The 2019 NFL draft is now just four weeks away.
For Ohio State’s draft prospects, that means the pre-draft process is nearing its end, as the Buckeyes’ top-10 prospects have all had their opportunity to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine and every Ohio State draft hopeful had the chance to meet with and put their skills on display for NFL scouts at last week’s pro day.
Most of this year’s top NFL free agents have also now signed with teams, meaning we now have a better idea of which positions could be targeted areas of need for each team in next month’s draft, which will be held April 25-27 in Nashville, Tennessee.
NFL teams are still bringing prospects into their facilities for visits (each team is allowed to host 30 prospects) and going to their schools to conduct private workouts, but for the most part, the former Buckeyes have had their pre-draft opportunities to impress scouts.
No player has taken advantage of those opportunities more than wide receiver Terry McLaurin, and as a result, he has been projected as a first-round pick in multiple mock drafts released this week.
Nick Bosa and Dwayne Haskins, meanwhile, continue to be unanimously projected as early first-round picks, while Dre’Mont Jones and Parris Campbell are among the other Buckeyes widely projected to be early-round picks.
Our latest Mock Draft Roundup takes a look at the following 16 mock drafts, all of which have been published or updated in the past week since Ohio State’s pro day, and include all 10 of the Buckeyes who were invited to the combine:
- Arizona Republic’s Bob McManaman (1 round)
- Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller (3 rounds)
- CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso (7 rounds)
- CBS Sports’ R.J. White (3 rounds)
- CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson (2 rounds)
- Draft Countdown’s Scott Wright (1 round)
- Draft Tek (7 rounds)
- ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. (1 round)
- Newsday’s Nick Klopsis (1 round)
- NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein (1 round)
- NFL.com’s Peter Schrager (1 round)
- NJ.com’s Matt Stypulkoski (2 rounds)
- Rotoworld’s Josh Norris (1 round)
- SB Nation’s Dan Kadar (2 rounds)
- The Draft Wire’s Luke Easterling (4 rounds)
- The MMQB’s Kalyn Kahler (1 round)
Nick Bosa, DE
Easterling: Round 1, No. 1 overall, Arizona Cardinals
Kiper: Round 1, No. 2 overall, San Francisco 49ers
Miller: Round 1, No. 2 overall, San Francisco 49ers
Schrager: Round 1, No. 2 overall, San Francisco 49ers
Trapasso: Round 1, No. 2 overall, San Francisco 49ers
Wilson: Round 1, No. 2 overall, San Francisco 49ers
Zierlein: Round 1, No. 2 overall, San Francisco 49ers
Kahler: Round 1, No. 2 overall, San Francisco 49ers
Klopsis: Round 1, No. 2 overall, San Francisco 49ers
Norris: Round 1, No. 2 overall, San Francisco 49ers
Stypulkoski: Round 1, No. 2 overall, San Francisco 49ers
White: Round 1, No. 2 overall, San Francisco 49ers
Wright: Round 1, No. 2 overall, San Francisco 49ers
Draft Tek: Round 1, No. 2 overall, San Francisco 49ers
Kadar: Round 1, No. 3 overall, New York Jets
McManaman: Round 1, No. 4 overall, Oakland Raiders
Even though the 49ers already made a big move for a pass-rusher earlier this month by trading a second-round pick to the Kansas City Chiefs for Dee Ford and signing him to a five-year, $85 million contract, a vast majority of mock drafts – 13 of 16 surveyed here – still have San Francisco selecting Nick Bosa with the No. 2 overall pick. Members of the 49ers’ braintrust, including general manager John Lynch, reportedly met with Bosa following Ohio State’s pro day last Wednesday.
Only one mock draft this time around has Bosa as the No. 1 overall pick, as the Cardinals are now widely expected to draft Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray.
Two mock drafts projected that the 49ers would select Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams over Bosa. Dan Kadar projects that the Jets will select Bosa with the No. 3 overall pick, but Bob McManaman has the Jets selecting Kentucky pass-rusher Josh Allen, dropping Bosa into the Oakland Raiders’ lap at the fourth pick.
What everyone agrees on is that Bosa will be one of the first players drafted this year, and most prognosticators agree that San Francisco is now the most likely landing spot.
Dwayne Haskins, QB
Easterling: Round 1, No. 3 overall, New York Giants
Kahler: Round 1, No. 3 overall, New York Giants
Stypulkoski: Round 1, No. 3 overall, Washington Redskins
White: Round 1, No. 3 overall, Washington Redskins
Kiper: Round 1, No. 6 overall, New York Giants
Miller: Round 1, No. 6 overall, New York Giants
Kadar: Round 1, No. 6 overall, New York Giants
Klopsis: Round 1, No. 6 overall, New York Giants
McManaman: Round 1, No. 6 overall, New York Giants
Wilson: Round 1, No. 6 overall, New York Giants
Draft Tek: Round 1, No. 6 overall, New York Giants
Trapasso: Round 1, No. 9 overall, Cincinnati Bengals
Schrager: Round 1, No. 10 overall, Denver Broncos
Wright: Round 1, No. 11 overall, Cincinnati Bengals
Norris: Round 1, No. 13 overall, Miami Dolphins
Zierlein: Round 1, No. 13 overall, Miami Dolphins
Despite some reports earlier this month that the Giants were not overly interested in Haskins, they’re still the most popular projected landing spot for the Ohio State quarterback, with nine out of 16 mock drafts predicting that he will return to New Jersey – and two mocks even projecting that the Giants will trade up to ensure they have the chance to draft him.
The Giants certainly appeared to be interested in Haskins at Ohio State’s pro day, sending 10 representatives to Columbus to watch the event, and they’re still the top team in the NFL draft with a significant need for a quarterback of the future, as Eli Manning nears the end of his NFL career.
They’re not the only team in this round of mock drafts projected to potentially trade up for Haskins, though. Two mock drafts have the Redskins – who need a quarterback as badly as any team in this year’s draft – making a big move up for Haskins, while Trapasso has the Bengals moving up two spots to jump ahead of the Broncos and keep Haskins in Ohio.
A few mock drafts have Haskins slipping outside the top 10, but no one has him falling further than the 13th pick, where the Dolphins – whose quarterback depth chart currently consists of Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jake Rudock and Luke Falk – should jump at the opportunity to draft Haskins if they get it.
Terry McLaurin, WR
Kiper: Round 1, No. 26 overall, Indianapolis Colts
White: Round 1, No. 28 overall, Los Angeles Chargers
Draft Tek: Round 3, No. 93 overall, New York Jets
Easterling: Round 3, No. 96 overall, Washington Redskins
Trapasso: Round 4, No. 113 overall, Baltimore Ravens
When Ohio State’s season ended in January, no one was predicting that McLaurin would be a first-round draft pick. At the time, McLaurin was generally viewed as a late-round prospect who would be drafted because of his blocking ability and special teams excellence more than his ability to play receiver.
But after receiving an invite to the Senior Bowl as a late roster addition, McLaurin parlayed a fantastic week in Mobile into a great showing at the combine, then followed that up with another great showing at last week’s pro day. Now, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. is among those who believes McLaurin has a chance to be drafted as early as the late first round.
“You combine the year he had with the big plays,” Kiper said on a conference call earlier this week. “The fact that he’s 6 feet, 208, and he runs 4.35 (seconds in the 40-yard dash). Great athletic ability, strong for his size. To me, what he can do in the NFL, taking the top off a defense, being a vertical threat, consistency catching the football is there. McLaurin is kind of an under-the-radar guy.”
While two mock drafts in this roundup have McLaurin has a late first-round pick, his draft projections still widely vary, as he does not show up in any of the other mock drafts until the late third round. The sweet spot could end up being somewhere in the middle, even though no mock drafts in this roundup (some of which only include one round) project him as a second-round pick. The fact that McLaurin is even garnering first-round consideration, though, is a huge leap from where he was just a couple months ago.
Dre’Mont Jones, DT
Norris: Round 1, No. 28 overall, Los Angeles Chargers
Kadar: Round 2, No. 34 overall, Indianapolis Colts
Stypulkoski: Round 2, No. 36 overall, San Francisco 49ers
White: Round 2, No. 42 overall, Cincinnati Bengals
Easterling: Round 2, No. 50 overall, Minnesota Vikings
Draft Tek: Round 2, No. 56 overall, New England Patriots
Miller: Round 3, No. 69 overall, Jacksonville Jaguars
Trapasso: Round 4, No. 103 overall, Arizona Cardinals
Like McLaurin, Jones’ draft projections now range everywhere from the late first round to the early fourth round.
Most projections for Jones have him landing somewhere in the second round. The Minnesota Vikings’ No. 50 overall pick has been the most popular landing spot for Jones in earlier mock draft roundups, but now, there’s no consensus landing spot.
The most generous of these projections would pair him up with Joey Bosa as the Chargers’ first-round picks, while Matt Stypulkoski has the 49ers doubling up on Ohio State defensive linemen, drafting Jones in the second round after drafting Nick Bosa in the first.
Parris Campbell, WR
Wilson: Round 2, No. 51 overall, Tennessee Titans
Trapasso: Round 2, No. 52 overall, Pittsburgh Steelers
White: Round 2, No. 56 overall, Minnesota Vikings
Kadar: Round 2, No. 61 overall, Kansas City Chiefs
Draft Tek: Round 2, No. 63 overall, Kansas City Chiefs
Miller: Round 3, No. 66 overall, Pittsburgh Steelers
Easterling: Round 3, No. 70 overall, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
While McLaurin’s draft projections have continue to rise, Campbell’s draft projections have actually fallen slightly since our early March mock draft roundup. In that roundup, Campbell was projected as a top-50 pick in seven mock drafts, but he didn’t crack the top 50 this time around.
Instead, the consensus landing spot for Campbell is now projected to be between the late second round and early third round, with seven mock drafts slotting him to be selected between the 51st and 70th overall picks.
Two teams that are projected to select Campbell in multiple mock drafts are the Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers should be in the market to draft a wide receiver after trading Antonio Brown to the Oakland Raiders earlier this month. The Chiefs could be in the market for a wide receiver if they cut ties with talented but troubled speedster Tyreek Hill, and Campbell – who tied for the fastest 40-yard dash time (4.31 seconds) among all wide receivers at the combine – would be a natural fit to replace him.
Michael Jordan, OL
White: Round 3, No. 78 overall, Miami Dolphins
Draft Tek: Round 3, No. 86 overall, Houston Texans
Trapasso: Round 5, No. 159 overall, Seattle Seahawks
Jordan, who started at center for Ohio State this past season but is expected to play guard in the NFL, shows up as a third-round pick in a pair of mock drafts in this roundup. The Dolphins and Texans could both be looking for upgrades at the guard spot, meaning that Jordan could have a chance to compete for an immediate starting spot if either of those projections come true.
Kendall Sheffield, CB
Miller: Round 3, No. 90 overall, Dallas Cowboys
Trapasso: Round 4, No. 117 overall, Atlanta Falcons
Easterling: Round 4, No. 132 overall, New York Giants
A fast cornerback whose potential exceeds his production from his two seasons at Ohio State, Sheffield’s draft projections fall in the third and fourth round, which is where a team could take a chance on his elite speed. He didn’t have the chance to put his physical tools on display at the combine or pro day after suffering a partially torn pectoral muscle during the bench press at the combine, but he will have a chance to elevate his draft stock on April 11, when he will go through a workout for NFL scouts at Ohio State, according to a report by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on Thursday.
Mike Weber, RB
Miller: Round 3, No. 92 overall, Kansas City Chiefs
Draft Tek: Round 5, No. 167 overall, Kansas City Chiefs
Trapasso: Round 6, No. 188 overall, Tennessee Titans
Weber’s draft projections range from the late third round to the middle of the sixth round, making it difficult to pinpoint where he might ultimately end up, but multiple mock drafts have him landing with the Chiefs.
The Chiefs already added one former Ohio State running back this offseason by signing Carlos Hyde, but they’re still likely in the market to draft a running back after releasing Kareem Hunt last season. Weber said after Ohio State’s pro day that the Chiefs have been among the teams who have shown interest in him.
Isaiah Prince, OT
Draft Tek: Round 4, No. 119 overall, Cleveland Browns
Trapasso: Round 4, No. 122 overall, Pittsburgh Steelers
Both seven-round mock drafts surveyed in this roundup have Prince landing within a four-pick span in the middle of the fourth round. The Browns could keep Prince in the state and bring him in to provide offensive tackle depth, but the Steelers could be an ideal landing spot, as they are currently set to have an open competition at right tackle – the position Prince started at for Ohio State for the past three years.
Johnnie Dixon, WR
Trapasso: Round 7, No. 253 overall, Washington Redskins
While Ohio State’s other nine combine invitees are all expected to at least be drafted, Dixon appears to be right on the fringe of either going drafted or undrafted, and that’s reflected in Trapasso’s mock – the only one that includes Dixon in this roundup – which has the Redskins selecting Dixon with the second-to-last pick of the entire draft.