Ohio State Football: Best And Worst Of Buckeyes’ Draft Decisions

Apr 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announces the number one overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at Auditorium Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announces the number one overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at Auditorium Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports /

Multiple Ohio State players have decided to leave school to enter the 2017 NFL Draft, but which decisions will help and hurt the player or team the most?

Through January 8th, many draft-eligible Ohio State Buckeyes have announced their decisions to stay in Columbus, Ohio or take their chances in the NFL Draft. Who made the right call? Who has the most to gain from making the jump or from spending one more year at Ohio State? Let’s run down the best and worst of the Buckeye draft decisions.

Best Call To Return For The Player: Sam Hubbard

Hubbard would not rate too highly coming out as an edge rusher. While Buckeye fans would love to rave about his potential on the edge, the numbers just weren’t there. He only garnered three sacks on the year opposite of Tyquan Lewis, who earned Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year for his work on the field.

Hubbard isn’t in the discussion as a first round type guy and still needs to show he can play with more aggression as a two way defensive end. Remember, he came to Columbus as a safety/ linebacker type and a former lacrosse player, so there is still plenty of room for improvement.

Best Call To Return For Ohio State: Billy Price

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Price would have gone as high as the second round as a steady force in the middle at guard. It would have surprised exactly no one to see him leave a season early. Instead, he is likely to slide over to center with the relative depth available at guard heading into 2017.

It’s tough to lose a potential first rounder and Rimington winner like Pat Elflein. By keeping Price around, it’s one less chunk of the line to worry about.

With so much improvement needed at tackle, it has to be a relief to Greg Studrawa that Price gives him an anchor in the middle of the line to build Kevin Wilson‘s scheme around.

Worst Decision To Leave For The Player: Noah Brown

This is an easy choice to make here. Brown showed in the Oklahoma game that he can light up a scoreboard when given the chance. He is a big, fast receiver that can press defensive backs. The keyword in all of this is “can”, not “consistently does”.

Brown was lapped by Curtis Samuel for the team lead in receiving yards and receptions. However, aside from his big night in Norman, Oklahoma, Brown was a non-factor the rest of the season. A team may take a late round chance on Brown, but he is just as likely to go undrafted after showing a total lack of development in his three years on campus.

Worst Decision To Stay For The Ohio State: J.T. Barrett

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This isn’t meant to be a shot at Barrett or Ohio State. It’s not meant to belittle Barrett’s assault on the Ohio State record books.

Nor the the ways that Urban Meyer has rightfully shaken up the offensive coaching staff. It is meant to draw attention to the endless questions about the quarterback position and the offense for the second time in three offseasons for Barrett.

Last time, it was questions around whether it would be Barrett, Braxton Miller, or Cardale Jones. Now, it’s the likes of Joe Burrow and Tate Martell, not to mention Dwayne Haskins, who will be contenders heading into spring and fall camps. After the Clemson embarrassment, the last thing Kevin Wilson and Urban Meyer need is drama to complicate the locker room.

Biggest Loss For Ohio State: Malik Hooker

The turnover machine has previously stated that he would return for another year. But it’s no surprise after seeing his name appear all over the top of draft boards.

He helped cover up a lot of mistakes by fellow early departure Gareon Conley and other corners. If Marshon Lattimore decides to leave as well. Hooker’s loss could be compounded by another mass exodus in the secondary.

Next: Noah Brown's Decision To Go Pro Is Head-Scratching

The only saving grace is that Meyer has recruited very well the last few years to at least provide depth in the secondary. The recent commitment of Jeffrey Okudah and Shaun Wade are even more important now. Jordan Fuller, Erick Smith, Denzel Ward, and Damon Arnette now have to have the best offseasons of their lives.