There is a new class of Buckeyes headed to the NFL. Thursdays NFL “Annual Selection Meeting” aka The Draft saw two Buckeyes selected in the first round and a host more taken later. We’ll look at where they’re headed and the situations they are facing. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble! The NFL draft is an annual right of passage where hope springs eternal. No matter what perpetual form of doormat your favorite team may be, the draft allows them to select the next “big thing” to make an attempt to restore the franchise to winning ways. The Ohio State Buckeyes are always well represented. In fact, so much so that they are third all-time in overall players drafted behind USC at number 1 and Notre Dame at number 2. This year would prove to be no different as six Buckeyes heard their name called. Let’s take a look at who they are and where they are headed. Ryan Shazier 1st round selection, 15th overall, Pittsburgh Steelers As much as I hate to see Buckeyes go to Pittsburgh due to my all Ohio allegiance, this may be the perfect landing spot for Shazier. His speed and aggressive nature fit what Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Dick Lebau loves to do: Blitz. There is already some talk of the Steelers possibly moving Shazier back to strong safety, which would on the surface seem strange. But when you look deeper at what Ryan does best; use his speed, blitz, make plays in space and compare it with his few weaknesses; making plays in traffic and meeting ball carriers one-on-one in the hole, it kind of seems like a genius move. This will be a situation definitely worth keeping an eye on as rookie camps start and we move into summer training camp.
Bradley Roby 1st round selection, 31st overall, Denver Broncos It seemed like Roby spent all of last season in OSU fans dog house. So to most it came as a bit of a surprise that he was selected in the first round. Admittedly, I thought he under-performed last season. The question I continually ask myself though when thinking about why it is I feel that way is Did Roby suffer due to his talent being exposed or the scheme he was being forced to play? I also wonder how much injury took a toll on his 2013. Denver Broncos GM John Elway (thanks again for ruining my childhood, Horseface) clearly feels the sky is the limit on Roby’s potential and I have to agree with him. It won’t be a cushy spot as he’ll face some pressure considering he is now on the AFC’s best team with one of the AFC’s worst defenses.
Carlos Hyde 2nd round selection, 57th overall, San Francisco 49ers “El Guapo” had to wait out the first round and then even had to wait while two other running backs were selected ahead of him in the second. In what seemed to be a perfect landing spot, the Cincinnati Bengals curiously passed on the hometown kid and went with LSU criminal Jeremy Hill. Nonetheless, when Jim Harbaugh’s 49ers pulled the trigger and selected Hyde my eyes instantly lit up and my thoughts went to “oh my God, he’s going to be unstoppable out there.” Hyde arrives in Santa Clara with no pressure on him as he’ll start out being the backup to Frank Gore. When he does get his carries it will be with an absolutely bruising offensive line (one member being former Buckeye Alex Boone) in front of him that will more than complement his down-hill running style. It’s not an exaggeration to think Hyde could supplant Gore as the starter by 2015 and lead the league in rushing. He’s that good, their line is that good and their coach is committed to a punishing run game. Jack Mewhort 2nd round, 59th overall, Indianapolis Colts The Colts need protection for franchise quarterback Andrew Luck and to open some holes for running back Trent Richardson. Buckeye senior and one of the team leaders, Mewhort will do just that. However, it won’t be at a tackle spot as he played in Columbus. The Colts will move Mewhort inside to guard (as he was announced on draft night when he was selected as a guard) and some of the experts even believe he eventually will end up at center. Corey Linsley 5th round, 161st overall, Green Bay Packers Growing up in Boardman, Linsley bucked the trend of either rooting for the Browns or the Steelers and instead was a childhood fan of the Packers. Realizing the dream of every kid who has ever put on a football helmet, he was selected by and now gets to play for his favorite team. He heads up to the “Frozen Tundra” to join former Buckeyes AJ Hawk, Jake Stoneburner and Ryan Pickett. He’ll also go there to compete for a spot at guard in the starting lineup. Christian Bryant 7th round, 241st overall, St. Louis Rams Though he missed over half of his senior year with an injury sustained in the waning moments of the Wisconsin game last fall, it still wasn’t enough to keep at least one team from taking a chance on the talent Bryant possesses. If he’s fully recovered and can go 100% in training camp, Bryant could be one of the steals of the 2014 draft. Jeff Fisher will look like a genius and that is no easy task. Undrafted free agents Once the draft concludes a free-for-all of undrafted free agents scramble to field calls from NFL teams looking to sign them to their rookie squads and bring them in for a look in rookie camp with a chance to receive an invite to summer training camp. As expected, several Buckeyes were signed and will be fighting for an opportunity.
- Marcus Hall, Indianapolis Colts
- Corey “Philly” Brown, Carolina Panthers
- Andrew Norwell, Carolina Panthers
- Drew Basil, Atlanta Falcons
- CJ Barnett, New York Giants
- Kenny Guiton, Buffalo Bills
- Cory “Pitt” Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers
I want to give a “shout out” to a Cleveland guy and former Buckeye. Some of you may remember Jonathan Newsome, he wore 55 and was a special teams starter and played outside linebacker in spots for the 2011 Sugar Bowl team. After the 2011 he fell into hard time academically and he transferred to Ball State. There he worked out hard in the weight room, improved his speed and became a first team All-MAC selection. Saturday, Newsome was selected 166th overall in the 5th round by the Colts. I’ve kept up with Jonathan through twitter (@JNEW_11) and can’t tell you how humble of a guy he is and how much the Buckeyes could have used his talent on defense last year. Congrats to J-New! Keep working hard and good things will keep happening! Wrap it up Just think, I didn’t even mention my Browns getting Johnny Manziel or the Bengals wasting a pick on AJ McCarron! Summer is almost here, get out and enjoy yourselves. I’ll be at Rock on the Range all weekend, hit me up on twitter if you’re headed out and want to say hello! Until next time, Go Bucks! Metallica track of the week In this section we haven’t given enough love to the live performances of the Load and Reload tracks. Let’s go back to 1997′s live DVD “Cunning Stunts” for a performance of Hero of the Day!