2013 OSU Draft Prospects

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Last updated: 04/29/2012 1:09 PM
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Looking at the 2013 Ohio State NFL Draft Prospects
By Tony Gerdeman

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Four Buckeyes' names were called during the 2012 NFL Draft. Left tackle Mike Adams (2nd round), receiver Devier Posey (3rd round), running back Boom Herron (6th round) and safety Nate Ebner (6th) were all tabbed by NFL teams, and now they all have to start working for a living.

It's an annual rite of passage for Buckeyes, and has been going on for decades. Next year will be no different, other than the fact that Ohio State will likely have twice as many players drafted as they did this year.

Four draft picks is a bit low for what the Buckeyes are used to, though it's not as bad as the three players chosen in 2008 and 2005, or the zero chosen in 1998. However, low draft numbers for Ohio State generally means a positive season ahead. It implies a young team that is now a year older.

Even though the Buckeyes will have a relatively small senior class in 2012, they could still approach double figures in draft picks. With that in mind, what follows is a look at the draft prospects of the senior class, as well as the draft-eligible underclassmen who would likely get looks if they so desired.

Zach Boren - Fullback (6-1 246)

Zach Boren
Photo by Jm Davidson
Zach Boren

Two fullbacks were drafted this past season, and certainly Boren will be one of the fullbacks the NFL will keep an eye on in 2012. A four-year starter at Ohio State generally counts for something, provided you're not an offensive lineman. While college and professional football are both running out of a need for fullbacks, there will always be an old school faithful who will have their eyes out for a throwback player like Boren.

Ben Buchanan - Punter (5-11 190)

Like the fullbacks, two punters went in the 2012 NFL Draft. For Buchanan to reach those heights, he will have to have his best season ever. Fortunately for Buchanan, as he enters his senior season, that is the current trajectory that he is on.

Zach Domicone - Safety (6-2 216)

Domicone has battled injuries and unfavorable depth charts for most of his career. However, as Nate Ebner showed this weekend, opportunity is where you find it—and then make the most of it.

Reid Fragel - Offensive Tackle (6-8 298)

Reid Fragel
Photo by Jim Davidson
Reid Fragel

Fragel made the move to tackle, in part, for NFL reasons. And at 6-8 and a scotch egg over 300 pounds, he certainly looks the part. This season will obviously tell the story, since nobody really has any idea how he is going to fare. There are notions, but there is no data yet. This move has been a boon to players in the past, most notably Baylor's Jason Smith, who moved from tight end to offensive tackle and ended up being the second overall pick in the 2009 draft. Of course, he had three seasons to learn the position—Fragel only has one.

Garrett Goebel - Defensive Tackle (6-4 285)

Goebel isn't unlike past Ohio State nose tackles—unspectacular, but remarkably solid and consistent. He may be most like former Buckeye Tim Anderson, who like Goebel was also a terrific high school wrestler. On a defensive line with Johnathan Hankins and John Simon, Goebel will play his role every bit as well as those bigger names. He could slip into the late rounds and be a guy who simply does what is asked, and becomes quite successful at it.

Jordan Hall - Running Back (5-9 198)

Jordan Hall
Photo by Dan Harker
Jordan Hall

Hall's draft future is in Urban Meyer and Tom Herman's hands, and it will no doubt be helped by them both. With Meyer anointing Hall as the guy to fill his utility role, Hall will get the chance to showcase his entire repertoire. There may not be a ton of carries for any one player in particular, but if Hall makes things happen when he has the ball, he will be utilized one way or another a ton. He will also likely continue to show his abilities as a returner. His size will be an issue for some, but teams likely won't be looking at him to be an every down back. His versatility will help him, but it will be his production that ultimately gets his name called.

Adam Homan - Fullback (6-3 245)

Coming in at the same time as Zach Boren is a terrible way for a fullback to make a name for himself. It would be best for Homan, and maybe the Buckeyes, if Homan redshirted this season in order to stand out by himself in 2013. However, with no attempt to recruit a fullback by Urban Meyer, you have to wonder if a true fullback is even an interest at this point.

Travis Howard - Cornerback (6-1 196)

Travis Howard
Photo by Jim Davidson
Travis Howard

Listed at 6-1 196 pounds, Howard falls into the “big corner” category that NFL teams love. Of the twelve cornerbacks taken in the first two rounds of the last two drafts, only three have been under 5-11. Howard had some blips in his coverage last year, and will need to erase those mistakes to be one of the top cornerbacks on the board in 2013. He certainly has the frame and potential to continue the long legacy of cornerbacks at Ohio State. He will be drafted, but his performance will determine whether he is a first rounder or a seventh rounder.

Orhian Johnson - Safety (6-3 210)

Only a part-time starter throughout his Ohio State career, he could go a long way to improving his stock with even more playing time in 2012. He has great size at 6-3 210 pounds, and is one of the best athletes on the team. His potential is far from reached, but there are questions of whether or not that potential will get a chance to be reached at Ohio State.

Storm Klein - Linebacker (6-3 242)

Klein was a starter for the first time last year, but through his own injuries and the emergence of sophomore Curtis Grant, Klein's status as a starter in 2012 is up in the air. As of now, Grant is listed as the starter at middle linebacker for the Buckeyes, but Klein will still have the opportunity to win his old job back. However, if Andrew Sweat can go undrafted, prospects are fairly bleak for Klein if nothing changes.

Etienne Sabino - Linebacker (6-3 237)

Sabino will likely test very well at both the NFL Combine and OSU's Pro Day next year, but what the NFL will also want to see is more production from him this season. He finished fifth on the team in tackles with 62, and while that number may not improve all that much, his 6.5 tackles for loss and two sacks need to. He's a two-down player for the Buckeyes at the moment, but in the NFL he has the speed and athleticism to stay on the field on every down. Unless he simply blows up this season, he probably projects as a third day pick (rounds 4-7) at this point.

John Simon - Defensive End (6-2 260)

John Simon
Photo by Jim Davidson
John Simon

Simon is the classic tweener. Since dropping weight, he is too big for linebacker, and too small for defensive end. That, of course, makes him an ideal outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. Unfortunately for Simon, that's a position of poor NFL performance for Ohio State players of late. Mike Kudla, Vernon Gholston and Thaddeus Gibson have all failed to make their mark on the NFL, and Simon will need to rise above that scarlet letter. Expect Urban Meyer to go to bat for Simon every step of the way, as will his position coach Mike Vrabel, who was one of those defensive ends for Ohio State that was able to make the successful transition to linebacker. He would be drafted on word of mouth alone.

Jake Stoneburner - Tight End (6-5 245)

Big things are expected of Stoneburner this season, and while we've seen glimpses of his capabilities over his first three seasons, we really haven't seen anything yet. At 6-5 245 pounds, and with sub-4.6 capabilities, Stoneburner has all of the makings of a perfect weapon in Ohio State's offense. He will get to show everything he can do in this offense, and will have a very eye-catching stage on which to audition for the NFL. While the name most often tossed around when talking about the tight end position under Meyer is Aaron Hernandez, Stoneburner might actually be drafted higher than Hernandez, who fell to the fourth round because of reports of marijuana use.

Nathan Williams - Defensive End (6-3 249)

It's impossible to predict what the Buckeyes will get out of Williams this season, which makes it impossible to predict his NFL draft future. Williams will undoubtedly project as a linebacker at the next level, but whether or not he'll ever get the opportunity will depend on how well he recovers from microfracture surgery on his right knee.

C.J. Barnett - Safety (6-1 202)

Barnett will be a redshirt junior this season, and sometimes players are just ready to move on rather than play a fifth year. He will be a two-year starter for the Buckeyes, so he'll have some experience to point to. However, safeties are a dime a dozen in the NFL draft. Although if Barnett's stock is never going to get higher, he may have a real decision to make.

Johnathan Hankins - Defensive Tackle (6-4 317)

Johnathan Hankins
Photo by Dan Harker
Johnathan Hankins

It might be time to get used to the idea of this being Hankins' final season at Ohio Stadium. At 6-4 317 pounds, he is an ultra-productive defender who can play all three downs. He has rare quickness for his size, and any questions about his desire were answered years ago. It will be difficult to find a mock draft without Hankins' name in the first round, and pretty early to boot.

Carlos Hyde - Running Back (6-0 235)

Like Hall, it will be difficult for Hyde to put up standard running back numbers, especially numbers that would lead an underclassman to explore leaving early. However, at 6-0 and 235 pounds, and running in the 4.4s, Hyde's potential may outweigh his production. With the number of ball carriers that Ohio State has brought him, Hyde may never get more carries than he will this year, and his stock may not get any higher. It's unlikely for him to leave, but the possibility will exist until it doesn't.

Bradley Roby - Cornerback (5-11 190)

Just a redshirt sophomore, you won't see many people talking about Roby leaving for the draft after this season even though he is eligible. He will ultimately be a high NFL draft pick, it just depends on how long he'll wait to make that happen. He has the size at 5-11 190 pounds that makes him wanted, and the ability to defend both the pass and the run that will make him a millionaire. Obviously he would do well to wait until the 2014 draft, but if he does leave after this season, remember who gave you the bad news first.

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