21 April 2011
It is draft time. I was thinking about looking at the Buckeye players headed into this draft but I think I want to look at the current roster. Who on the current roster has the best draft prospects.
I won't include any incoming freshmen. Guys who have not even had a practice at this level let alone a game do not rate consideration.
I will not talk about the recently graduated. I will talk about them when I talk about the draft.
1 - Rod Smith. I remember hearing about him long before I saw him. That Smith was not the nations consensus number one back when he came out of high school was an outrage. Every year we see the national recruiting services get enamored with these undersized backs who cannot run between the tackles and can't carry the ball 20 times a game. What really bothered me about Smiths case was he showed he can catch the ball. Smith is a complete package and the real deal. He can run over a tackler, he can break ankles or he can outrun them to the corner. He is highly likely to be an early entry player. Backs never do. The wear and tear from the pounding they take means they need to get out and make that money as soon as possible.
2 - Dorian Bell. Smith has gotten so much of the publicity that Bell's emergence has been overlooked. There has been so much talk about Sabino and Sweat. People I talk to say if Sweat gets beat by speed as many times as he did last year he will find himself doing more sitting as this super athlete has the same superior instincts as Sweat but nobody is going to outrun him.
3 - Mike Adams. He had a shaky start on and off the field but the light came on last year. Adams was outstanding. He is a perfect physical specimen for a left tackle, tall and long with long arms but he moves like a player 100 lbs lighter. He is fluid and athletic. The 2012 draft looks like it will be a down one for tackles. I think he would be in the mix for best tackle in the draft even if it was a good draft. It could be his run blocking that puts him at the top of the list. Adams was a good run blocker before he became a good pass blocker.
4 - Mike Brewster. Great as a freshman. Good as a sophmore. I thought he returned to being a great looking pro prospect last year. Mel Kiper has him at the top of his junior center list. I think he could end up being a first round choice of he picks up where he left off.
5 - John Hankins. We talk about nose tackles with the 3-4. What fans don't get is they are important in the 4-3. They are more important in the 3-4 but having a player who can soak up two blockers and hold the point in the middle of the field is very important to an effective 4-3 defense. As spring has gone along Big Hank has started to come on and become the dominating player we saw last year.
6 - Travis Howard. He was a player I was afraid of for so long. I saw him go from a player who made so many mistakes that the coaches met him when he came off the field on several occasions to a player who showed he could be a starter in the Sugar Bowl to a player who has looked like a potential star in this spring. Corners with size are very attractive to the NFL. Howard is a 6-0 corner.
7 - Terrelle Pryor. He has become a lightning rod for all the things that are wrong with the program right now but Pryor is a unique athlete and football player. He is not a quarterback at the NFL level? Why not? Have you seen the state of the NFL at quarterback? John Kitna is still in the NFL despite throwing 161 interceptions compared to 167 touchdowns. Pryor has thrown for 57 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. He has thrown for over 6,000 yards. He has completed 477 passes. 19-3 as a starter. Who would you rather have under center, Matt Leinhart or Terrelle Pryor? Pryor is not better than Vince Young? His mechanics can go sideways on him at times. He does not see the field like he should but to write him off as a quarterback is folly. I think someone is going to draft him as a quarterback. If he doesn't pan out you end up with a 6-5 235 lb elite athlete who can run under 4.5.
8 - Etienne Sabino. Along with Andy Katzenmoyer and Curtis Grant, Sabino is the most physically gifted linebacker to come into the program in my time of evaluating players. It looks like he has found a way to play in the framework of the defense. A player with his physical tools playing smart and disciplined has the potential to make this a great defense at Ohio State and push him into the first day of the NFL draft.
9 - Adam Bellamy. Looks like a Cam Heyward clone. He is what the NFL is looking for in a base/5-technique defensive end. He is an underrated athlete with ideal size for the position and a motor that will not quit. Look back at the Sugar Bowl. He played alot and he played well.
10 - Devier Posey.Coming out of his sophmore year we were worried he might leave after his junior year. He proceeded to go about looking like he did not belong on the field as a starter let alone an early entry player. This spring he has returned to his sophmore form. With a suspect class of receivers for 2012 Posey could push himself into the top of the draft. He has a size speed ratio that is hard to ignore.
11 - Andrew Norwell. Looked so solid out there as a freshman. I think he settles in on the right side at tackle next year and becomes the best right tackle we have seen in the Tressel era.
12 - Jack Mewhort. What a spring Mewhort has had. He has been playing so well he has been tried at tackle. Guards do not go high in the draft. Only 3 or 4 have been drafted in the first round in the last 10 years or so but Mewhort could be one of the first off the board when his time comes.
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