With the 2017 NFL Draft only one month away, we take a look at the Ohio State Buckeyes who could potentially get drafted and where they are currently predicted. Last year, the Buckeyes had 12 draft selections and all coming in the first four rounds: a modern-era NFL record. In addition, five of those 12 draft picks were selected in the first-round. The last time no Buckeyes were drafted by an NFL team was in 1998.

With the 2017 NFL Draft only one month away, we take a look at the Ohio State Buckeyes who could potentially get drafted and where they are currently predicted. Last year, the Buckeyes had 12 draft selections and all coming in the first four rounds: a modern-era NFL record. In addition, five of those 12 draft picks were selected in the first-round. The last time no Buckeyes were drafted by an NFL team was in 1998.

#1. Marshon Lattimore – CB – 1st Round

Lattimore only started for one year at cornerback before electing to enter the NFL draft. As his lone season as a starter, he recorded 41 tackles, four interceptions, one touchdown, and nine pass breakups. Injuries prevented him from playing his freshman year and shortened his redshirt freshman year. When healthy, Lattimore has the skills and athleticism to match up with any opposing receivers and make him the number one cornerback in this draft. At the combine, Lattimore ran a 4.36 40-yard dash. A cornerback-needy team such as the Chicago Bears (#3), Tennessee Titans (#5), or New York Jets (#6) could look at him.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AN9hIFwGtNbg

 

#2. Malik Hooker – FS – 1st Round

Like Lattimore, Hooker only started for one year at safety. Hooker impressed with 74 tackles, seven interceptions, three touchdowns, and four pass breakups. He is a natural at safety even though he has only played football for roughly five years. He projects to be the second safety taken after LSU safety Jamal Adams. The San Diego Chargers at the seventh overall pick are commonly predicted to take him and pair him up on the same defense as fellow Buckeye and defensive rookie of the year Joey Bosa. Earlier in the offseason, Hooker underwent surgery for a torn labrum and hernia.

#3. Gareon Conley – CB – 1st/2nd Round

Conley has three years of experience at cornerback, starting every game in the past two seasons. In 2015, Conley was responsible 49 tackles, two interceptions, and five pass breakups. In 2016, he had 26 tackles, four interceptions, and eight pass breakups. Conley is not as good a cornerback as Lattimore but he is healthier and experienced. With an abundance of cornerback talent in this draft, it is difficult to project exactly where Conley will go.

#4. Curtis Samuel – WR – 2nd/3rd Round

Curtis Samuel was highly recruited out of high school as a four-star athlete. He proved that he deserved to play right away as he played in every game from his freshman to junior year. He finished his collegiate career with 172 carries for 1,286 yards (7.5 yards/carry) and 15 touchdowns. Additionally, he had 107 receptions for 1,249 yards (11.7 yards/reception) and nine touchdowns. His 279 touches on offense resulted in over nine yards per touch. His 4.31 40-yard dash and performances on the field show off his vertical speed. The first-team All-American all-purpose player is the definition of jack-of-all-trades but master of none as he tries to make his transition to full-time receiver at the next level.

#5. Raekwon McMillan – ILB – 2nd/3rd Round

The five-star linebacker certainly lived up to his expectations when he committed to Ohio State a few years ago. He played in every single game from his freshman to junior year with back-to-back seasons recording over 100 tackles. The captain and leader of the Buckeye defense was a second-team All-American and first-team All-Big Ten. His 119 and 102 tackles led the team the past two seasons.

#6. Pat Elflein – C – 2nd-4th Round

Elflein was a three-year starter for the Buckeyes starting at guard in 2014 and 2015 while moving to center in 2016. The three-time first-team All-Big Ten player is one of the better centers in the draft.

#7. Noah Brown – WR – 4th-7th Round

Brown was a surprise declare for the NFL Draft after starting his only year in 2016. Highly hyped in the 2015 offseason, a broken leg made him sit out the entire year. He was sparingly used in the offense with 32 receptions for 402 yards and seven touchdowns. With 409 career receiving yards, Brown is unproven and raw. His best performance, by far, was his five receptions, 72 yards, and four touchdown performance against Oklahoma. With only six career receptions over 20 yards and ten games with three receptions or less last year, Brown could be drafted somewhere between the fourth and seventh rounds because of his size and potential.

#8. Cameron Johnston – P – 6th Round-Undrafted

The starting punter of four years for Ohio State, the Australian punted for an average of 46.7 yards per punt. In his freshman, sophomore, and junior years, he averaged 44.0, 45.1, and 43.9 yards per punt, respectively.

#9. Dontre Wilson – WR – Undrafted

Wilson was not invited to the NFL Combine and it seemed that he was always injured during college. In his career, the half-back had 77 receptions for 925 yards and 10 touchdowns as well as 65 carries for 428 yards and two touchdowns. As a four-star recruit, he did not live up to those expectations. His inability to stay on the field will hurt him in the eyes of NFL teams.

#10. Corey Smith – WR – Undrafted

Smith transferred to Ohio State from East Mississippi Community College. In 2014, he had 20 receptions for 255 yards during their National Championship season. In 2015 and 2016, he totaled only 11 receptions for 96 yards. Injuries have not been kind to Smith and he has not put up numbers that teams would like to see.

 

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Author Details
Ohio State born, Ohio State bred, Ohio State fan ’till the day I’m dead. My name is John Duong and I am a junior at The Ohio State University. I am majoring in Sport Industry with a minor in business. I am a fan of The Ohio State Buckeyes, New England Patriots, San Jose Sharks, and Stoke City F.C. but hate 99% of things about Cincinnati (even though I’m from there).
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Ohio State born, Ohio State bred, Ohio State fan ’till the day I’m dead. My name is John Duong and I am a junior at The Ohio State University. I am majoring in Sport Industry with a minor in business. I am a fan of The Ohio State Buckeyes, New England Patriots, San Jose Sharks, and Stoke City F.C. but hate 99% of things about Cincinnati (even though I’m from there).

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