Exploring the Best NFL Fits for Ohio State's Top Draft Prospects

By David Regimbal on March 23, 2020 at 2:50 pm
Chase Young

The coronavirus pandemic put a screeching halt to every professional sporting event you care about, but in exactly one month, football fans will get a brief respite from the shutdown when the 2020 NFL draft kicks off.

That could change, of course. With the nature of the pandemic, every situation has to remain fluid and open to change. But as of right now, the NFL still plans to conduct the draft on April 23, just with a few key changes.

It won't take place in Las Vegas, as was originally planned. The league will instead conduct the draft from a television studio, according to a cbssports.com report.

That's good news for us football fans, as well as the former Ohio State players who'll be waiting to hear their names called.

Former Buckeyes Chase Young, Jeff Okudah and J.K. Dobbins are the program's top NFL draft prospects. On the brink of their professional careers, here's a look at the teams that would be the best fit for their skillset.

Chase Young: Los Angeles Rams

The Los Angeles Rams haven't made a first-round selection since taking Jared Goff with the first overall pick in 2016. They've instead used that asset in various trades, and their 2020 first-round pick was traded to Jacksonville for pro-bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey.

Essentially, there's zero change Chase Young would wind up with the Rams because they don't have the trade capital to move up to the No. 2 spot. But if they did, their defense would be nightmare fuel for the rest of the league.

The secondary is anchored by one of the best cornerbacks in the game. Their linebacker unit boasts one of the best positional blitzers in the league in Dante Fowler, who ranked ninth in the NFL with 11.5 sacks last season. And of course, the defensive line is headlined by football's best defensive tackle in Aaron Donald, who himself accounted for 12.5 sacks in 2019.

Imagine the damage Young could do lined up next to these players.

The Rams run a 3-4 scheme, but Young is so versatile that he's essentially formation proof. Any team running any scheme would be able to plug Young in as a day-one starter. If the Rams were lucky enough to land the former Ohio State star, their defense would be a cheat code.

Jeff Okudah: Minnesota Vikings

Free agency took its toll on Minnesota's secondary, and the consensus among experts is that the team will use the draft to restore its depth at cornerback.

The Vikings aren't slated to make their first pick in the draft until spot No. 22, so they have no chance at adding Okudah unless they offer a huge trade to a team in the top five.

But if they could, that would help them pair the best cornerback in the draft with what was one of the best safety duos in the league last year.

Anthony Harris and Harrison Smith provide a huge safety net for the secondary, which would give Okudah the freedom to press and play as aggressively as he did with the Buckeyes.

J.K. Dobbins: Kansas City Chiefs

Imagine the damage Dobbins could do if he was lined up next to Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City's backfield.

The reigning super bowl champs aren't short on firepower, and they ranked second behind Baltimore in scoring offense last season. Mahomes has become the new standard behind center and Travis Kelce, Tyreel Hill and Sammy Watkins are ideal perimeter options.

What the Chiefs could benefit from greatly is a consistent threat from a three-down back, and that's exactly what Dobbins brings to the table.

Kansas City's running back rotation a steady dose of Damien Williams, LeSean McCoy and Darrel Williams, none of whom cracked 500 rushing yards in 2019. 

Dobbins' presence in the backfield would give one of the league's most dangerous offenses an explosive option it just didn't have during their Super Bowl run.

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