BY: ED COLE
GLENDALE, Ariz. – The NFL Draft guru, Mike Mayock, has been in love with former Arizona State guard Christian Westerman for a long time. Mayock has Westerman ranked No. 4 in his Top 5 guards that are coming out in the 2016 NFL Draft, and, most recently, at the NFL Scouting Combine, while Westerman was running the 40-yard dash, Mayock said Westerman was one of his “favorite interior offensive linemen,” and also that Westerman’s “a good looking player.”
Westerman absolutely killed at the Combine, running a 5.15 in his first 40 attempt, and a 5.19 in his second attempt. His 34 reps of 225 pounds were the most at the Combine. Westerman beat out Missouri’s Connor McGovern by one.
If Westerman didn’t cramp up, he was shooting for way more than that.
“I would say (the) 40’s,” Westerman said. “I typically get (in) the mid-40’s. I was actually shooting for more than that this time, but it didn’t work out that way with the issue (cramping). I need to hydrate more I tell you. At the same time, I would take what I did there pretty well.”
Because of the show he put on in Indianapolis, Ind., at the Combine, Westerman chose not to participate in the events at ASU Pro Day this past Friday.
It’s hard not to be mad at Westerman for sitting it out. As he said afterwards, his stock really wouldn’t have shot up that much if he did take part in it, so why chance having a bad day, or a freak injury just to show himself more on tape?
Westerman says he really didn’t have much to prove to the teams that were in attendance at Lucas Oil Stadium. All they need to see from him is on tape and easily accessible.
“What’s on the tape is on the tape,” Westerman said. “I think I’m an aggressive player that goes out, and plays dominant football, and (I’m) just trying to get better everyday.”
What helped Westerman get through the entire Combine process – which he says wasn’t stressful at all – was the intel he got prior to his departure for Indiana.
“I work at LeCharles Bentley’s place, O-Line Performance, and there’s a lot of guys there (that did) what I just did (at the Combine), (and) they walked me through what I’m about to go through (with) the 4 a.m. drug test,” Westerman said. “They gave me a heads-up on stuff (like) getting there early so you’re not in line.”
“It’s the No. 1 job interview I’m going to do in my life, and I’ve been preparing for it since I was yay high,” Westerman said of the Combine. “It was kind of eye-opening to be there, since I worked so hard to get there, but at the same time, you’re doing what you gotta do to impress these coaches and show them the player you are.”
Westerman – a product of Steve Belles and the Hamilton Huskies – learned a lot in his three years at ASU, after transferring there from Auburn after the 2012 season. Arizona State ran different offensive schemes in the years Westerman was with them, so, in learning how to block in multiple systems, Westerman believes that’s prepared him for whatever system he’ll be placed in when he gets to the NFL.
“I think I can play in any system,” Westerman said. “We run the zone here at lot (at Arizona State), but we also run downhill football, coming off the ball, put(ting) your hand in the dirt, we’ve done that as well. I think I can do any scheme the coach needs me to do, play anywhere he needs me to play on the line, and I’m ready to go.”
“I’m working harder than I’ve ever worked, and it’s been that way since the redshirt year (2013) when I first learned that talent and hard work are gonna collide, and hard work’s gonna win, so that’s what I’ve been doing since then,” Westerman said.