There is no doubt that one of the most important weekends marked on the sport fanatic’s calendar is the final weekend of April. Most of the time, we are hoping and anticipating which NFL ready prospect will help our favorite team. Sometimes we tune in to the NFL draft, just to see where the athletes we’ve watched play at the college level will land.
Before the spring, there was no doubt that the senior class of the Ohio State Buckeyes was one of the better ones in recent history. After a reeling season, full of suspensions and surprises, it’s a bit unclear where Ohio State’s best will land in the NFL Draft.
After the Combine in Indianapolis last week, things seem to be a bit clearer. Helping us breakdown the latest stock in the Ohio State class is NFL Mocks‘ lead editor Jesse Bartolis.
JD: Let’s start with the Scouting Combine. It’s all in the books, as we head into the home stretch. For those of us that stared at the TV but had no idea who’s stock was rising and who’s was falling — who were some of the guys from this class who helped their draft stock, and some that really hurt their cause?
NFLMocks: We wrote a whole host of posts on this at NFLmocks.com but I’ll do the most basic ones.
Cal Linebacker Mychal Kendricks put himself on the map at the combine and could go on day two now.
DL Dontari Poe was expected to be a big bodied guy who didn’t move well, but he looked so big and athletic that people are now comparing him to Ngata.
Luke Kuechly was much more athletic than people thought he was, which could have made him a lock in the top 15.
UCF CB Josh Robinson flashed in all drills. He’s been very good at Central Florida. He was heavily recruited by Michigan, but chose UCF instead. He is probably a 2nd or third round pick now.
Ohio State T Mike Adams-inconsistent, more than hurt his stock he just didn’t improve it. He had a chance go in the top 15, but didn’t earn that. He only benched 19 reps at 225, which is terrible for an Offensive lineman.
LB Vontaze Burfict was clearly the biggest loser. He came off poorly in interviews and they didn’t show the athleticism that was on tape
JD: For all the Browns fans out there– RGIII — We going to see him land with Cleveland? If so, what’s it going to cost the organization to go up and grab him at the #2 slot.
NFLMocks: I think their two first round picks this year and a 2nd rounder next year would get it done. They might even be able to get it done for less than that-their two first and a third rounder perhaps. I think Washington makes the biggest push, but if Cleveland wants him, they have more ammo.
JD: The Bengals have their quarterback and lead receiver. Things are on the upswing. What are the needs that this team has to address in the draft? Especially in the early rounds.
NFLMocks: Well let’s not forget free agency. They have to improve their run game. They need to add another powerful offensive linemen a guard preferrably would work well. They also need a better running back. Cedric Benson is average, Bernard Scott hasn’t shown enough.
They could afford to improve their secondary as well with a CB and/or safety depending on who they lose via free agency, and a SAM linebacker to replace Manny Lawson who is a Free Agent.
JD: Okay, let’s dig in to the good stuff. The Ohio State Buckeyes have what was once thought to be a top notch class. When it comes to being draft prospects now, where does the 2012 class stand after tattoo gate and all the tribulations of their final season?
NFLMocks: They have one first round prospect a bunch of pretty decent mid round prospects. More so than Tattoo gate the thing that hurts this class is Michael Brewster’s disappointing play. I had him ranked in the top 32 in my pre-season big board and now he’s going to end up after 100. He’s a terrible pre-draft process and looks really soft in the middle, and was unable to handle bigger players at times this year.
JD: Offensive Lineman Mike Adams is probably the highest projected Buckeye at this point. He missed time this season because of tattoo gate, but did finish the season strong. He only bench pressed 19 reps at the scouting combine, which is one of the lowest totals in the class. Where do you see him in the NFL position wise, and where is he currently projected to go in the draft?
NFLMocks: I still think he has the range to play LT. He is proejcted to me to still go in the top 25 my best bet right now today is that he ends up with the Detroit Lions at 23rd overall. He’s a first round lock for me still. I think the highest he could go is potentially the Bills (very unlikely) but more likely the Jets or Chargers, he can play RT with the Jets.
JD: Center Mike Brewster is right behind Adams when it comes to projection. Many consider him a likely 4th round or later pick in the April draft. That being said, he is still one of the better centers in the draft. What are you projections on the former Buckeye team leader, and is he considered a guy that can contribute right away or is he more of a “project” lineman?
NFLMocks: The question about Brewster is his functional strength. He’s a guy I liked a lot before. I think if he comes into the league he could play right away the question is he good enough to start in the league prior to this year I thought it was a given. Poor performance by him this year.
JD: Buckeye Wide Receivers the last few seasons have done a good job of contributing at the NFL level despite being drafted rather late. DeVier Posey didn’t neccessarily stick out at the combine, but he did have a great end to the season. Many scouts believe he has some of the better hands in the class. Where does Posey stand in the draft? Is he a first day pick? Can he have the same success Brian Hartline, Dane Sanzenbacher, and Brian Robiskie have had recently?
NFLMocks: Posey actually had a good combine. He showed off soft hands and he ran fast. We like Posey more than most sites, a really underrated. The Draft has changed so now first day refers to only round one, but Day two (which is the 2nd and 3rd round) is a place that Posey can be drafted in for sure. I don’t think tattoo gate a lone will significatly impact the draft status of Posey. I like Posey more than I liked Sanzenbacher and Hartline less than I liked Robiskie.
JD: If you were to ask Buckeye fans where Boom Herron lands on the echelon of running backs in school history, he’d be right up there as one of the most versatile backs to take the field. Despite his 4.66 40, he has the speed to get to the edge and the vision and strength to bring it through the tackles. He is projected in the late rounds. Do you think he has the tools to be a productive NFL back? Where does he fit in this year’s running back class?
: What do you consider a productive N.F.L. Back? A guy who is part of a rotation that gets you 6 touchdowns and 800 rushing yards a year? Then yes he has those kind of tools and ability. Do I think he can be Arian Foster, or a guy who rushes for a 1,000 yards consistently? No I don’t think he’s that good. Herron doesn’t really have big hands — 9″ at the combine — so it’ll be interesting to see if that leads to any fumbling issues.
Here’s a quick scouting report we have on Herron:
Quicker than fast though when he gets into the open field he is hard to bring down. Not really a change of pace back, but a guy who can make plays for you. I would put him in the fourth round discussion at this point, though some have him rated higher. He has excellent agility, but is not a great zone or outside runner. He is a power runner between the tackles who is at his best in open space. Definitely the type of back that likes to stick his shoulder down and drive ahead rather than use finesse or speed.