Ohio State Football: Why the Buckeyes Could Have Multiple 1st-Rounders in 2013

Tim BielikSenior Analyst IApril 30, 2012

CHAMPAIGN, IL - OCTOBER 15:  Jason Ford #21 of the Illinois Fighting Illini moves to recover his own fumble as he is hit by John Simon #54 of the Ohio State Buckeyes at Memorial Stadium on October 15, 2011 in Champaign, Illinois. Ohio State defeated Illinois 17-7. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The NFL draft has already passed with less Ohio State Buckeyes than normal being selected than in previous years.

Only four Buckeyes (Mike Adams, DeVier Posey, Dan Herron and Nate Ebner) were selected by NFL teams this year, with Posey and Ebner being huge surprises as to where they were taken.

Posey went way higher than expected to the Texans in the third round, and Ebner was a surprising choice of New England in the sixth round since he only projects to a special teams ace at the NFL level.

This was only the second time since 2005 that a Buckeye was not drafted in the first round of the draft.

That's one of the side effects of being a 6-7 team that looked lost and disorganized for the better part of last season.

With a new coaching staff in tow and plenty of talent on the roster, there's no reason why Ohio State should not have only one first-rounder.

John Simon seems like a near-lock for the first round of next year's draft because of his work ethic, his motor and versatility across the defensive line.

He is a game-changer in almost every sense of the word, and creates problems for offensive lines.

In a game where defensive line play wins championships (see the Giants this year), Simon can make himself a lot of money because of his ability to play both on the end and in the middle of the line.

Simon might not be the only first-rounder the Buckeyes get either this season.

Should he come out after this season, DT Johnathan Hankins is another possible first-rounder.

Hankins moves much faster than his large frame would indicate.

He is a disruptive force in the interior and can be a force in the run game.

Hankins may be best suited for 4-3 defensive tackle, but could also play 3-4 nose tackle if he bulks up a little bit.

TE Jake Stoneburner remains a possibility as a fringe first-rounder in 2013, but he will need to have a big, big season. But he has an outside chance to do so because of his amazing athleticism and the growing importance of the tight end position in the NFL with players like Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham dominating defenses last year.

The 2013 NFL draft is a whole year away, but Ohio State might have a chance to make a presence in the draft, especially on the defensive line.

Simon and Hankins—if he comes out—should each be first-round picks in the draft.

There could be others, but that's why they play the games in both levels.

Every year has players that burst onto the scene that nobody expected would be there before the year began, with Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III being the prime example.

Ohio State has a chance to get one or two to be those kind of players.


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