ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper released his first 2020 mock draft on Friday and three former Buckeyes filled out his first three picks.
Going first overall to the Cincinnati Bengals is LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, who spent his first three seasons in college football at Ohio State.
All Burrow did in 2019 is have the greatest season for a college quarterback ever. He completed 76.3 percent of his passes for 5,671 yards with 60 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He also won the Heisman Trophy and a national title.
With the No. 2 pick, Kiper has the Washington Redskins selecting defensive end Chase Young, who led the nation with 16.5 sacks this past season for the Buckeyes. Young is a DC-area native, so this would be a return home for him. It would also be a reunion with former Buckeye teammates in quarterback Dwayne Haskins and receiver Terry McLaurin.
The last time Ohio State had a defensive end selected this high was last year when Nick Bosa was drafted second overall by the San Francisco 49ers, who are now just a little over one week from playing for the Super Bowl.
Cornerback Jeff Okudah is slated to go to the Detroit Lions with the third overall pick. The Lions were last in the NFL in passing yards allowed this season (284.4 ypg), so landing the top cornerback in the draft would be a good move.
If Okudah does go with the No. 3 pick overall, he will become the first Buckeye cornerback drafted that high since Shawn Springs in 1997. That was also the last time Ohio State had two of the first three picks, as left tackle Orlando Pace was the No. 1 pick overall.
Other projections of note include Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa being selected fifth overall by the Miami Dolphins. Tagovailoa missed the end of the season with an injured hip and there was some question if he would even choose to enter the draft.
Kiper has the Cleveland Browns taking Louisville offensive tackle Mekhi Becton with the 10th pick. Anybody who watched the Browns this season knows that pass protection is a must in this draft.
In terms of other Big Ten players projected to land in the first round, Kiper has Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs going to Tampa Bay with the 14th pick, Iowa defensive end AJ Epenesa to Atlanta with the 16th pick, Wisconsin linebacker Zack Baun to Seattle with the 27th pick, and Penn State teammates Yetur Gross-Matos (DE) and KJ Hamler (WR) going 29th and 30th to Tennessee and Green Bay, respectively.
The 2020 NFL Draft takes place Thursday April 23 through Saturday April 25 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Well done !!!
Nice hold on Chase in the picture above. I got a 401k that I MIGHT bet on the probability that no holding flag was thrown I mean you cant expect a ref to see that in REAL time now can you Chris Fowler?
Young had 9 tackles and 3 sacks against PSU got mugged on every snap he played and Nits were not called for holding in the game.
So actually the first 3 are all former Buckeyes.
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