Unlike the past few NFL Drafts, where for the most part we had a pretty good idea as to where Ohio State’s professional prospects were likely to be selected, this year is a bit more unpredictable. While Justin Fields is a consensus top-10 pick, the rest of the Buckeyes’ NFL hopefuls have projections all over the map. That being said, where do the experts currently predict this year’s crop of OSU talent to land?
We’re still early in the NFL Draft process, and so many of the usual top draft analysts still don't have much in terms of a mock outside of the first round. For today’s purposes, we are going to look at WalterFootball.com, which is one of the few sites to already have a four-round mock draft, updated as recently as Jan. 27. We will also be looking at the overall prospect big boards from Pro Football Network, which has ranked all eligible players regardless of scheme fit, as well as PFF’s big board.
Using data from these three sites, let’s see where Ohio State’s NFL Draft entrants currently stand.
Mock: No. 2 pick to New York Jets
PFN: No. 2 QB, No. 5 overall prospect
PFF: No. 3 overall prospect
Fields has the greatest consensus as to where he will be selected, with almost everyone projecting him to go within the top-10 picks, but even his stock isn’t set in stone. While most agree that he is the No. 2 QB prospect behind Trevor Lawrence, some feel he could slip behind BYU’s Zach Wilson. Still, the majority of current mock drafts have the incredibly gifted athlete going No. 2 overall to the New York Jets. Other common landing spots for Fields include the Atlanta Falcons at No. 4, the Detroit Lions at No. 7, and the Carolina Panthers at No. 8.
Mock: No. 30 pick to Buffalo Bills
PFN: No. 1 G, No. 14 overall prospect
PFF: No. 32 overall prospect
If Ohio State is going to have two players selected in the first round this year, the second guy would have to be Davis. While the guard is undoubtedly one of the top interior offensive linemen in this year’s draft, NFL teams don't exactly value the guard position all that much, which could result in Davis slipping into the second round. However, Walter Football has him projected at No. 30 overall to the Buffalo Bills, and both Pro Football Network and PFF have him inside the top-32 prospects.
Mock: No. 66 pick (3rd Round) to New York Jets
PFN: No. 5 OLB, No. 36 overall prospect
If you need any indication of how up-in-the-air the rest of Ohio State’s draft prospects are, look no further than Pete Werner. Walter Football has him going early in the third round to the New York Jets, Pro Football Network as him as their No. 36 overall prospect, and PFF doesn’t have him on their big board at all (although it just may not be a fully updated list). Werner was a great do-it-all player for the Buckeyes, but it will be interesting to see whether or not his skillset can translate to the next level. He has drawn some high praise in NFL Draft circles, with Mel Kiper calling him his “favorite prospect who probably won’t be picked on Day 1,” but it is not entirely clear how teams value the athletic linebacker.
Mock: No. 94 pick (3rd Round) to Tampa Bay Buccaneers
PFN: No. 6 CB, No. 58 overall prospect
PFF: No. 69 overall prospect (nice)
Unfortunately for Wade, his move to the outside this past season did not pay off as he would have liked, as he struggled mightily in the role all season long. Projected as a consensus first round pick following the 2019 campaign, Wade’s stock took a massive hit this year. Walter Football has him going in the third round to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which seems like a pretty accurate draft position for the DB. He certainly didn’t help himself with his performances in the College Football Playoff against both Clemson and Alabama, but we’ve seen the talent Wade possesses before, and if he can recapture some of that at the next level he can still have a very successful NFL career.
Mock: No. 95 pick (3rd Round) to Kansas City Chiefs
PFN: No. 3 ILB, No. 53 overall prospect
PFF: No. 97 overall prospect
Really the only defensive player on Ohio State’s roster to make an impact in the national title game, Browning is the last player to make the cut in Walter Football’s four-round NFL Draft mock. Finally earning the starting job this past season, Browning showed tremendous ability both dropping back into coverage and playing up near the line. The Buckeyes never truly utilized him to his fullest ability as a pass-rusher, where he dominated in limited action, but NFL teams have had to like what they've seen on film from the linebacker over his time in Columbus. A third-round projection for Browning feels about right.
PFN: No. 2 C, No. 41 overall prospect
PFF: No. 131 overall prospect
One guy I'm a bit surprised to see not make Walter Football’s mock draft is Josh Myers. The center has been a stalwart of the Ohio State offensive line for the past two seasons, and has been incredibly consistent up the middle alongside Davis. At 6-foot-5, 312 pounds, Myers certainly has the size to be a starting center in the NFL, and has been especially tremendous in run blocking. He isn’t the most athletic guy on the field, but he is big and good with his hands, making him tough to beat for opposing tackles. There aren’t too many highly-touted centers in this year’s draft, and I would be a bit shocked if he isn’t taken somewhere between the third and fifth round.
PFN: No. 4 DT, No. 74 overall prospect
PFF: No. 77 overall prospect
Another guy I expected to see in a four-round mock draft is Tommy Togiai. While his absence is largely because he only started for one season at Ohio State, Big Tom was perhaps the Buckeyes’ best defensive player all year long in 2020, and could shoot his way up the NFL Draft boards as a result. While the defensive tackle position is mostly there to stop the run, Togiai was very impressive in rushing the passer as well. He is surprisingly athletic for his size at 6-foot-2, 300 pounds, and he is incredibly strong. In fact, a few of his Ohio State teammates have tweeted that they think he could break the bench press record at Pro Day. Personally, I think Togiai winds up becoming a Day 2 selection.
PFN: No. 4 RB, No. 61 overall prospect
PFF: No. 94 overall prospect
Sermon is an incredibly interesting NFL prospect, but he really made himself some money in his last two full games with Ohio State against Northwestern and Clemson. The former Oklahoma running back quite literally carried the Buckeyes to a Big Ten title, rushing for a school-record 331 yards against the Wildcats in Indy. He came on strong at the end of the season, and while he was suffered an unfortunate injury at the very start of the national title game, he did enough in those last few games to up his draft stock. A speedy back with clean cuts and the ability to break tackles, Sermon could very well become a mid-round pick with huge upside.
PFN: No. 24 DE, No. 284 overall prospect
PFF: No. 109 overall prospect
Cooper had by far his best season at Ohio State this past year, and could have upped his draft stock with a strong showing at the Senior Bowl. After an injury cut his season short in 2019, Cooper bounced back in 2020 to finish with 3.5 sacks and a forced fumble in eight games, and was one of the Buckeyes’ most consistent defensive ends from start to finish. Against some of the nation’s top talent at the Senior Bowl, Cooper looked really good and impressed many of the NFL scouts in attendance. He will likely be a late-round pick, but don't be surprised if he works his way into the fourth or fifth round.
PFN: No. 21 ILB, No. 270 overall prospect
PFF: No. 265 overall prospect
PFN: No. 16 TE, No. 314 overall prospect
PFN: No. 30 ILB, No. 439 overall prospect
PFN: No. 1 P, No. 190 overall prospect
PFN: No. 3 K, No. 474 overall prospect