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Which Ohio State Buckeyes could get picked in the 2018 NFL Draft?

Ohio State will have to reload again in 2019.

NCAA Football: Michigan at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Over the weekend, Ohio State sent 11 total players to the NFL: seven draftees, two undrafted free agents and two camp tryouts. In what was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the unit, the Buckeyes cemented themselves at #DBU by getting three more members of their secondary drafted in the first round.

Although the 2017 and especially the 2016 draft classes were extremely successful, Ohio State’s 2018 draft class could be the best one yet. Check out who we think will be going, and where they could possibly end up in the 2018 NFL Draft.

The seniors

Tyquan Lewis: The only real surprising returnee from last year’s draft class, Tyquan Lewis came back to Ohio State for an encore. Lewis is coming off an 8 sack, 10.5 tackle for loss season which resulted in being named the Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year. If Lewis continues this accession, expect his name to be called in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Early projection: First or second round

Billy Price: Taking a page from Pat Elflein’s career path, Price is moving to center for his senior season after starting at guard for the prior three seasons. Like Elflein, expect his versatility, leadership and a strong final season to parlay into a day two selection.

Early projection: Third round

Chris Worley: Standing at 6’2, 230 lbs with sideline-to-sideline speed, Worley is the prototypical 2017 NFL outside linebacker. In fact, he is identical in size (plus an inch) to former Buckeye and first rounder Darron Lee. Expect Worley to have a dominant season year —where he will start at MIKE linebacker — which will have him rising on NFL draft boards by mid-season.

Early projection: Third round

Jamarco Jones: The protector of Barrett’s blindside captured second team All-Big Ten honors in his first season as a starter. He has the size (6’5, 310) and athleticism that NFL scouts will love and another season under Greg Studrawa will only help.

Early projection: Third round

Marcus Baugh: We all know of Baugh’s early-career off-field issues, but it looks like those days are well behind him. Baugh has NFL tight end size (6’5, 250 lbs) and solid, yet underutilized hands which could be on display this season. If the spring game showed us anything, it’s that Kevin Wilson might actually use the tight end in 2017, which will accurately display Baugh’s skill-set.

Early projection: Fifth round

Jalyn Holmes: Holmes looks like one of those post-combine late-risers who NFL scouts fall in love with due to his blend of size and athleticism. Standing at 6’5, 270 lbs, Holmes has the size to play 7/6-technique in a 4-3, or a stand-up linebacker in a 3-4.

Early projection: Fifth round

Tracy Sprinkle: Sprinkle was projected to have a monster 2016 campaign, but his season was cut short after suffering a knee injury in Week 1. If Sprinkle can bounce back and have a solid final season, he should hear his name called.

Early projection: Sixth round

Dante Booker: Like Sprinkle, the 6’3, 240 lb linebacker missed all of 2016 after suffering a knee injury during the first half of the season-opener. He was projected to only miss a few weeks with a MCL sprain, however there also ended up being damage to the PCL. If he stays healthy, Booker should slide back into a starting role at SAM linebacker and have a strong season on Ohio State’s top defense.

Early projection: Seventh round

J.T. Barrett: After an up-and-down junior season, rabid (and dumb) Ohio State fans wanted their three-year starter at quarterback to move on from the Buckeyes. Luckily for Barrett, a change at offensive coordinator and the addition of a former NFL quarterback coach will do wonders for the three-year captain. The changes on the staff, plus his leadership and on-field resume will transform Barrett from a future CFL quarterback into a late-round flier with the chance of sticking in the NFL as a career back-up.

Early projection: Seventh round

Erick Smith: It’s not out of the norm for a one-year starter at Ohio State to ball out and turn that lone season into a (very good) NFL contract. Although Smith isn’t guaranteed to start in his final season, the oft-injured, yet talented safety will get his chance to make a name for himself.

Early projection: Undrafted free agent

Michael Hill: Hill has pretty good size (6’3, 305 lbs) and some quickness off the line of scrimmage that could entice NFL scouts, but he has yet to put together a truly noteworthy season.

Early projection: Undrafted free agent

Underclassmen who should declare

Sam Hubbard: The former Notre Dame lacrosse recruit has transformed himself into a future first round NFL draft pick. Hubbard is an athletic freak with NFL size (6’5, 265 lbs) and will test off the charts at the combine. Expect a huge season from Hubbard, which will vault him into the draft.

Early projection: First round; 90% chance he declares for the NFL draft

Jerome Baker: At 6’1, 225 lbs with elite athleticism, Baker possesses the attributes to be a top linebacker in the NFL. He was the best player on the field against Michigan, registering 15 tackles, 1 sack and one interception. Baker will have a monster 2017 season and be one of the first few linebackers selected in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Early projection: First or second round; 80% chance he declares for the NFL draft

Dre’Mont Jones: Jones wasn’t supposed to start in 2016, but he took advantage of Sprinkle’s injury and never looked back. Jones finished sixth on the team in tackles from his defensive tackle position, and has quality NFL traits: a lightning-quick first step, coupled with a 6’3, 280 lb frame. Bleacher Report mocked Jones as a first round pick who scouts have an eye on.

Early projection: First or second round; 75% chance he declares for the NFL draft

Underclassmen who could declare

Denzel Ward: Pencil in Denzel Ward to be the next great defensive back to come out of Ohio State. With a starting role in 2017, expect Ward to show off his athleticism, ball skills and potential. Don’t be surprised if he leaves after a strong season.

Early projection: 55% chance he declares for the NFL draft

Mike Weber: Coming off a 1,000 yard season in his first action as a Buckeye, the running back from Detroit will most likely crack 1,000 yards again in 2017. Weber possesses great power, sneaky quickness and a Maurice Jones-Drew’esque lower body that will all translate to the NFL.

Early projection: 50% chance he declares for the NFL draft

Parris Campbell: Urban Meyer’s H-back/ “Percy Harvin position” has produced a handful of NFL draft picks, and Campbell is next in-line. Due to his lack of elite route running from the outside, he was bumped to the slot where his skill-set should flourish. He’s not as dynamic as Samuel, but if he puts up a similar total yardage and touchdown total, he could leave a year early.

Early projection: 50% chance he declares for the NFL draft

Kendall Sheffield: The former member of Alabama’s secondary is now competing with Damon Arnette for the starting corner job across from Ward. With Sheffield playing at Alabama, then playing a year of JUCO ball, he’s more likely to leave than Arnette after one season if he starts and does well. He has the athleticism and size to make the leap.

Early projection: 50% chance he declares for the NFL draft

Underclassmen who could, but aren’t ready to declare

Johnnie Dixon: After producing virtually nothing during his career at Ohio State, the highly touted receiver looks healthier than ever and dominated the spring game. If that translates to 40-plus catches on the field and he most importantly stays healthy, Dixon could take the same road as Noah Brown and head to the league prematurely to get paid. If Dixon thinks it’s better for him to preserve his health for the NFL and get selected, then he should.

Early Projection: 50% chance he declares for the NFL draft

Damon Arnette: If we go by recent events, Arnette could be next in line for an NFL pay day. With Arnette competing against Sheffield for a starting role, one of them will be playing across from Ward — most likely in the field position role. Standing a 6’0, 195 lbs, he has the size to make the jump, but will probably need another year.

Early projection: 45% chance he declares for the NFL draft

Isaiah Prince: Prince struggled mightily at times (Penn State) throughout last season. However, Taylor Decker was exposed at times during his first season as a starter and look how he turned out. Prince has the confidence of the coaching staff and the size (6’7, 310 lbs) to put together a solid bounce back season.

Early projection: 30% chance he declares for the NFL draft