Ohio State's Reid Fragel could be a good fit for the Bears, Panthers, or Saints. - USA TODAY Sports
We take a look at which teams could look with covetous eyes on former Ohio State stars in the NFL draft.
For many players in the NFL draft, it's not necessarily about which round they go in or what overall selection they are taken. The biggest indicator of future success seems to be which team can find a way to either fit them in their scheme (Alfred Morris in Mike Shanahan's running game) or, design plays/packages around their talents (RGIII in Kyle Shanahan's offense). So now that we've gone over which round each Buckeye player is likely to be drafted, we'll completely throw that analysis out the window (or at least some of it) as we discuss which teams would be a good home for the Buckeyes of the 2013 draft class.
Johnathan Hankins – Pittsburgh Steelers, Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys. Hankins is considered by many to be a prototypical 3-technique defensive lineman and, in a pinch, interior guard – not overly tall, very stocky and stout against the run; can get to the passer when he needs to. Big Hank will be on the list of many teams looking for a 4-3 defensive tackle, but I think his best position and the best use of his talents might just be as a 3-4 defensive end (e.g. 5 technique). Hankins is most effective when he's eating up blockers and freeing up talented linebackers. If the Cowboys stick with the 3-4 scheme, or if Casey Hampton and Brett Keisel hang 'em up, those two teams are in the perfect range to select BJH, who has slipped out of the top 15 according to everyone but Todd McShay through no fault of his own.
Jake Stoneburner – Cleveland Browns, St. Louis Rams. The Rams are going more towards the rest of the league in using twin-tight end formations. The problem is, they only have one effective tight end on the roster – former Badgers star Lance Kendricks. Stoneburner would add to the list of Buckeyes in St. Louis and would give Sam Bradford another target, which he really could use. Another possibility is Cleveland. New coach Rob Chudzinski used Kellen Winslow Jr and Evan Moore very effectively when he was the offensive coordinator (Moore killed the Bengals) and Stoneburner is a similar player in athleticism and height. Plus, Ben Watson had his best years in a system not an abrupt departure from Chudzinski's and a weapon like Stoneburner couldn't hurt.
John Simon – Atlanta Falcons. John Abraham can't play like this forever, and if John Simon isn't a 4-3 defensive end I don't know who is. Simon can play early on as a rotational end, then hopefully develop into a starter. He has the motor, elite strength, and the intangibles. Now he needs a veteran to school him on technique. Who better to learn from than a former all-pro like Abraham? Simon can only add to an already awesome defense.
Travis Howard – Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers. Howard is a classic Ravens/Steelers defensive back – tall, rangy, and effective against the run – also, having a higher opinion of himself than maybe he should, and one who talks a little too much trash. Both teams are hurting badly for cornerback depth as well, so Howard will be a person of interest to the two AFC North powers.
Reid Fragel – Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints. Fragel is big, athletic, and is accustomed to blocking for an unpredictable quarterback. Plus, both of the above teams are absolutely starving for help at right tackle. J'Marcus Webb is – to put it gently – not good at football (the starting left or right turnstile for the Bears, depending on the week) and Carolina's Jeff Otah struggled last year. The Saints are another team who might be interested, as they prefer to have big, athletic linemen rather than maulers. Despite his size, Fragel is not and will never be a mauling run-blocker, but he is tenacious and stays with his man even when Braxton Miller (Cam Newton, perhaps, in the pros) is doing something unexpected behind him in the pocket.
Most of the rest of the Buckeyes this year won't necessarily be scheme fits, as they will all have to most likely find a niche on special teams, but linebacker-hungry teams such as the Eagles, Giants, Bengals and Dolphins would probably not be opposed to finding a spot for Zach Boren or Etienne Sabino. Boren's instincts will take him far and I wouldn't be surprised to see him become an undrafted starter for a 4-3 team at weak side LB or a 3-4 team as the second MLB ((or perhaps even how the Texans leverage former Tom Herman pupil James Casey at fullback/h-back) , somewhere in the not too distant future.