Buckeye Banter: Catching Up With The Buckeye's 2009 Draft Picks

Kristofer GreenSenior Writer IAugust 12, 2009

Did you know there is at least one former Buckeye on every NFL team? 

With all 32 NFL teams into training camp and preseason football right around the corner, it's time to catch up with some former Buckeye's as they begin their professional careers.

These seven new pros are all anxious and ready for some football.

Malcolm Jenkins—Round One, Pick 14

Team: New Orleans Saints

Signed: Five years, $19 million

Despite missing the first 14 practices of training camp, Jenkins said he hopes to play in the Saints' exhibition opener against the Cincinnati Bengals at 7 p.m. Friday at the Superdome.

His ultimate goal is to start game one.

"I think I'm good enough to [start]. I know there are some good guys in front of me, and everybody is working hard, so it's not going to be something that I'm just going to walk into. But my personal goal is to start. I want to be the best I can be, but if that doesn't happen, I want to contribute as much as I can."

Chris "Beanie" Wells—Round One, Pick 31

Team: Arizona Cardinals

Signed: 5 years, $9 million

On Aug. 1, just one day after signing his contract, Wells injured his right ankle in his first practice with the Cardinals.

The good news is that he has been making significant progress since. He spent Monday's early practice running at full speed and making cuts in solo drills without reporting any major pain.

"It's getting better, and my ankle is getting stronger," Wells said. "But it's definitely frustrating, because I had big plans for this camp."

He is unlikely to play in Thursday's preseason game against Pittsburgh.

"I would say it's possible," Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt said, "but I would add it's probably not greatly possible. I would like to at least see him go and participate in warm-ups and getting the whole pregame routine down. But there are plenty of preseason games left we can get him in, so we should be OK."

James Laurinaitis—Round Two, Pick Three

Team: St. Louis Rams

Signed: Four years, terms undisclosed

While he got his feet wet during the Rams' mini-camps and organized team activities this spring, Laurinaitis said he was looking forward to putting on the pads during training camp.

"A lot of guys look very good in shorts, you know what I mean,'' Laurinaitis said. "When you're a linebacker, wearing shorts all the time is kind of hard for you. Your whole position is about physicality and showing what you can do.''

The middle linebacker is expected to be the Rams' starter on opening day.

Brian Robiskie—Round Two, Pick Four

Team: Cleveland Browns

Signed: Four years, terms undisclosed

Robiskie, a former Browns ball boy, will compete with former Georgia star Mohamed Massaquoi for a starting position opposite former Michigan star Braylon Edwards. Robiskie appears ready for the challenge.

"I learned early in my career that every day you've got to get better at something. In training camp and even in the season, every day I try to get better at one little thing or another. If I can do that, the personal goals will come."

In mini-camps and organized team activities, Robiskie displayed the same sure hands that enabled him to catch 24 TD passes at Ohio State, fourth in school history.

Donald Washington—Round Four, Pick Two

Team: Kansas City Chiefs

Signed: Multi-year contract, terms undisclosed

Washington arrived at Chiefs rookie mini-camp a little wide-eyed, admittedly not quite sure what he was in for.

“I did not know what to expect coming in to be honest. I expected to learn a lot of things and meet a lot of people. That is what happened to sum it all up. It was fun. We had a good time, but at the same time I know I am a long way away from where I need to be.”

He would like to be in the position to contribute, but knows the challenge that lies ahead.

“My goal is to be the best I can be. If I can do that then I have a good chance [to contribute]. I can’t set goals to compete against anybody else right now because I have to be the best [I] can be to do anything. My goal is to be in the best shape I can be, playing the best football I can play. Whatever happens, happens.”

Brian Hartline—Round Four, Pick Eight

Team: Miami Dolphins

Signed: Four years, $2 million

In the last six months, Hartline's life has changed in several ways. He was drafted, signed his first NFL contract, and married his college love.

Now, he is ready to get down to business.

“I’m excited,” Hartline said. “But at the same time, I can’t be complacent. There’s a lot of work to be done. Now I have to move on and focus on the next step, and it’s time to focus on training camp.”

Hartline will be a special teams contributor and likely work his way into a third or fourth receiver role. Former Ohio State star and Miami starting receiver Ted Ginn, Jr. is doing his part to make sure his teammate is up for the challenge.

“Me and Ted have always been friends. But we put in enough work together that work and hanging out are the same things.”

Marcus Freeman—Round Five, Pick 18

Team: Chicago Bears

Signed: Four years, $2 million

Freeman looks like he fits the Bears mold for a weak-side linebacker, but barring an injury that job belongs to veteran Lance Briggs.

Freeman is fitting right in, and former Ohio State assistant and current Bears coach Lovie Smith seems high on the linebacker. Smith is trying Freeman out during training camp in multiple linebacker spots.

"I’m learning both outside linebacker positions, the Will and the Sam. But if you can learn all three spots, it makes you a more versatile linebacker."

Another nice thing for Freeman is the experience he has playing special teams at Ohio State—an opportunity he will certainly be given in Chicago.

"It’s something that’s stressed here. It’s not something that’s looked as a burden at all, like 'Oh man, I’ve got to play special teams.' You look at it like 'I get a chance to play special teams for the Bears.'"


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.