Ohio State Football: Players with Best Chance to Be NFL 1st-Round Picks in 2014
Ohio State football is kind of a big deal these days, as some of the experts around the web believe this program could challenge Alabama as the top team in the nation heading into the 2013 season.
Fielding a top NCAA team means there are likely a few NFL-caliber players on the roster, and that's surely the case for Ohio State this season.
This team is loaded with talent, but there are talented players who go undrafted every year.
These players will not only be drafted, but there's a good chance they have what it takes to be selected in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft.
Bradley Roby, Cornerback
Of all the players on the Buckeyes' current roster who are eligible to be drafted in 2014, Roby has the best chance of being selected early in the first round.
Brandon Castel of The-Ozone.net pointed out recently that Roby was the No. 11 pick in an early 2014 mock over at SI.com:
Sports Illustrated has OSU CB Bradley Roby going 11th overall in the 2014 NFL Draft, one pick before Taylor Lewan. bit.ly/ZQPtJx— Brandon Castel (@BCastOZone) May 6, 2013
As a sophomore last year, Roby recorded 62 tackles, two interceptions and 17 pass breakups, earning All-American honors in the process.
Roby is a bit undersized at 5'11" and 193 pounds, but he plays much bigger than his size. Featuring phenomenal quickness and change-of-direction abilities, Roby is also a physical player who isn't afraid to jump into the fray against the run and jam receivers at the line of scrimmage.
In a lot of respects, Roby compares favorably to Dee Milliner, who was selected with the No. 9 overall pick by the New York Jets in 2013.
Ryan Shazier, Linebacker
Linebackers in the NFL these days must be elite athletes and excellent football players.
Shazier is both.
Ohio State Football on Twitter recently reported Shazier as the No. 26 player on ESPN's Mel Kiper's big board:
Ryan Shazier is on Mel Kiper's Big Board for the 2014 NFL Draft coming in at #26— Ohio State Football (@OhioStFootball) May 8, 2013
In his sophomore season last year, Shazier put up some jaw-dropping stats: He compiled 115 total tackles (70 solo), 17 tackles for loss, five sacks, three forced fumbles and one interception, which he returned for a touchdown.
Quick enough and athletic enough to play inside or out, Shazier will be an intriguing player for NFL teams to consider in the mid-to-late first round. His biggest downfall is his lack of size, and we saw a similarly sized player Arthur Brown fall into the second round this year.
That said, should Shazier improve upon his production of a year ago, put on a few more pounds of muscle and run a blazing 40-yard dash at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, he should be a lock as a first-round pick.
Braxton Miller, Quarterback
Miller is a wild card as a potential first-round pick.
Bleacher Report's Matt Miller was recently asked about Miller as a first-round pick in 2014 by one of his Twitter followers:
@gpak4 I need to see a lot more of him first.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) May 6, 2013
That is exactly what most experts will tell you at this point.
No doubt Miller is an elite athlete with the ability to make game-breaking plays with his arm and legs at the next level, but there's a bevy of talented signal-callers potentially coming into the NFL next year.
Teddy Bridgewater, A.J. McCarron, Aaron Murray, David Fales, Brett Hundley and Johnny Manziel could all potentially be selected before Miller.
Will Braxton Miller be a first-round draft pick?
The biggest concern surrounding Miller is his lack of accuracy—a trait that is paramount when evaluating quarterbacks. Last year, he only completed 58.3 percent of his passes, and if he's going to move up the ladder against the other quarterbacks coming into the league, he'll need to drastically improve these numbers.
If Miller can prove he has the arm talent to become a pocket passer as well as one who can run, he'll have a shot at being drafted in the first round. If not, he could slide into the later rounds.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78
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