Ohio State Football: NFL Draft Projections for Every Former Buckeye
The 2014 NFL draft is set to kick off in New York City this Thursday, May 8, and with a number of strong prospects eligible, the Ohio State Buckeyes should be well represented.
As many as three Buckeyes stand a chance of hearing their names called on opening night, which would match the number of first-round selections from Ohio State since 2009.
While Ohio State has failed to produce the top-level talent it used to, the Buckeyes are tied with Iowa for producing the most draftees over the last five years, according to Sean Merriman of the Big Ten Network.
This year, the Buckeyes should establish themselves as the Big Ten's best entryway into the NFL.
Here's a look at each former Buckeye projected to go in this year's NFL draft.
Projections via Matt Miller of Bleacher Report.
Bradley Roby has the potential to be a shutdown corner in the NFL, and because of that, he's Matt Miller's highest-projected Buckeye.
Miller has Roby going in the first round at No. 25 to San Diego.
The Chargers need help in their secondary, and Roby would certainly provide a huge boost. Miller had this to say of the former Buckeye star:
The Big Ten standout did struggle at times in 2013 after posting an All-American season in 2012, but he has all the tools (footwork, strength, speed) to be a top-tier outside cornerback.
With San Diego sharing a division with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, help in the secondary is a top priority. Whether the Chargers are willing to overlook Roby's recent legal struggles won't be determined until Thursday.
In Matt Miller's latest mock draft, Ryan Shazier slips out of the first round and winds up with Washington at the top of the second round with the No. 34 pick.
Shazier was Ohio State's most consistent defender, leading the team in tackles and tackles for loss in each of the last two seasons. In 2013, he led the Big Ten with 143 total tackles while adding on 22.5 tackles for loss, six sacks and four forced fumbles.
The All-American linebacker should excel as a pass-rusher and run-stopper in the NFL.
The NFL is becoming a pass-happy league, but that doesn't mean there isn't a place for bruising, big-bodied running backs.
Hyde is considered one of the best—if not the best—running backs in this year's draft. Matt Miller has Hyde being selected at the very top of the third round by Houston at No. 65. Backing up Arian Foster, a role that was played perfectly by Ben Tate before he left for Cleveland, would be a great situation for Hyde.
The strength of Ohio State's team in 2013 was its offensive line, and Jack Mewhort, the 6'6", 308-pound mauler, anchored that unit at left tackle.
He isn't one of the highest-rated linemen, but if Houston gets him at the top of Round 4 like Matt Miller is projecting, he would be a steal.
Mewhort's strength is run-blocking, and Miller wrote earlier that his strength could trigger a position change:
Mewhort has the tools to potentially play right or left tackle in the pros. He definitely has the length and the strength to play on either side. His game film shows a powerful first step and the leverage to lock on and move defenders out in the run game.
Whether he winds up on the left or right side, he'll be a valuable asset for a team and an incredible late-draft value pick.
Other Buckeyes of Note
Two other Buckeyes were pegged by Matt Miller to be drafted.
Other Buckeyes, such as quarterback Kenny Guiton, wide receiver Corey Brown, guard Marcus Hall and safety C.J. Barnett, all have an outside shot of being drafted, but they're more likely to be targeted as undrafted free agents.
David Regimbal is the lead Ohio State football writer for Bleacher Report.
Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.