Even though we don’t know when live sporting events will be cleared to resume in the United State, the 2020 NFL draft is continuing as scheduled.
It won’t be held in Las Vegas with top picks taking a boat ride to a stage in front of the Bellagio fountains, as was previously planned; the resorts on the Las Vegas Strip – like most entertainment venues across the country – are currently closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. But the draft will still be held virtually, televised on multiple networks as usual and on its originally scheduled dates of April 23-25.
That means a multitude of former Ohio State players, including Chase Young, Jeff Okudah, J.K. Dobbins, Damon Arnette, Malik Harrison, Jonah Jackson, DaVon Hamilton and K.J. Hill, among others, are less than three weeks away from getting the call from an NFL team and officially becoming professional football players.
Young and Okudah are both expected to be among the draft’s top picks. Dobbins, Arnette, Harrison, Jackson, Hamilton and Hill are all candidates to be selected as early as the second or third round, and there are a few other Buckeyes who could potentially get picked in the late rounds, too.
Now that most of this year’s top NFL free agents have signed with teams, each team’s biggest needs for this year’s draft have become more clear, and as a result, more and more mock drafts are popping up around the Internet to predict which teams each of this year’s top draft prospects – including the Buckeyes above – could end up with later this month.
We take a look at some of those mock drafts for the latest projections on where each of the likely Buckeye draft picks could end up.
This edition of the Eleven Warriors Mock Draft Roundup includes the following 12 mock drafts, each of which project at least the first two rounds of picks:
- Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller (7 rounds)
- CBS Sports’ Josh Edwards (7 rounds)
- CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson (3 rounds)
- Draft Tek (7 rounds)
- Draft Wire’s Luke Easterling (4 rounds)
- ESPN’s Todd McShay (2 rounds)
- NFL.com’s Chad Reuter (4 rounds)
- Pewter Report’s Jon Ledyard (3 rounds)
- Pro Football Network’s Neal Driscoll (7 rounds)
- Sports Illustrated’s Kevin Hanson (3 rounds)
- The Draft Network’s Joe Marino (3 rounds)
- Yahoo Sports’ Eric Edholm (2 rounds)
Chase Young, DE
Draft Tek: Round 1, No. 2 overall, Washington Redskins
Driscoll: Round 1, No. 2 overall, Washington Redskins
Easterling: Round 1, No. 2 overall, Washington Redskins
Edwards: Round 1, No. 2 overall, Washington Redskins
Hanson: Round 1, No. 2 overall, Washington Redskins
Ledyard: Round 1, No. 2 overall, Washington Redskins
Marino: Round 1, No. 2 overall, Washington Redskins
McShay: Round 1, No. 2 overall, Washington Redskins
Miller: Round 1, No. 2 overall, Washington Redskins
Wilson: Round 1, No. 2 overall, Washington Redskins
Edholm: Round 1, No. 3 overall, Detroit Lions
Reuter: Round 1, No. 3 overall, Detroit Lions
The consensus projection for Chase Young hasn’t changed from the beginning. With the Cincinnati Bengals expected to use the No. 1 overall pick to select former Ohio State quarterback Joe Burrow after he finished his college career in spectacular fashion at LSU, just about everyone expects the Washington Redskins to use the No. 2 overall pick on Young, who is widely considered to be the best prospect in the draft regardless of position.
If the Redskins trade the No. 2 overall pick to a team interested in Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa or decide to take Tagovailoa themselves – which some believe is a possibility even though they used their first-round pick on Dwayne Haskins just last year – then the Lions would likely snap Young up with the third pick. It would still come as a surprise, though, if the Redskins don’t draft Young – who grew up less than a half-hour drive away from FedEx Field – and pair him with his former Ohio State teammates Haskins and Terry McLaurin.
Jeff Okudah, CB
Draft Tek: Round 1, No. 3 overall, Detroit Lions
Driscoll: Round 1, No. 3 overall, Detroit Lions
Easterling: Round 1, No. 3 overall, Detroit Lions
Edwards: Round 1, No. 3 overall, Detroit Lions
Ledyard: Round 1, No. 3 overall, Detroit Lions
Marino: Round 1, No. 3 overall, Detroit Lions
McShay: Round 1, No. 3 overall, Detroit Lions
Miller: Round 1, No. 3 overall, Detroit Lions
Hanson: Round 1, No. 5 overall, Detroit Lions
Edholm: Round 1, No. 7 overall, Carolina Panthers
Reuter: Round 1, No. 7 overall, Carolina Panthers
Wilson: Round 1, No. 12 overall, Las Vegas Raiders
Like Young, Jeff Okudah has been widely projected as a top-three overall pick since he entered his name into the 2020 NFL draft, as most draft prognosticators expect the Lions to take Okudah – assuming Young is off the board – with the No. 3 overall pick.
The Lions allowed 284.4 passing yards per game last season – the most in the NFL – and they traded Darius Slay, who had been their No. 1 cornerback, to the Philadelphia Eagles last month. Unless Young falls into their lap or they trade down with a team in need of a quarterback, Okudah is an obvious choice for Detroit as the best cornerback in this year’s draft.
J.K. Dobbins, RB
Driscoll: Round 2, No. 39 overall, Miami Dolphins
Edholm: Round 2, No. 39 overall, Miami Dolphins
Ledyard: Round 2, No. 39 overall, Miami Dolphins
Marino: Round 2, No. 39 overall, Miami Dolphins
McShay: Round 2, No. 39 overall, Miami Dolphins
Easterling: Round 2, No. 45 overall, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Hanson: Round 2, No. 45 overall, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Draft Tek: Round 2, No. 49 overall, Pittsburgh Steelers
Edwards: Round 2, No. 55 overall, Baltimore Ravens
Miller: Round 2, No. 55 overall, Baltimore Ravens
Wilson: Round 2, No. 57 overall, Houston Texans
Reuter: Round 3, No. 72 overall, Arizona Cardinals
While J.K. Dobbins was projected as a potential late first-round pick in some early mock drafts, he’s almost unanimously expected to land in the second round now. Dobbins’ chances of being a first-round pick weren’t helped by the fact that he was unable to work out at the NFL Scouting Combine due to the high ankle sprain he suffered in the Clemson game, then had his planned workout at Ohio State’s pro day canceled because of COVID-19.
A popular projected match for Dobbins in the early second round are the Miami Dolphins, which makes sense, considering they moved up his pre-draft visit in order to bring him into their facility just hours before the NFL shut down this year’s pre-draft visits. The Dolphins finished dead last in the NFL last season with only 1,156 team rushing yards, so Dobbins could pair with free-agent signing Jordan Howard to form a significantly upgraded running back rotation in Miami.
Other potential second-round landing spots for Dobbins that show up in multiple mock drafts include the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who could look to add another weapon to the backfield to line up alongside Tom Brady, and the Baltimore Ravens, where he would rotate with veteran running back Mark Ingram.
Damon Arnette, CB
Ledyard: Round 2, No. 43 overall, Chicago Bears
McShay: Round 2, No. 43 overall, Chicago Bears
Hanson: Round 2, No. 47 overall, Atlanta Falcons
Draft Tek: Round 2, No. 50 overall, Chicago Bears
Easterling: Round 2, No. 50 overall, Chicago Bears
Wilson: Round 2, No. 58 overall, Minnesota Vikings
Driscoll: Round 2, No. 62 overall, Green Bay Packers
Edwards: Round 3, No. 69 overall, Carolina Panthers
Marino: Round 3, No. 69 overall, Carolina Panthers
Reuter: Round 3, No. 93 overall, Tennessee Titans
Miller: Round 3, No. 102 overall, Pittsburgh Steelers
Damon Arnette, like Dobbins, is a long shot to potentially sneak into the late first round but is mostly projected to be selected in the second round or early third round.
Arnette’s most popular projected destination is the Chicago Bears, who are in need of another cornerback to start opposite Kyle Fuller. The Carolina Panthers, who are also in need of a starting cornerback after losing James Bradberry to the New York Giants in free agency, are projected in multiple mock drafts as a potential landing spot if he slides into round three.
Jonah Jackson, OG
Marino: Round 2, No. 49 overall, Pittsburgh Steelers
Wilson: Round 2, No. 52 overall, Los Angeles Rams
Ledyard: Round 2, No. 58 overall, Minnesota Vikings
Driscoll: Round 3, No. 70 overall, Miami Dolphins
Edwards: Round 3, No. 78 overall, Atlanta Falcons
Easterling: Round 3, No. 102 overall, Pittsburgh Steelers
Reuter: Round 3, No. 105 overall, Minnesota Vikings
Draft Tek: Round 3, No. 106 overall, Baltimore Ravens
Miller: Round 5, No. 173 overall, Miami Dolphins
Most multi-round mock drafts are projecting that Jonah Jackson will be selected somewhere between the middle of the second round and the late third round, positioning him as a player who could have a chance to compete for a starting guard job right away as an NFL rookie.
Three teams that showed up in multiple mock drafts we surveyed this time are the Pittsburgh Steelers, Minnesota Vikings and Miami Dolphins. Should he end up with the Vikings, he could end up replacing fellow former Ohio State guard Pat Elflein – who they selected in the third round of the 2017 NFL draft, but has not performed up to expectations in Minnesota – as their starting left guard.
Malik Harrison, LB
Draft Tek: Round 2, No. 52 overall, Los Angeles Rams
Edholm: Round 2, No. 52 overall, Los Angeles Rams
Marino: Round 2, No. 55 overall, Baltimore Ravens
Reuter: Round 2, No. 59 overall, Seattle Seahawks
Ledyard: Round 2, No. 62 overall, Green Bay Packers
Wilson: Round 3, No. 65 overall, Cincinnati Bengals
Easterling: Round 3, No. 71 overall, Los Angeles Chargers
Edwards: Round 3, No. 72 overall, Arizona Cardinals
Hanson: Round 3, No. 72 overall, Arizona Cardinals
Driscoll: Round 3, No. 74 overall, Cleveland Browns
Miller: Round 3, No. 74 overall, Cleveland Browns
Malik Harrison’s draft projections haven’t changed much over the last two months – just like in the mock draft roundup we did in February, Harrison is projected to be selected between the No. 52 overall pick and the No. 74 overall pick in every mock draft we surveyed that he appeared in.
The high end of his projected range would place him with the Los Angeles Rams, who are in need of a linebacker after losing Cory Littleton to the Las Vegas Raiders in free agency. The low end of his projected range would send him up Interstate 71 to the Cleveland Browns, who also have a major need at linebacker following the departures of Joe Schobert and Christian Kirksey. Another possible early third-round landing spot for Harrison could be the Arizona Cardinals, where he would be reunited with former Ohio State and current Cardinals linebackers coach Bill Davis.
DaVon Hamilton, DT
Marino: Round 2, No. 61 overall, Tennessee Titans
Draft Tek: Round 3, No. 69 overall, Carolina Panthers
Reuter: Round 3, No. 90 overall, Houston Texans
Ledyard: Round 3, No. 93 overall, Tennessee Titans
Wilson: Round 3, No. 95 overall, Denver Broncos
Hanson: Round 3, No. 97 overall, Cleveland Browns
Easterling: Round 3, No. 105 overall, Minnesota Vikings
Edwards: Round 3, No. 106 overall, Baltimore Ravens
Driscoll: Round 4, No. 141 overall, Miami Dolphins
Miller: Round 5, No. 156 overall, San Francisco 49ers
After an impressive showing at the NFL Scouting Combine, where he led all defensive linemen with 33 repetitions of 225 pounds in the bench press, DaVon Hamilton’s draft stock has soared high enough that he could potentially go as early as the late second round, while the majority of mock drafts we surveyed for this roundup project the former Ohio State defensive tackle to be a third-round pick.
The only team that shows up as a projected destination for Hamilton in more than one of those mock drafts is the Tennessee Titans, who are coached by former Ohio State defensive lineman Mike Vrabel. After trading Jurrell Casey to the Denver Broncos, the Titans should be looking to draft a defensive tackle in this year’s early rounds, and Hamilton could be a possible fit in either Round 2 or Round 3.
K.J. Hill, WR
Driscoll: Round 3, No. 88 overall, New Orleans Saints
Easterling: Round 3, No. 98 overall, New England Patriots
Ledyard: Round 3, No. 98 overall, New England Patriots
Hanson: Round 3, No. 105 overall, Minnesota Vikings
Draft Tek: Round 4, No. 108 overall, Washington Redskins
Reuter: Round 4, No. 125 overall, New England Patriots
Edwards: Round 4, No. 129 overall, Baltimore Ravens
Miller: Round 5, No. 177 overall, Kansas City Chiefs
After becoming Ohio State’s all-time leader in career receptions last season, K.J. Hill is widely projected to be selected between the late third round and the fourth round of this year’s NFL draft.
One popular projected destination for Hill is the New England Patriots, which makes sense considering the success crafty slot receivers like him have had in their offense over the past two decades. The highest projection among this group of mock drafts would send him to the New Orleans Saints, who have had a penchant for drafting Buckeyes in recent years and would pair him with fellow former Ohio State wideout Michael Thomas in their receiving corps.
Robert Landers, DT
Edwards: Round 5, No. 178 overall, Denver Broncos
Robert Landers isn’t a lock to be drafted, especially after he wasn’t invited to the NFL Combine and his pro day was canceled, but he’s projected as the second-to-last pick of the fifth round by CBS Sports’ Josh Edwards.
The strong, disruptive nose tackle, who had four productive playing seasons at Ohio State, would team up with fellow former Ohio State defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones in this scenario, going to a Denver Broncos team that currently has four Buckeyes (also including Nick Vannett, Jeff Heuerman and Tyvis Powell) on the roster.
Jordan Fuller, S
Edwards: Round 6, No. 208 overall, Green Bay Packers
Miller: Round 7, No. 221 overall, Carolina Panthers
Jordan Fuller isn’t likely to be selected before the late rounds of the draft after running a disappointing 4.67-second 40-yard dash at the combine, but the three-year starter from Ohio State’s secondary could be a sixth- or seventh-round steal after a rock-solid career on the back end of the Buckeyes’ defense.
The Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers are both teams who need safety depth, and he has substantial experience playing on special teams – where one needs to thrive to make as an NFL roster as a late-round draft pick and backup defensive back – from his years at Ohio State.
Binjimen Victor, WR
Driscoll: Round 7, No. 248 overall, New York Giants
Binjimen Victor – along with several other former Buckeyes who weren’t included in any of these mock drafts, namely Austin Mack, Branden Bowen, Jashon Cornell and Rashod Berry – sits right on the fringe of being drafted or not. While all of them are certainly hoping to be draft picks, any of them could also benefit from having the opportunity to pick their own team – and therefore, a potentially favorable roster situation – as an undrafted free agent.
That said, Pro Football Network’s Neal Driscoll has the New York Giants securing Victor with one of the final 10 picks of the draft’s final round. Regardless of whether he’s drafted or not, Victor will have to compete his way onto an NFL roster, but he flashed big-play ability at Ohio State that gives him some intriguing untapped potential and upside to emerge as a weapon if he lands in a good spot.