Remember when many assumed Joey Bosa would be a top-3 (potentially top overall) selection in the 2016 NFL Draft?
OK, maybe you don't, but it was a pretty prevalent thing. A thing that's fell by the wayside in recent weeks.
The Ohio State junior defensive end and two-time All-American's stock ahead of April's draft is slipping, even though the only thing Bosa is doing is working out in preparations for both the combine and his school's pro day.
The former begins Tuesday in Indianapolis and the latter is expected to be sometime in early March. Bosa remains a top-10 pick according to NFL Draft analysts, but he and the 13 other Buckeyes set to entertain scouts, general managers and owners at Lucas Oil Stadium this week all have an opportunity to boost their stocks. Bosa, Eli Apple, Ezekiel Elliott, Taylor Decker, Joshua Perry, Tyvis Powell, Vonn Bell, Michael Thomas, Jalin Marshall, Cardale Jones, Darron Lee, Braxton Miller, Nick Vannett and Adolphus Washington give Ohio State more representatives at the combine than any other school this year.
During the final few months before the draft commences, teams further evaluate their most pressing needs and decide which prospects fit their mold. So in Bosa's case, teams near the top of the draft board might not need a defensive end.
However, according to ESPN.com writer and NFL Draft guru Mel Kiper Jr., Bosa is not even the top player at his position anymore.
"DeForest Buckner is the consensus top defensive end right now, plus he fits San Diego at No. 3 better than Joey Bosa does," Kiper said Thursday, the day he released his most recent mock draft. "You don't give Joey Bosa to Dallas at No. 4, then you drop him down to Baltimore at No. 6."
Kiper also cited how Ole Miss left tackle Laremy Tunsil is his new No. 1 overall selection in place of Bosa because Tennessee needs someone to protect the blind side of franchise quarterback Marcus Mariota.
We've done this twice before, but below are where draft eligible Ohio State players are projected to be selected by analysts before the NFL Combine.
Along with Kiper, the information is from the most recent mock drafts from Todd McShay of ESPN.com, Rob Rang and Dane Brugler of CBS Sports, Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com, Josh Norris of rotoworld.com and Ryan McCrystal of Bleacher Report. McShay is the only analyst who did not update his mock draft. The numbers in parenthesis is where each analyst had the player before.
|JOEY BOSA, DE||5 (5)||4 (3)||6 (1)||1 (1)||2 (2)||5 (1)||2 (5)|
|EZEKIEL ELLIOTT, RB||10 (10)||18 (10)||22 (17)||15 (NR)||18 (20)||14 (10)||18 (18)|
|TAYLOR DECKER, OT||26 (26)||16 (16)||31 (20)||22 (18)||13 (14)||22 (20)||23 (23)|
|ELI APPLE, CB||25 (25)||25 (25)||14 (24)||18 (NR)||25 (25)||30 (9)||NR (12)|
|DARRON LEE, LB||23 (23)||17 (18)||NR (NR)||23 (23)||11 (27)||11 (24)||11 (17)|
|BRAXTON MILLER, WR||NR (NR)||24 (24)||NR (NR)||NR (NR)||26 (28)||NR (NR)||NR (NR)|
|VONN BELL, S||NR (NR)||28 (NR)||NR (NR)||NR (NR)||NR (NR)||24 (NR)||NR (NR)|
|MICHAEL THOMAS, WR||NR (NR)||NR (NR)||NR (NR)||NR (NR)||28 (NR)||NR (NR)||17 (NR)|
2016 NFL Draft order:
- 1. Tennessee Titans
- 2. Cleveland Browns
- 3. San Diego Chargers
- 4. Dallas Cowboys
- 5. Jacksonville Jaguars
- 6. Baltimore Ravens
- 7. San Francisco 49ers
- 8. Miami Dolphins
- 9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- 10. New York Giants
- 11. Chicago Bears
- 12. New Orleans Saints
- 13. Philadelphia Eagles
- 14. Oakland Raiders
- 15. Los Angeles Rams
- 16. Detroit Lions
- 17. Atlanta Falcons
- 18. Indianapolis Colts
- 19. Buffalo Bills
- 20. New York Jets
- 21. Washington Redskins
- 22. Houston Texans
- 23. Minnesota Vikings
- 24. Cincinnati Bengals
- 25. Pittsburgh Steelers
- 26. Seattle Seahawks
- 27. Green Bay Packers
- 28. Kansas City Chiefs
- 29. Arizona Cardinals
- 30. Carolina Panthers
- 31. Denver Broncos
*Note: There are only 31 picks in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft. New England forfeited its first round selection.
If you combine the analyst rankings above, as many as eight Buckeyes could go in the first round. Brugler and McCrystal each have seven Ohio State players hearing their name called the first night of the draft, which would set a record for the most first round selections from one school. The old record is six, held by the 2004 Miami Hurricanes.
Ezekiel Elliott remains the highest rated running back in the 2016 draft class. Braxton Miller's big week at the Senior Bowl boosted his stock immensely, and the quarterback turned wide receiver has another chance to impress during drills in Indianapolis.
Recent additions to a few mock drafts are wide receiver Michael Thomas and safety Vonn Bell. Bosa, Elliott, Taylor Decker, Eli Apple and Darron Lee are widely regarded to be first round talents, but if Bell, Thomas and Miller sneak into the top 31 selections, Ohio State could tie or break Miami's 2004 record.
Franchises all have different needs, but some could trade their first round picks before or during the NFL Draft. The Draft runs from April 28-30 in Chicago.