With the 2018-19 NFL season now in the books following the New England Patriots’ sixth Super Bowl win in 17 years, the attention of the league has now turned ahead to April’s NFL draft, which means mock draft season is already in full swing.
There’s still nearly three months to go until the first pick of this year’s draft is made on April 25 in Nashville, but with the draft order now set and the NFL Scouting Combine just a few weeks away, NFL front offices are already busy setting their draft boards and draft analysts all over the Internet are already projecting which teams will draft which players.
Many of those mock drafts project that former Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa will be the first player to hear his name called, and no one’s expecting Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins to have a long wait, either.
Beyond Bosa and Haskins, there are seven other Buckeyes who are likely to be selected in the 2019 NFL draft, and all of them have the potential to come off the board within the first four rounds.
To get an idea of where each Buckeye could end up, we took a look at the following 12 mock drafts from around the web, whose projections are detailed below:
- Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller (7 rounds)
- Draft Analyst’s Tony Pauline (2 rounds)
- Draft Wire’s Luke Easterling (4 rounds)
- Newsday’s Nick Klopsis (1 round)
- NFL.com’s Chad Reuter (3 rounds)
- NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein (1 round)
- NJ.com’s Zack Rosenblatt (1 round)
- SB Nation’s Dan Kadar (2 rounds)
- Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer (1 round)
- The Athletic’s Dane Brugler (2 rounds)
- The Draft Network’s Joe Marino (1 round)
- U-T San Diego’s Eddie Brown (2 rounds)
Nick Bosa, DE
Miller: Round 1, No. 1 overall, Arizona Cardinals
Brugler: Round 1, No. 1 overall, Arizona Cardinals
Kadar: Round 1, No. 1 overall, Arizona Cardinals
Reuter: Round 1, No. 1 overall, Arizona Cardinals
Brown: Round 1, No. 1 overall, Arizona Cardinals
Klopsis: Round 1, No. 1 overall, Arizona Cardinals
Easterling: Round 1, No. 2 overall, San Francisco 49ers
Marino: Round 1, No. 2 overall, San Francisco 49ers
Pauline: Round 1, No. 2 overall, San Francisco 49ers
Iyer: Round 1, No. 2 overall, San Francisco 49ers
Rosenblatt: Round 1, No. 2 overall, San Francisco 49ers
Zierlein: Round 1, No. 3 overall, New York Jets
You’ll be hard-pressed to find any mock draft that doesn’t project Bosa to be a top-three overall pick, and nearly all of them project that Bosa will be selected in the top two picks. He’s widely considered to be one of the top two prospects in the entire NFL draft, and he should be at or near the top of every team’s draft board.
Exactly half of the mock drafts we surveyed project that Bosa will be the top pick by the Cardinals, while four of the other six mock drafts have him going second to the 49ers, only behind Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams. Rosenblatt projects that the Jacksonville Jaguars will trade up to the No. 1 overall pick to select Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, while Zierlein projects Kentucky’s Josh Allen and Michigan’s Rashan Gary to be the top two picks.
Dwayne Haskins, QB
Brugler: Round 1, No. 3 overall, Denver Broncos
Rosenblatt: Round 1, No. 3 overall, New York Giants
Easterling: Round 1, No. 4 overall, Jacksonville Jaguars
Miller: Round 1, No. 6 overall, New York Giants
Kadar: Round 1, No. 6 overall, New York Giants
Marino: Round 1, No. 6 overall, New York Giants
Pauline: Round 1, No. 6 overall, New York Giants
Reuter: Round 1, No. 6 overall, New York Giants
Iyer: Round 1, No. 6 overall, New York Giants
Klopsis: Round 1, No. 7 overall, Jacksonville Jaguars
Zierlein: Round 1, No. 7 overall, Jacksonville Jaguars
Brown: Round 1, No. 15 overall, Washington Redskins
As reflected in these mock drafts, the obvious match for Haskins in the 2019 NFL draft is the Giants. The Giants need to draft their successor to Eli Manning at quarterback, none of the teams currently drafting in the top five are expected to target a quarterback and Haskins has openly expressed an interest in playing for the Giants, having grown up in New Jersey.
Of course, it’s possible that a team will trade up into the top five to select Haskins, which is exactly what Brugler, Rosenblatt and Easterling project. Rosenblatt has the Giants trading up to select Haskins, with Murray already off the board in his mock, while Brugler and Easterling has other teams jumping up ahead of the Giants for their chance to select the draft’s top quarterback.
If the Giants decide to go in another direction, the second-most likely destination for Haskins looks to be the Jaguars, who pick one spot behind the Giants and should also be looking for an upgrade at the quarterback position after benching Blake Bortles in 2018.
Nine of the 12 mock drafts surveyed projected that Haskins will be the first quarterback selected in this year’s draft. Zierlein and Brown offer the least favorable projections for Haskins; both have Haskins as the third quarterback off the board, with Murray and Duke’s Daniel Jones ahead of Haskins in Zierlein’s mock, and Jones and Missouri’s Drew Lock ahead of Haskins in Brown’s mock.
Dre’Mont Jones, DT
Pauline: Round 1, No. 25 overall, Philadelphia Eagles
Iyer: Round 1, No. 27 overall, Oakland Raiders
Kadar: Round 2, No. 34 overall, Indianapolis Colts
Reuter: Round 2, No. 38 overall, Jacksonville Jaguars
Easterling: Round 2, No. 50 overall, Minnesota Vikings
Brugler: Round 2, No. 50 overall, Minnesota Vikings
Brown: Round 2, No. 56 overall, New England Patriots
Miller: Round 2, No. 57 overall, Philadelphia Eagles
Jones’ draft projections range from the late first round to the late second round, as a loaded crop of defensive linemen in this year’s draft could potentially push him a bit further down the board than where he would land in most draft classes, depending on where exactly he ultimately ranks among the defensive linemen on NFL teams’ draft boards.
Two teams that show up in multiple mock drafts are the Eagles and Vikings. The Eagles don’t appear to be an obvious fit, as they already have an explosive interior pass-rusher who plays his position in Fletcher Cox, but the Vikings – who drafted Jones’ former Ohio State teammate, Jalyn Holmes, to also play defensive tackle last season – could be looking for a replacement for free-agent Sheldon Richardson.
Parris Campbell, WR
Miller: Round 2, No. 38 overall, Jacksonville Jaguars
Reuter: Round 2, No. 43 overall, Detroit Lions
Brown: Round 2, No. 51 overall, Tennessee Titans
Pauline: Round 2, No. 59 overall, Indianapolis Colts
Easterling: Round 4, No. 127 overall, New England Patriots
While it’s possible Campbell could propel his way into the back of the first round with a great performance at the NFL Scouting Combine – ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. projected that he will in a January mock draft – the sweet spot for the Ohio State speedster appears to be the second round, where he landed in four of the seven mock drafts we surveyed that included at least two rounds.
It’s uncertain exactly how Campbell might fit into an NFL offense, but if he runs the sub-4.4-second 40-yard dash that he should be capable of at the combine, a team will take a chance on him earlier than later because of his elite speed and his demonstrated leadership with the Buckeyes.
Terry McLaurin, WR
Pauline: Round 2, No. 62 overall, New Orleans Saints
Reuter: Round 3, No. 87 overall, Chicago Bears
Miller: Round 4, No. 127 overall, New England Patriots
The only one of Ohio State’s draft prospects to participate in a postseason all-star game, McLaurin had an outstanding showing at the Senior Bowl, legitimizing himself as a player who could be an early-to-middle-round draft selection. As a result, McLaurin’s draft projections are much more favorable now than they likely would have been before his trip to Mobile.
New Orleans and New England, both listed here, would be natural fits for McLaurin. The Saints have had a clear affinity for Buckeyes in recent years, with six former Ohio State players on their 2018 roster, so it wouldn’t be shocking if they drafted another. The Patriots, meanwhile, place a premium on special teams and doing the little things well, which could be McLaurin’s biggest calling card after he excelled as a punt gunner and as a blocker at Ohio State.
Michael Jordan, G/C
Miller: Round 3, No. 79 overall, Atlanta Falcons
Kendall Sheffield, CB
Miller: Round 3, No. 80 overall, Cleveland Browns
Mike Weber, RB
Miller: Round 4, No. 100 overall, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Isaiah Prince, OT
Miller: Round 4, No. 118 overall, Denver Broncos
Jordan, Sheffield, Weber and Prince each only showed up in Miller’s mock draft, which was the only seven-round mock draft we surveyed in this early roundup, but Bleacher Report’s draft expert projects that all of them will ultimately end up in the draft’s first four rounds.
The Falcons should be in the market for a guard in this year’s draft, and Jordan is likely to move back to that position in the NFL despite playing center last year. Sheffield is likely to make a move up draft boards because of his elite speed, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him end up in the third round, as well.
Weber seems likely to be an early Day 3 draft pick as a rotational running back, and the Buccaneers should be in the market for an upgrade at that position. Prince is also a projected as a fourth-round pick by Miller, and the Broncos – who have a need at the right tackle position – would be a logical fit for the Buckeyes’ starting right tackle of the past three years.
Other Ohio State Draft Hopefuls
Wide receiver Johnnie Dixon, offensive linemen Malcolm Pridgeon and Demetrius Knox and linebacker Dante Booker are among the other Buckeyes who are hoping to hear their names called in the 2019 NFL draft, but none of them were included in any of the 12 mock drafts linked above.
That could change as more seven-round projections are published in the months leading up to the draft, but it’s unlikely that any of them will be selected before the late rounds of the draft, and they might have to compete their way onto NFL rosters as undrafted free agents.