Zenner at NFL Combine


Zach Zenner showed off his skills at the NFL Combine over the weekend as he eyes being selected in the 2015 NFL Draft, set to begin Thursday, April 30.

“It was a great opportunity to compete against other running backs and other people and this year’s NFL class,” Zenner said. “It was also a challenging experience. It wasn’t the easiest four days but it was definitely worthwhile being there.”

Reporting on Wednesday Feb. 18, the four-day NFL Combine experience proved a whirlwind of activity for Zenner. 

“They jam-packed a lot of stuff into those four days,” Zenner said. “I flew in. I went to the hospital and got some tests done. Then the next day I got weighed and measured and did more medical evaluations. The next day we had a couple meetings, psychological testing, and bench press. Then Saturday was all just the physical skill tests that people see. In between scattered around there were meetings with individual coaches and teams.” 

The Combine showed some love to the Missouri Valley Football conference’s running backs this year, inviting North Dakota State University’s John Crockett and Northern Iowa’s David Johnson, as well as Zenner.

 “To have three total Missouri Valley running backs there – that’s cool,” Zenner said. “I know John Crockett pretty well. I’ve known him for a long time and David Johnson is a good guy. I got to meet him, so it was good to have those guys there and to have something in common with people.”

Overall, Zenner finished consistently among the top performers. He particularly shone in the bench press, completing 25 reps which tied him for fourth best, and also the vertical jump where his mark of 41 inches proved third best. 

Zenner’s broad jump of 121 inches tied him with multiple players for fifth overall. He also finished among the top 10 performers in the cone drill and 20 and 60-yard shuttles. Zenner then ran his 40-yard dash in 4.60 seconds, matching Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah and finishing in the top half of competing backs.

“I wanted to run a little bit but I think everyone would say that,” Zenner said. “Everyone would say that they want to run a faster 40 [yard dash]. I’m not complaining, I guess. I just want to run a little faster.”

With Zenner’s performances, one NFL blogger suggested that Zenner might have propelled himself from the late rounds into the middle rounds of the upcoming draft. 

“I think that it went pretty well for me,” Zenner said. “People can have different opinions on if it helped or not but the main thing is hopefully it helps with a couple teams anyway, because that’s all it really takes – one team to like you.”

With all the NFL teams gathered in Indianapolis, Ind. for the Combine, Zenner said he had the opportunity to meet with 10 to 15 teams as everyone searches for the perfect match.

Now Zenner will move on to the next item on his agenda which is SDSU’s Pro Day. Set to take place on March 25, the event will feature SDSU’s Zenner, Melvin Taveras, Jake Sherlock and Justin Syrovatka. The University of South Dakota will also send four participants,  Matthew Huffer, Austin Johnson, Jasper Sanders and Steve Tellifsen, to the event. Zach Ely and Zac Woods will participate from Dakota State University  and Anthony Eboreime and Carrington Hanna will represent Black Hill State University and the University of Sioux Falls, respectively. 

“I’m going to work out for whoever wants to come and work me out, take me through  whatever drills they would like,” Zenner said. “So I’m going to prepare for that and after that I’m going to keep preparing for minicamps and rookie training camps.”