Where Ohio State Players Sit in Post-Super Bowl 2017 NFL Mock Drafts

By Eric Seger on February 9, 2017 at 1:05 pm
Where Ohio State players sit in the second round of 2017 mock NFL Drafts.

With the Super Bowl in the rearview mirror and football's offseason painfully upon us, it is officially NFL Draft season.

Everyone's favorite professional football team is currently undefeated, the coaching carousel (for the most part) is finished spinning and all eyes are focused on the 2017 season. The same goes for NFL Draft analysts, who are evaluating prospects for their respective big boards and mock drafts with the combine under three weeks away. Players begin arriving at Lucas Oil Stadium for the most important job interview of their lives on Feb. 28.

Ohio State will send the highest number of underclassmen to the league for the second straight season. The Buckeyes lost nine players early to the draft after the 2015 season and six more guys that had eligibility remaining bolted after their 31-0 loss to Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl as part of the College Football Playoff. Marshon Lattimore, Raekwon McMillan, Gareon Conley, Malik Hooker, Curtis Samuel and Noah Brown all left early.

The 2017 NFL Draft opens on April 27 in Philadelphia. Below is our second roundup of where Buckeyes are slotted in various mock drafts. Among the analysts we pulled information from are Bleacher Report's Matt MillerDane Brugler and Rob Rang of CBS Sports, Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN, Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com, Rotoworld's Josh Norris, Nate Davis of USA TODAY, Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated and Dieter Kurtenbach of FOX Sports. The number in parenthesis is where each analyst had the player in their previous mock unless this is the first one they have done.

Buckeyes In Mock 2017 NFL Drafts (As of Feb. 9)
MALIK HOOKER, S 7 (7) 7 (7) 6 (7) 7 (11*) 17 7 (7) 5 (5) 5 7 7 (10)
MARSHON LATTIMORE, CB 18 (NR) 6 (22) 5 (30) 6 (7*) 6 2 (5) 11 (24) 8 13 16 (NR)
GAREON CONLEY, CB 47*(37*) 24 24 (18) 31* 36 (NR)
RAEKWON MCMILLAN, LB 27 (NR) 56 (45) 27 (30) 27 (28)
CURTIS SAMUEL, RB/WR 62* (NA) 80 (66*) 39* 64 (NR)
PAT ELFLEIN, C 86 (78*)

*Number indicates player's rank on the analyst's big board, not mock draft

The 2017 NFL Draft order

  • 1. Cleveland Browns
  • 2. San Francisco 49ers
  • 3. Chicago Bears
  • 4. Jacksonville Jaguars
  • 5. Tennessee Titans
  • 6. New York Jets
  • 7. Los Angeles Chargers
  • 8. Carolina Panthers
  • 9. Cincinnati Bengals
  • 10. Buffalo Bills
  • 11. New Orleans Saints
  • 12. Cleveland Browns
  • 13. Arizona Cardinals
  • 14. (tie) Indianapolis Colts
  • 14. (tie) Philadelphia Eagles
  • 16. Baltimore Ravens
  • 17. Washington Redskins
  • 18. Tennessee Titans
  • 19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • 20. Denver Broncos
  • 21. Detroit Lions
  • 22. Miami Dolphins
  • 23. New York Giants
  • 24. Oakland Raiders
  • 25. Houston Texans
  • 26. Seattle Seahawks
  • 27. Kansas City Chiefs
  • 28. Dallas Cowboys
  • 29. Green Bay Packers
  • 30. Pittsburgh Steelers
  • 31. Atlanta Falcons
  • 32. New England Patriots

As you can see, only Rang, Miller and Kurtenbach went beyond the first round. Miller projected the entire draft and slotted two more Buckeyes who are not on the chart above: wide receivers Noah Brown and Corey Smith. Miller has Brown coming off the board in the sixth round to Jacksonville with the 190th overall pick. He then projects Smith as a seventh round selection, No. 237 overall to the Minnesota Vikings.

Hooker continues to be regarded as a top-10 pick by everyone even after he underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum and hernia. The star safety played through the pain late in the season but still looked like at top-10 player. Hooker's 4-6 month recovery will prevent him from running at the NFL Combine.

Samuel's name popped up more in this roundup of mocks and big boards, which makes sense as gurus began to watch his tape more and try to piece together where he would fit best at the next level. Kurtenbach projects him as the final pick in the second round to Super Bowl LI Champion New England, which seems unfair considering who plays quarterback for the Patriots.

Conley also received more traction this time around. It is clear analysts are fond of his physical tools but are wary of the fact he played with two other bonafide first-round picks. Did Conley's success last season come as a result of his star teammates, or because of his own skill? Conley and Lattimore finished tied for second on the team with four interceptions in 2016.

It isn't too surprising that Ohio State defenders litter the early mock drafts considering how strong that unit was for the Buckeyes this past season. How much the perception of Brown, Samuel and Ohio State's other offensive pieces in this year's draft class changes largely depends on how they test in Indianapolis and perform at Pro Day next month.

These projections are also bound to change again very soon considering NFL free agency starts in exactly one month and teams will offer top dollar to veterans in order to fill holes on their roster.

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