The Ohio State Buckeyes will be well represented in the 2016 NFL Draft, but which round will they be selected. Factory of Sadness writer Joe Russo analyzes where each Buckeye will get picked.
In addition to the nine Buckeyes making the early jump into the NFL, there was already an impressive group of seniors ready to make an impact on Sundays. A lot can change before draft day, but it’s never too early to try to predict where each of the prospects might get selected. For this exercise, we’ll separate the Buckeyes by the potential round they will go in.
(Editor’s Note: FoS Editor Nick Dudukovich predicted the landing spots. NFL teams with personnel jobs to fill can reach me @DukeofNick. The mock draft board was put together before the NFL Wild Card games).
First Round: Joey Bosa, Taylor Decker, Ezekiel Elliott, Michael Thomas, Vonn Bell
It’s no surprise that this group has first round talent. Joey Bosa is likely the top overall selection as a three-down defensive end that is equally as disruptive against the pass as against the run. Most scouts see him as J.J. Watt 2.0, which certainly justifies his lofty draft grades.
Likely landing spot: No. 2, Cleveland Browns
Taylor Decker is probably the second offensive tackle taken off the board behind Laremy Tunsil. Decker is the type of athletic tackle needed to protect quarterbacks in the pass heavy NFL. He also brings incredible size at around 6-foot-8 and well over 300 pounds.
Teams will love his consistency and the amount of big game experience he brings to the table. If he’s not taken in the top 15, it would be a surprise.
Likely landing spot: No. 16, Detroit Lions
Ezekiel Elliott is one of the staggering number of guys leaving school early, but he might be the most talented of the bunch, even including Joey Bosa. We’ve covered on this site in great detail Elliott’s place in Ohio State football history. NFL teams will love his three-down ability, as he might be the most natural pass catcher of all running back prospects in this year’s draft.
There’s no shortage of teams needing a playmaker backfield, even in an era where a true bell-cow back isn’t a priority. Teams like the Colts, 49ers and Cowboys will take a very long look at him in the first half of the first round.
Likely landing spot: No. 18, Indianapolis Colts
Vonn Bell is the last Buckeye that probably makes it into the first round. He is poised to be the top rated safety heading into the combine and his measurable will confirm that once he shows his athletic prowess in Indy. The film will show off his complete game and will be highlighted by his pick six against Minnesota. But it will also show that he was a willing run defender all season, which will impress defensive coaches in any film room. Bell won’t go early in round one, but he should go in the mid to late 20s, given his position.
Likely landing spot: No. 27, Minnesota Vikings
Michael Thomas will look real good in a Cleveland Browns uniform, but he isn’t likely to jump Laquan Treadwell for that honor. Of all of the players who will see their stock go up in the pre-draft process and their the scouting combine, it might be Thomas that makes the biggest leap. We’ve seen what he can do when given the chance, but he doesn’t have the huge stats to go with it.
He’s still the consensus No. 2 receiver and won’t make it out of the first round, but he will see his stock increase before draft day.
Likely landing spot: No. 31, Carolina Panthers
Next: 2nd Round