Roby's Draft Status Probably Affected by Extra Year
By Rob Ogden
Cornerback Bradley Roby might have been a first-round pick had he entered the NFL draft following his redshirt sophomore season of 2012. He's hoping the same is still true in 2013.
The 5-foot-11, 190 pound-playmaking corner has finished strong, but got off to a rocky start.
Photo by Dan Harker
After being named a first-team All-American in 2012, Roby was suspended for the first game of the 2013 season for his part in an altercation outside a Bloomington, Ind. bar in July.
Expectations were high when he returned, but Roby struggled early on — most notably in a Sept. 28 game against Wisconsin.
That game has had lingering affects in the minds of his critics.
"I think he's dropped a little bit. He hasn't been quite as consistent as a lot of people projected," said CBSSports.com draft analyst Rob Rang. "The Jared Abbrederis matchup showed some holes there. He's still a guy that's a very good athlete, but at the same time will rely on that athletic ability a ton. Very sharp route runners can get him on his heels and show that he is willing to gamble on occasion, and sometimes when you gamble you're going to lose."
Some considered it a gamble for Roby to return to school following his productive sophomore season. Even he, himself, questioned the move.
With the NFL still on his mind, Roby said he was trying to do too much to impress scouts during the early weeks of the season.
Following the win over Wisconsin, however, Roby changed his mindset, and has returned to the details that made him great a year ago.
Since then, his coach has raved about him.
"There are no questions about Roby," Urban Meyer said two days before the Big Ten Championship Game. "He's playing very well right now."
Roby's 2013 numbers are comparable to his 2012 numbers, maybe even a little bit better in some respects.
He has 70 tackles in 12 games this season — seven more than he had in one fewer game in 2012.
Roby has three interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown. He had two interceptions a year ago.
He also has recorded two blocked punts, one of which he recovered for a touchdown.
He has 13 passes broken up compared to 17 in 2012.
"I still view him as a potential first-round player," Rang said. "He's gonna have to prove himself during workouts and going to have to answer some tough questions during interviews but I think he is certainly a candidate to, if not go in the first round, then certainly in the early portion of the second round."
Among current Buckeyes, few have wreaked more havoc on opposing offenses and special teams units than Roby. Eight career interceptions, thee blocked kicks, five total touchdowns.
His big-play ability might be his greatest asset. Well, maybe his second-greatest.
"Roby has what the NFL covets at the position: speed, speed, speed," said Dane Brugler, draft expert for CBSSports.com. "He’ll likely run a 4.3 (40-yard dash) at the combine, which might secure him as a first round prospect. But his focus issues in coverage and mental lapses are strong concerns and it would be a surprise if he measured over 5-10 or 190 pounds."
CBSSports currently ranks Roby as the No. 44 overall draft-eligible prospect and the No. 5 player at his position with a projected round of 2.
On ESPN.com, Scouts Inc. ranks Roby as the No. 8 prospect at his position.
Meyer has made it clear that Roby will forgo his final year of eligibility and enter the 2014 draft. The only question remaining is where he will land.
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