Ohio State will see a mass exodus of talent drafted come the end of next month, but which former Buckeye star will have the best career at the next level?
There are a number of different ways you could go with this. The Buckeyes entered the 2015 college football season as the undoubted favorites to repeat as national champions.
The reason? A roster loaded with future NFL talent that most would take over any other roster in the country. Although those preseason predictions didn’t come to fruition, the talent was still there.
14 Buckeyes were invited to the 2016 NFL combine. Although not every one of them had the best of showings, it would not be surprising at all to see all 14 drafted.
Who we expect to succeed:
When you think of the Ohio State teams from the past two seasons, the first two names that come to mind are Joey Bosa and Ezekiel Elliott. Both players were stars at the college level and possess the rare ability to succeed for years to come at the NFL level.
Bosa didn’t put up the best numbers at the combine, looking slower in running the 40 than most anticipated. But what he lacked at the combine, he shows time and time again on film with his tremendous burst off the ball. Bosa will be a top-10 pick no doubt, and has a talent to become a 10-sack-a-year guy for years to come in the NFL.
Ezekiel Elliott finished his Ohio State career as one of the most decorated players to ever tote the rock for the Buckeyes. Zeke can do anything you could ask of an NFL back. He can run between the tackles at 6’0″ 225 pounds, and has the speed to break away from the defense running a 4.47 at the combine. Elliott is one of the best pass blockers in the draft and can also catch the ball out of the backfield. His draft stock is soaring.
Other Buckeyes with a chance to become first round picks include Eli Apple, Darron Lee, and Taylor Decker.
Hell, a team desperate enough for a playmaker may even take a chance on one of if not the best athlete in the draft in Braxton Miller.
There are also some Buckeyes who have not gotten as much hype as the players mentioned above that also have a chance to have very good NFL careers.
Vonn Bell may be the best safety in this draft class that not many people are talking about. He is a tremendous playmaker who is always around the ball and can play the pass and run. Bell could end up being one of those players teams look back and ask why did we pass on this kid.
Another sleeper from this year’s Ohio State draft class is Aldolphus Washington. Washington is a defensive tackle who can create havoc by getting pressure right in the face of the quarterback. Look for Washington to be a very good 3-technique DT in the NFL.
My last sleeper pick is TE Nick Vannett. He has great size and is a very good route runner. Vannett put forth a good showing at the senior bowl and if placed with the right quarterback could have a great NFL career.
All in all, expect at least a few Buckeyes from the 2016 NFL draft to become very good players in the next stage of their football career.
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