NFL Draft season is always an exciting time for Ohio State. More often than not, a Buckeye will hear their name called on day one. Hell, we usually hear a Buckeye’s name called in the first ten minutes (taking commercials into consideration). In 2016, we saw Joey Bosa get picked No. 3 overall, followed by Ezekiel Elliott at No. 4. In 2017, Marshon Lattimore went eleventh overall and then Denzel Ward was picked No. 4 overall the following year. In 2019, Nick Bosa was the second overall pick, and in 2020, Chase Young kept the No. 2 trend going followed by Jeff Okudah at No. 3. Ohio State is called an “NFL Pipeline” for a reason, and this year’s draft class will be no exception.
It’s hard to keep up with all of the draft mocks, rumors and predictions surrounding the Buckeyes’ draftees (because, again, there’s a lot of them), so in our new series Path to the Draft, we’ll tell you where each player is projected to land, what the experts, scouts and teams are saying, how they’ll fit into certain schemes and everything else worth knowing about his, well, path to the draft.
Next up: Wyatt Davis
Pro Football Focus has the former Ohio State guard ranked as the No. 35 overall player and No. 1 at his position in this year’s draft class. Davis redshirted during his true freshman season, with his first two starts coming in the 2018 Big Ten Championship Game and the 2019 Rose Bowl. He ultimately proved to be a dominant presence on the Buckeyes’ interior line, resulting in him being named first team All-Big Ten and an All-American twice (2019, 2020), as well as Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2020.
Davis’ only downfall when it comes to the NFL draft is one he has no control over—he’s a guard. And when an NFL team is looking to build its offensive line, they’re more likely to prioritize their offensive tackle and center positions before they use a pick on a guard. Does Davis deserve to go high based on his on-field performances? For sure. And if a team needs a guard badly enough, he’ll almost definitely be the first one off the board. The question is, when will that be?
Let’s take a look at some of the teams that are most likely to pick Davis, when they’re expected to take him and what the experts have to say about the Buckeye All-American.
Anthony Treash from Pro Football Focus has Davis falling to the Seahawks at No. 56 near the end of the second round. The Seahawks are in need of a boost in their interior offensive line, however Treash notes Davis’ knee injury makes him a “high-risk type of pick.”
“It’s no secret that Russell Wilson is upset with Seattle’s brass for giving him a below-average offensive line year after year. While some of the hits and sacks he takes are on him, there are improvements to be made up front — specifically along the interior offensive line. Davis is a high-risk, high-reward type of pick. He has a knee issue that caused him to go down several times in 2020, but Davis was clearly one of the best pass-protecting interior offensive linemen in college football the year prior. He logged 459 pass-block snaps in 2019 and did not allow a single sack or hit on the quarterback. The physical skill set is there. The only question is, can he stay healthy?”
Treash is seemingly one of few draft analysts to be so worried about Davis’ knee that he dropped him all the way to 56. I don’t expect it to effect his draft stock at all, especially if he performs as expected during Ohio State’s pro day on March 30.
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was sacked 29 times last season and eight times in the playoffs, thus, general manager Eric DeCosta said he’s making it a point to improve the team’s offensive line this offseason.
FanNation’s Todd Karpovich believes Davis could start immediately, and that his athleticism, strength and mobility would “complement Jackson’s skill set and bring toughness to the Ravens offensive line.”
“Davis is projected to be a late first-round pick or early second-round pick, meaning he will be available when the Ravens take the 27th overall selection. Baltimore needs to boost its interior offensive line and Davis would be a huge addition. The Ravens never fully recovered from the loss of right guard Marshal Yanda last season and Davis can begin to help fill that void.”
J.K. Dobbins behind Davis? Yes please.
While he doesn’t believe Davis is versatile enough to play tackle or center, Braden Holecek of Full Press Coverage said Davis may be appealing to the Chiefs as they need to fix their interior line ASAP.
“Davis would also fit Kansas City’s zone blocking scheme. Not having to alter too much of his attack while blocking, would likely be better for him, given where he is currently at as a prospect. Davis is one of the more controlling blockers in this year’s class in the run game. Moreover, he is just as confident as a pass blocker. Seeing what kind of pass block assignments he handled while at Ohio State, actually transitions him well for an offensive playbook like the Kansas City Chiefs run.”
Draft Wire expects the Chiefs to use their first pick (No. 31) on Davis. However, Charles Goldman of Chiefs Wire disagrees, saying a guard might not be what the Chiefs need.
“Both Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz are in the final year of their respective contracts. Given the Achilles injury to Fisher and the uncertainty surrounding the future of Schwartz, the Chiefs might opt to add a tackle for insurance. With guys like Samuel Cosmi (34 to NYJ), Dillon Radunz (36 to MIA) and Liam Eichenberg (44 to DAL) still on the board at this pick, I’d have to think they grab one of those players instead.”