A program usually known for producing NFL talent, Virginia Tech surprisingly only had one player invited to the NFL Combine in Indianapolis this past weekend: Yosuah Nijman, the Hokies’ longtime offensive tackle. The former four-star out of Fork Union Military Academy started 32 games for the Hokies during his tenure. The 6-foot-7 offensive tackle looked to improve his draft stock and follow in the footsteps of recent Virginia Tech offensive lineman successes Vinston Palmer and Wyatt Teller while at the Combine.
Nijman did well athletically amongst offensive lineman, ranking 13th in bench press reps, fifth in broad jump at 114.0 inches, and an impressive second in 20-yard shuttle at 4.50 seconds. He also ran a 8.07 time in the three-cone drill. He did not compete in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump or 60-yard shuttle. Nevertheless, Nijman flashed his athleticism amongst his peers.
According to Buffalo Bills beat writer Sal Capaccio, Nijman met with the Bills at the Combine this weekend. If he is drafted by Buffalo, it would continue a trend of the organization’s interest in Virginia Tech athletes. The Bills were the first team to give former Hokie standout Tyrod Taylor a starting opportunity, and they are currently home to four former Virginia Tech players: Tremaine Edmunds, Cam Phillips, Wyatt Teller and Logan Thomas.
According to draft analyst Lance Zierlein, Nijman’s size is his biggest attribute , as he is the perfect size for an NFL tackle. But he believes he will need a lot of coaching to develop into a viable contributor in the league. Nijman’s athleticism and size give him upside in the eyes of NFL evaluators, but his injury history will likely hinder him during the NFL Draft.
Nijman will look to continue to solidify his draft stock in the coming months as he gains more recognition on the national stage. Hopefully he gets an opportunity to make a 53-man roster and prove his worth as a potential starter or steady backup. If he is met with success after the draft, he will draw eyes back to Blacksburg as a pipeline for real NFL talent next season.