This is the 17th in a 20-part series examining some possibilities for the Browns in the 2013 NFL Draft, including extensive looks at the most likely prospects for the No. 6 overall selection, potential targets later in the draft, trade-down scenarios, what the other teams in the AFC North might do and the top players coming out of Ohio State and the Mid-American Conference.
Each morning will bring a new, daily posting leading up the NFL Scouting Combine on Feb 20.
Today a look at the top prospects coming out of Ohio State University, starting with the big man in the middle.
For the second year in a row, for Ohio State's standards, it's a light draft class. The Buckeyes are losing only one underclassmen to the draft, have one first-round talent, one mid-draft prospect and several guys who should be selected late on the third day.
Here are the Buckeyes with the best chance at having their name called during the draft:
Johnathan Hankins, 6-foot-3, 320 pounds, defensive tackle, junior
Overview: Whether he was called "Big John" or "Big Hank," Hankins was certainly big. He found some playing time as a freshman and then had his best season in 2011 as a sophomore with 67 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss and three sacks, earning First Team All-Big Honorable Mention as the big clog in the middle of Ohio State's defensive line. Last season, he had 55 tackles, four tackles for a loss and a sack and was named First Team All-Big Ten.
NFLDraftScout.com overall rankings/projections: Hankins is ranked 28th overall and is the fifth-ranked defensive tackle. He carries a first-round grade.
What they're saying: Hankins has excellent feet for the position with a very good first step and get-off burst to knife through the line of scrimmage. ... Fluid and rangy, dropping in coverage at times. ... Versatile, seeing playing time all over the defensive line. ... Tough run defender with very good instincts and awareness. ... Has extremely strong hands to secure tackles and finish plays. ... Relies too much on his upper-body strength at times and needs to play with consistent leverage. ... Doesn't always play smart and commits several penalties. ... Tends to wear down throughout the course of a game and gives streaky effort.
NFLDraftScout.com player comparison: Brandon Mebane, defensive tackle, Seattle Seahawks.
John Simon, 6-foot-2, 260 pounds, defensive end/outside linebacker, senior
Overview: Simon, who lives in the workout room and has been named to Bruce Feldman's "Freak List," was a five-star recruit out of Cardinal Mooney in Youngstown. As a junior in 2011, Simon had a team-high seven sacks and 16 tackles for a loss en route to being named First Team All-Big Ten. Last season, he again earned First-Team honors with a conference-high nine sacks and 14.5 tackles for a loss. He was also one of eight finalists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy.
NFLDraftScout.com overall rankings/projections: Simon is ranked as the 84th best player in the draft class and the ninth best outside linebacker. He carries a third-round grade.
What they're saying: Simon has a motor that never quits. ... Is extremely relentless. ... He has a strong upper body to swat and use his limbs to beat blocks with his natural power. ... Does a nice job of setting the edge against the run. ... Takes aggressive angles in the run game and doesn't play hesitant, trusting his eyes and reacting in a flash. ... Tackles through the ball carrier. ... Good snap anticipation and dip off the edge to bend around the tackle. ... Plays every snap as if it's his last and doesn't know how to go half speed. ... Smart, heady player who makes plays against the run and pass. ... He's almost too bulked up, which limits his fluidity, and he lacks ideal arm length. ... More of a one-speed rusher and doesn't flash consistent explosion. ... Lacks creativity as an edge rusher. ... Struggled to cover running backs or tight ends in one-on-one coverage.
NFLDraftScout.com player comparison: Allen Bailey, defensive end, Kansas City Chiefs.
Etienne Sabino, 6-foot-3, 236 pounds, outside linebacker, senior
Overview: A five-star recruit out of Miami, Fla., Sabino played in all 26 games as a freshman and sophomore but struggled to to break into the starting lineup on defense. He started five games as a junior and finished fifth on the team with 62 tackles and 6.5 tackles for a loss. He was an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention in 2012 despite breaking his fibula.
NFLDraftScout.com overall rankings/projections: Sabino is ranked as the 160th best prospect and the 18th best outside linebacker. He carries a fifth-round grade.
What they're saying: Athletic frame and flies all over the field with excellent range. ... Athletic blitzer and is at his best when running downhill. ... Lacks the instincts and consistency to start at the next level, but could be a core special-teams player. ... Lacks a great feel in coverage. ... Needs to improve angles, and lacks lateral burst to change directions quickly.
Reid Fragel, 6-foot-7, 298 pounds, offensive tackle, senior
Overview: Fragel went to OSU as a tight end but grew out of the position. Fragel spent most of his career as a backup tight end and coach Urban Meyer then convinced him to gain 20 pounds and change positions. Fragel was invited to the Senior Bowl but missed it because of an undisclosed injury, so the combine will be vital for him.
NFLDraftScout.com overall rankings/projections: Fragel is ranked as the 167th top player and the 16th best offensive tackle. He carries a fifth-round grade.
What they're saying: Looks the part with good height and length with the frame to keep adding weight. ... Athletic player with quickness to get to the second level. ... Does a nice job of using angles, squaring his shoulders and mirroring well. ... Has messy footwork and lacks the quickness to consistently hold up on an island. ... Needs a lot of technique work and is often caught up lunging and being off-balance. ... Needs to improve blocking motion and improve his awareness.
NFLDraftScout.com player comparison: Brandon Mosley, offensive tackle, New York Giants.
Jake Stoneburner, 6-foot-5, 245 pounds, tight end, senior
Overview: Stoneburner as an all-state receiver in Ohio and then moved to tight end for the Buckeyes. Stoneburner was a matchup nightmare but failed to produce quality numbers as a sophomore and junior, never catching more than 21 passes in a season. Following an offseason arrest, Stoneburner worked his way back and moved to receiver under Meyer and had 16 catches for 269 yards and four touchdowns in eight games.
NFLDraftScout.com overall rankings/projections: Stoneburner is ranked as the 220th best player and the 12th best tight end. He carries a sixth-seventh round grade.
What they're saying: Stoneburner is a tall athlete with good length and catching radius. ... Plays with excellent body control. ... Strong hands and focus to snatch the ball out of the air. ... Makes plays after the catch, showing effort and power. ... Displays some tenacity as a blocker and does a nice job on the perimeter. ... Little stiff in his hips and plays too tight at times. ... Lacks elite frame for the position. ... Isn't overpowering as a blocker. ... Can be overmatched by linebackers.
NFLDraftScout.com player comparison: David Paulson, tight end, Pittsburgh Steelers.
Other Ohio State prospects to watch: Zach Boren, fullback; Travis Howard, cornerback; Nathan Williams, linebacker; and Orhian Johnson, safety.
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