Here's a brief look at the top prospects coming out of Ohio State this year, what their strengths and weaknesses are and where they might go in the draft.
Ryan Shazier, outside linebacker, junior
Height/weight: 6-foot-1, 237 pounds
2013 stats: 133 tackles, 23.5 tackles-for-loss, six sacks
Current overall prospect ranks: NFLDraftScout.com: 22nd; ESPN.com: 23rd
Current overall projected draft position: Most draft experts see Shazier being selected in the early 20s, and most to the Green Bay Packers at No. 21. Rob Rang and Pete Prisco of NFLDraftScout.com both have Shazier being selected by the Packers. Dane Brugler has him falling to the Denver Broncos at No. 31. Pat Kirwan has him staying in Ohio and going to the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 24. ESPN.com’s Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay each have Shazier going to the Packers as well.
Overview: Shazier was a highly touted defensive end and began to make an impact at the tail end of his freshman season as one of the fastest linebackers in the country. He had back-to-back seasons with at least 115 tackles as a sophomore and junior and had 44.5 tackles for a loss in that time. He played inside and outside linebacker at OSU.
What they’re saying: Terrific closing burst and acceleration … explosive first step when blitzing … Very good bend off the edge … Good take-on strength, hits hard vs the run … Eyes are always elevated with good anticipation and vision … Shows improvement with his tackling technique … Smart, puts himself in the correct position to make plays … Relentless in pursuit … Team leader, strong character … Lacks elite bulk … Doesn’t have the body type to grow much … Needs to continue to get stronger … Too easily engulfed at line of scrimmage … Overaggressive at times in coverage … Needs to tidy up his timing to avoid late hits.
Bradley Roby, cornerback, junior
Height/weight: 5-foot-11, 194 pounds
2013 stats: 69 tackles, three interceptions.
Current overall prospect ranks: NFLDraftScout.com: 32nd; ESPN.com: 34th
Current overall projected draft position: Roby has a rather wide range of projected landing spots, and his recent off-the-field issues could widen it. NFLDraftScout.com’s Pete Prisco has Roby going the highest, at No. 10 overall to the Detroit Lions. Pat Kirwan is next and has Roby going to AFC-North rival Pittsburgh at No. 15. Dane Brugler has Roby going one spot ahead of the Browns to the San Diego Chargers with the 25th pick. Rob Rang, then, has the Browns selecting Roby at No. 26. ESPN.com’s Toddy McShay sees Roby going one pick later to the New Orleans Saints. Mel Kiper Jr., meanwhile, has Roby falling out of the first round.
Overview: Roby was a sure-fire first-round pick during the early parts of the 2013 season, but he’s mostly just hurt his draft stock since then. His athleticism and speed are noted, but he was torched 1-2 times last season (namely the Wisconsin game) and recently plead guilty to a charge of “physical control of a vehicle while impaired,” which isn’t quite drunk driving, but to put himself in that position right before the draft likely won’t sit well with teams considering him in the first round of a deep draft. Roby has first-round talent, but those issues might lead to his speed not reflecting his final draft position.
What they’re saying: World-class speed … Ability to mirror receivers all over the field … Good fighting attitude in battle for the ball … Can be late looking back for the ball … Tendency to concede underneath throws … Must prove he can drive on the ball and limit plays in front of him … Lacks consistent focus … Gets caught peeking into the backfield … Good natural awareness in off-man and zone coverage … Quick-twitch athlete with good combination of length, fluidity, straight-line speed … Arguably most gifted cornerback in the class.
Carlos Hyde, running back, senior
Height/weight: 6-foot, 230 pounds
2013 stats: 208 carries for 1,521 yards, 15 touchdowns
Current overall prospect ranks: NFLDraftScout.com: 44th; ESPN.com: 43rd (He’s the top-ranked running back according to each service)
Overview: Hyde missed the first three games of the 2013 season due to suspensions but was as explosive as ever afterward, becoming Urban Meyer’s first ever 1,000-yard rusher. He rushed for more than 100 yards in the each of the final eight games and went over 200 yards twice. Hyde is ranked by many as the top running back in this draft class, and because of that, could sneak into the first round but is likely to be taken somewhere in the second round.
What they’re saying: Well built and at his best running with a head of steam … can lower his pads and find yards … Powerful north/south runner … Some fluidity at 240 pounds to wiggle out of tackles … shows excellent ability to absorb hits and keep his lugs churning … Tends to not break as many tackles as expected at times … Became winded and fatigued in some games … Will have to answer questions about three-game suspension … Runs with good balance … Quick feet, impressive body control for size.
Jack Mewhort, offensive tackle, senior
Height/weight: 6-foot-6, 209 pounds
Current overall prospect ranks: NFLDraftScout.com: 105th; ESPN.com: 65th
Overview: Mewhort started for the Buckeyes at both guard and tackle along the offensive line. He started 49 games overall, including 39 in a row to close out his career. He primarily lined up at right tackle and projects to that spot at the next level. Mewhort projects to go in the third-to-fourth round range.
What they’re saying: Controls opponent with long arms, strong hands … Has lateral agility and balance to be an effective pass-blocker at the NFL level … Plays higher than scouts prefer but shows flexibility, core strength … Can generate power at the point of attack and does a nice job finishing off defenders when they’re off balance … Durable and a leader … Doesn’t possess elite athleticism that would be needed at left tackle … Relies on length and strength rather than quickness and agility to contain speed rushers … Can be beaten with stutter-steps back to the inside … Shows average change of direction skills.