldn’t be the first time a collegiate backup was drafted. The New England Patriots drafted Matt Cassel in the seventh round of the 2005 Draft, after having been a backup to Heisman Trophy winners Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart for his entire career at USC. Also current Philadelphia Eagles backup A.J. Feeley only received a total of 8 starts during his career at Oregon, as he spent most of his time backing up two first round picks in Akili Smith and Joey Harrington, but was a fifth round draft choice in 2001.