Buckeyes in the NFL: Draft Recap

By Mike Young on May 12, 2014 at 11:00a

Draft day, 2009. Five years later, are any Ohio State players "the man," still?

Drake remixes aside, OSU doesn't have a particularly strong reputation of late. That might change after six Buckeyes were selected in the 2014 draft, the most since 2009. Seven former OSU players – including first round picks Malcolm Jenkins and Beanie Wells – had their names called that year, equalling the amount of first rounders from this year.

Ryan Shazier and Bradley Roby broke-up the top-32 Ohio State shutout, as both went on Thursday. We take a look at how they, in addition to the four other Buckeyes selected, will fit in their new homes: 

Ryan Shazier – Pittsburgh Steelers


Selected: First Round, Pick No. 15
Incumbent Starter: Vince Williams (LILB)  

With needs at defensive back, wide receiver, plus along the defensive and offensive lines, the Steelers seemed destined to address something other than linebacker. 

Yet, for the second straight year, Pittsburgh spent a first-round pick on a linebacker in an attempt to re-build what was once the league's most-feared unit. With his speed and a recent trend of placing more "undersized" linebackers on the outside, Shazier is capable of playing one of the OLB spots for Dick LeBeau. 

With a significant lack of depth next to inside-backer Lawrence Timmons, and spots occupied by 2013 first-round pick Jarvis Jones and Jason Worlids, Shazier will probably line up at left-inside line backer. Shazier's ability to stuff the run and in coverage will ease the pressure on a defense that did not rate highly in any particular category. 

Bradley Roby – Denver Broncos


Selected: First Round, Pick No. 31
Incumbent Starter: Kayvon Webster (CB)  

Recent off-field "trouble" certainly did not affect Roby's draft stock more than his 2013 season.

He wasn't as consistently dominant in his redshirt-junior season, but his athleticism still made him one of the draft's top corner prospects. Roby ran a 4.39 at the NFL combine in February, putting him among the top-five in his position (behind Browns first-round selection Justin Gilbert's 4.37).

Denver continued to rebuild its defensive secondary this off-season by signing Aqib Talib and safety T.J. Ward. Roby is the latest addition to the new defensive-back corps and will likely line-up opposite of Talib and next to nickel corner Chris Harris.

Carlos Hyde – San Francisco 49ers


Selected: Second Round, Pick No. 57
Incumbent Starter: Frank Gore (RB) 

The other 31 NFL teams might soon regret this.

Widely considered to be the best running back in the draft, Hyde slipped to the late second round and went after two other backs. Inexplicably, the Bengals selected LSU's Jeremy Hill over Hyde, citing Hill's pass-protection abilities, among other reasons.

That shouldn't offend Hyde, who couldn't have found a better fit than San Francisco. Frank Gore, a geriatric as a  30-year-old running back, is also entering the final year of his contract. Still, Gore has started 14 or more games in all but two seasons with the 49ers. 

Hyde has to compete with the incumbent Gore, as well as Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James and Marcus Lattimore. Behind their offensive line, however, it's hard to imagine "El Guapo" not succeeding at the next level. 

Jack Mewhort – Indianapolis Colts


Selected: Second Round, Pick No. 59
Incumbent Starter: Donald Thomas (LG), Khaled Holmes (C), Anthony Castonzo (LT)

Despite being named a first-team All-American at left tackle, Mewhort is in store for a position change in the NFL.

As Marvin Harrison announced in the above video, the Colts list Mewhort at guard. Regardless, Indianapolis could stand to improve their run-blocking (in ways other than getting rid of Trent Richardson) and continue to help Andrew Luck in a surprisingly efficient pass-blocking scheme.

Mewhort's versatility could keep him in the NFL for years, as he played guard before transitioning to left tackle for his final two years at Ohio State. He was also an All-American center at St. John's (Toledo). He may not have a leg-up at a particular spot, but could step in anywhere along the offensive line when injuries occur.

Corey Linsley – Green Bay Packers 

Selected: Fifth Round, Pick No. 161
Incumbent Starter: J.C. Tretter (C), T.J. Lang (RG), Josh Sitton (LG)  

In another nod to Ohio State's outstanding offensive line production under Urban Meyer and Ed Warinner, Linsley also went in this year's draft.

The All-Big Ten center started his Buckeye career at guard, so Green Bay will benefit from his swing abilities. Starting center Evan Dietrich-Smith signed with Tampa Bay, so it was imperative that the Packers add to their offensive line depth. J.C. Tretter is expected to take over the starting role, but Linsley will compete with him there. 

Christian Bryant – St. LOuis Rams

Selected: Seventh Round, Pick No. 241
Incumbent Starter: T.J. McDonald (SS), Rodney McLeod (FS)  

We had to wait three days and it almost didn't happen, but the best Buckeye story to come out of this year's draft is Bryant.

Urban Meyer could not hide his frustrations after Bryant broke his ankle during the Wisconsin game. His leadership at the back half of the Ohio State defense was sorely missed in the last nine games of the season – not to mention a significant drop-off in play to Corey "Pitt" Brown. Ending the season on the sidelines is part of the reason why Bryant repeatedly appealed (albeit unsuccessfully) for a medical redshirt.

He now gets a shot to prove himself at the professional level, where he'll have plenty of competition. Starting strong safety T.J. McDonald is locked up through the 2017 season and St. Louis is comfortable with him in that role, so Bryant likely won't challenge him. A better spot for Bryant may be at free safety, where he'll look to beat out Matt Daniels and Cody Davis behind starter Rodney McLeod. 


Comments Show All Comments

yrro's picture

Actually,  2009 doesn't look like too bad of a draft class from where I stand.

Little Animal is still the man in St. Louis, Malcolm Jenkins won a superbowl, was a team captain, and just got a pretty decent contract. Hartline is the top receiver with a big contract in Florida.

Beanie got injured, Freeman had a medical condition.

Washington had a few years, but he was a low round pick. The only real bust from a talent evaluation perspective rather than a bad luck one was Robiskie.

+3 HS
Unky Buck's picture

The only real bust from a talent evaluation perspective rather than a bad luck one was Robiskie.

I blame that on being drafted by Cleveland. It ruins lives and careers.

Rock over London; Rock on Chicago. Timex: It takes a lickin' but keeps on tickin'

+6 HS
Will in Arizona's picture

Robiskie was a nepotism pick and a reach for the second round.  He was very slow on paper and played even slower on the field - like a slower version of Philly Brown.  All of the explosive plays for the Buckeyes came from the backfield (Wells, Pryor) or Hartline on deep plays.

chirobuck's picture

Exactly, while I appreciate what he brought to the buckeyes, he was a good solid college receiver, I think most people knew his game did not translate to the NFL


^ best post ever ^

dsavoca77's picture

As a Browns fan Shazier to the Steelers is a heart ripper.  Love everything he did for the Bucks but man its going to be hard rooting for him.  

+3 HS
Squirrel Master's picture

Mike, did you say "The Man" is a drake remix? isn't the song by Aloe Blacc.

or I misread you.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

-1 HS
Mike Young's picture

For the record...


Squirrel Master's picture

I gotcha, just seemed like you were putting Drake and "The Man" together. and my obvious confusion being that "The Man" by Aloe Blacc was heavily overplayed all during the draft.

I've never liked Drake. I would prefer Lil Wayne to him, but that is coming from a person who has limited knowledge of Hip-Hop, Rap and R&B. I keep trying to hear any song that makes me see why Drake is such a big star, I just don't hear it! Nothing he has done stands out to me.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

CGroverL's picture

Carlos Hyde slipped to #57...Thanks for citing that the other 31 NFL teams may regret not selecting him earlier. In my opinion, "El Guapo" was the most NFL ready skill player in the draft, if not, the best overall player when it comes to being "NFL ready". When I say "NFL ready", that is more of an attribute to Hyde's size and speed possibly than his overall skill set. Hyde is a great ball carrier, has great speed, weighs 240+ pounds, and has great hands out of the backfield.

I still blame this "NFL teams picking RB's later" thing on the overall life expectancy of RB's compared to other positions. As it was said in the story...Frank Gore, who is 30 years old is geriatric. Whether it is injury or simply just losing your job to a younger kid, being a RB in the NFL lately certainly does seem like the worst position to play when it comes down to longevity and the overall beatings that NFL RB's take on a weekly basis. However...if there is one back in the draft you figure could take the weekly beating and keep coming back, El Guapo would seem to be the back to take. It is important to note too that Hyde is not your typical "big back" as he has more low end speed than most NFL backs (especially backs that weigh 240 to 245 pounds) and has very nifty feet for a 240 pounder. Sure, he can be a sledge hammer, but he also has the "stop and go" speed to bounce runs outside and make defenders miss.

"I hope they're last in everything". One of Meyer's comments when speaking of TTUN after being hired at Ohio State.



+1 HS
Barnsey69's picture

Its not even close , he is the best. Even the talking heads agreed he was the best...oh well hopefully Hill can produce for the Bengals before he gets arrested again.

Thank the Maker that I was born in Ohio, cradle of coaches, US Presidents, confederate-stomping Generals, and home of The Ohio State University Football Buckeyes- 2014 UNDISPUTED National Champions!

CGroverL's picture

Excuse me for not being so "hip" on 11W terminology, but who are "The Talking Heads" exactly?

"I hope they're last in everything". One of Meyer's comments when speaking of TTUN after being hired at Ohio State.



CGroverL's picture

The "Talking Heads" to me are a certain two guys that have their own radio show on espin 2 in the mornings that I try to never watch. I call them "Dork and Mindy", myself....but I have a feeling that your "Talking Heads" are other people. I'm sorry...This was my best effort at erasing a comment that had doubled because we all hate dupe comments.

"I hope they're last in everything". One of Meyer's comments when speaking of TTUN after being hired at Ohio State.




Though I agree with your sentiments as a big fan of Hyde, it really is difficult to say how long El Guapo will last in the NFL.  Gore survived in part because in a pass happy league, he doesn't have to be used as frequently as another bruiser, Eddie George.  Both are bruisers, but they relied on Eddie so much that the wear and tear eventually got to him.

I would love to see Hyde have a long and healthy career while racking up the accolades though.  

"I don't apologize for anything.  When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

+1 HS
Will in Arizona's picture

Gore also didn't play much in college, due to injuries.

TheBadOwl's picture

Didn't have to, that backfield also had Willis McGahee and Clinton Portis. How insane is that?

When I walked in this morning and saw the flag was at half mast I thought, "Alright, another bureaucrat ate it." but then I saw it was Li'l Sebastian. Half mast is too high. Show some damn respect.

CGroverL's picture

His injuries were many and being that they were on his knees, Frank Gore is almost "The Terminator". He was a star in high school and it was well known that Gore would challenge for the starter spot as a freshman at Miami. I hate him which just goes along with hating all Miami players, but that guy went through horrible knee injuries and returned in great shape. In a way, Frank Gore reminds me of Rocky "The Italian Stallion" when Apollo Creed was pushing for a rematch with the Stallion in "Rocky II"

Apollo Creed asks his trainer, "What are you afraid of"? His trainer's response was "I saw you beat that man like I never saw no man get beat before...and the man kept coming after you. Now we don't need no man like that in our lives". Now, of course that is boxing and a lame excuse of me trying to relate 2 movies to Gore's injuries vs. accomplishments, but Gore should have lost his career at least twice...and he kept coming back. Being that I live in Florida, I have heard about Gore's injuries and comebacks in depth by Hurricane fans. I have to say it because I must give credit when credit is due...Frank Gore (especially when you consider he weighs in at about 212 pounds) is a stud, and to come back after his injuries and still be at top NFL level is just amazing.

"I hope they're last in everything". One of Meyer's comments when speaking of TTUN after being hired at Ohio State.



CGroverL's picture

When I write a comment, it is often way too long as I am a "stat guy" and have a hard problem stopping once I start talking Buckeyes. Anyway though...my comment was supposed to mean almost exactly what you wrote.

However, you mentioned Eddie George. I have to say this....I believe shorter RB's to be more effective than taller RB's. George is 6' 3", 240...Hyde is 6', 240 pounds. Also, I truly believe that Bo Jackson and just a few backs in NFL history have been 240 pounds and also have had the ability of running 40's in under 4.35 seconds (Eddie George doesn't belong in this list, Carlos Hyde does). I am not saying that Hyde is a better RB than Eddie George BUT...Carlos Hyde is quicker, had better yards per carry than George did as a Buckeye and there is that height thing I mentioned earlier. See...with offensive linemen getting taller and taller, shorter RB's are much harder to find behind typical NFL OLs.

My point is simple...if Hyde can take care of himself (and learn to run a little lower when finding his hole to run through), he has the chance of being a better RB than George did at the NFL level....If you add to that the opinion of mine (Carlos Hyde wins the Heisman Trophy in 2013 if he plays in the first 3 games), Carlos Hyde really is almost everything that Eddie George was. Most of the time, the best QB or RB wins the Heisman...and a GREAT MAJORITY of Buckeye Nation will fight people when discussing who was the best RB of the 2013 season. Carlos Hyde, like Eddie George, was the best RB in their last year of college football. Carlos Hyde's dumb fight before the season started kept Ohio State from a Heisman Trophy and a possible #1 draft pick (if Hyde had won the Heisman, he would have gone in the top 3 of the draft) and there is a decent chance that Hyde can put up unreal numbers at the NFL level if he can stay healthy.

I gave Carlos Hyde the nickname of "El Guapo" way back after he signed his letter of intent in 2010 because I was thrilled that the Bucks had gotten a Florida player (Naples, where Hyde is from, is the hottest city in Florida...when it comes to heat as I worked there for 1 month straight outdoors and I had to make 2 trips to the ER to receive IV fluids) from this extremely hot city very close to the Everglades. I was so thrilled that Ohio State had finally followed up with their promise to "invade" the south looking for recruits that I first called him "our Cuban recruit" because his first name was "Carlos" and Naples is the last city on the interstate before you get automatically turned east, thus avoiding the Everglades. Anyway...I "renamed" him "El Guapo" over the movie "Three Amigos" (of course) shortly afterwards and never legally "coined the nickname" so I am not arguing who was the first to use it as I first used it at 11W during the 2011 football season. I want no "attaboys" or notoriety for coming up with the nickname, but I promise that unless someone came out with calling Carlos Hyde "El Guapo" within a few months of him officially becoming a Buckeye, I should get "unofficial" credit for coming up with the nickname.

"I hope they're last in everything". One of Meyer's comments when speaking of TTUN after being hired at Ohio State.



Will in Arizona's picture

Don't feel too bad for Hyde - there's debate as to whether Adrian Peterson would even be a first round pick in today's NFL.  The first round running backs today would be Marshall Faulk or LaDainian Tomlinson types - dynamic runners who are also very dangerous receivers.  The value of a pure RB just isn't there in today's pass happy game.

NuttyBuckeye's picture

I am very upset for two reasons: 1) everything I read had the Browns hoping Hyde would slide to the 35th pick for them.  It happened and they passed on Carlos; 2) Shazier to the Steelers HURTS.  As a Browns fan, we will see Ryan twice a year.  And - we all know how good he is.

But, I do believe the Browns had a pretty darn good draft class.  I would have liked to see a WR get picked with the impending season loss of Gordon, though.

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

gumtape's picture

Steelers are stacked with buckeyes and coached by Dick Lebeau, a buckeye legend. *sigh*

High and tight boo boo

+1 HS
Squirrel Master's picture

and my Chiefs didn't pick a buckeye again this year. I can't wait till I get a good buckeye starting for KC. Donald Washington just wasn't good enough to be a starter for us. AND then a buckeye goes to those horrible Donkeys! Sorry Roby, ya dead to me!

oh well, maybe next year!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

-1 HS
Barnsey69's picture

Can't stand the Steelers but I have to admit he is a great fit there, so begrudgingly...good luck RDS!

Thank the Maker that I was born in Ohio, cradle of coaches, US Presidents, confederate-stomping Generals, and home of The Ohio State University Football Buckeyes- 2014 UNDISPUTED National Champions!

BucksFan2000's picture

As for Shazier being undersized, James Farrior was listed in the low 240's his whole career, and the guys was an absolute stud in the middle of the Steelers defense for a very long time.  Larry Foote was also very effective at a similar size.

Shazier has the potential to give similar stats but with added speed.  The "experts" talk about his size just to have something to say.

Will in Arizona's picture

Don't forget that undersized linebacker out of Miami - I think his name was Ray Lewis.  Shazier will need to fill out a bit (he can contact Brian Cushing for assistance, if needed), but he has all the talent and instincts to be a dominant linebacker if he adds some bulk without losing too much quickness.

+1 HS