Ohio State Football: Looking at the Buckeyes' 2012 NFL Draft Prospects

Tyler Waddell@Tyler_WaddellCorrespondent IIJanuary 11, 2012

Ohio State Football: Looking at the Buckeyes' 2012 NFL Draft Prospects

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    The NFL playoffs are well underway, and a champion will be crowned in just a few short weeks.

    That means the 2012 draft is creeping up on us, with April knocking at the door.

    Ohio State
    had its fair share of negativity this season, failing to finish with a winning record after falling short in the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl. Still, the prolific program will hold its head up high when several Buckeyes are selected in the draft.

    OSU will return six offensive and 10 defensive starters for the 2012-2013 season. The six that are leaving all have a great shot to earn a job playing football on Sundays.

    Here is an NFL draft projection for those departing to the next level.

Andrew Sweat, OLB

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    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 238 lbs

    40 Time: 4.70 seconds

    Projected Round: Sixth/Seventh

    Andrew Sweat was undoubtedly the leader of what was a struggling linebacker corps for the Buckeyes' defense in 2011. He recorded 72 tackles (five TFL), one interception and a forced fumble in 11 games.

    Sweat's lack of speed is an issue, and it will affect his chances at becoming a starter in the NFL.

J.B. Shugarts, OT/G

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    Height: 6'7"

    Weight: 298 lbs

    40 Time: 5.2 seconds

    Projected Round: Fifth/Sixth

    J.B. Shugarts has experience at both offensive guard and tackle, but seems to do better when inside.

    A starter since his sophomore year, Shugarts tends to show inconsistency, but has come up big in tough situations (e.g., shutting down Penn State's Devon Still). Shugarts needs to continue getting stronger and possibly add another 15-20 pounds to his large frame. His dad played for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

DeVier Posey, WR

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    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 213 lbs

    40 Time: 4.54 seconds

    Projected Round: Fourth/Fifth

    Posey is a wide receiver with a lot to prove before April.

    After missing 10 games in 2011 for NCAA violations, Posey caught 12 balls for 162 yards and two touchdowns. He will play in the Senior Bowl and will have to work hard in the draft's pre-workouts, but there are a lot of teams in the NFL that need a deep threat.

    Posey was once considered a second-round selection before his off-field troubles, so he could still be a sleeper early on.

Dan Herron, RB

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    Height: 5'10"

    Weight: 205 lbs

    40 Time: 4.52 seconds

    Projected Round: Fourth

    There's nothing astounding about Dan Herron's game other than the fact that he gets the job done.

    "Boom" averaged 5.0 yards per carry in seven appearances this season, and 4.8 yards over his four-year career with the Buckeyes. He doesn't possess that breakaway speed that scouts drool over, but Herron does do a nice job of finding the gaps with adroit field vision.

Mike Brewster, C

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    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 305 lbs

    40 Time: 5.17 seconds

    Projected Round: Fourth

    Mike Brewster is a pure pass-protector, which would suit him well in a league where the single-season record for most combined passing yards was just broken. Brewster has average strength, but he knows the game of football very well and was the team captain. He was also the only junior in college football to finish as a finalist for the 2010 Rimington Trophy.

    Brewster's inconsistent senior year probably cost him being a late second, early third-round pick, but he can improve on his miscues during the offseason.

Mike Adams, OT

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    Height: 6'8"

    Weight: 320 lbs

    40 Time: 5.28 seconds

    Projected Round: Second

    Mike Adams will be a Top Five offensive tackle selection in this year's draft.

    Ohio State's offense (mainly the running game) improved when Adams returned from his five-game suspension. He still showed some inconsistency when facing faster defensive ends and will probably switch to right tackle when drafted.

    Still, the All-American is one of the best run-blockers in his class and is a solid second-round pick.