Sunday, March 8, 2009

Buckeye Roll Call: 5 Locks and 11 Sleepers in the 2009 NFL Draft

by HD Handshoe

The 2009 NFL Draft could see as many as sixteen former Ohio State Buckeye players have their names called. Five are no-doubters, three of which are almost certainly guaranteed to be chosen in the 1st round.

After that, it's basically a crap-shoot as to where the chips may fall but I'll offer you my best educated guess as to how it may play out. Keep in mind, these are just guesses!

The most likely Buckeye to hear their name called first on draft day will be S/CB and 2008 Thorpe Award winner, Malcolm Jenkins.

He could break the top 10 with either Cleveland (No. 5 overall) or Green Bay (No. 9 overall), but will certainly be gone to New Orleans (No. 14 overall) if he drops down to them.

Next should be RB Chris 'Beanie' Wells. Teams that may show some interest in Wells are Cleveland (No. 5 overall), Jacksonville (No. 8 overall), Denver (No. 12 overall), New England (No. 23 overall), Philadelphia (No. 21 and No. 28 overall) and Arizona (No. 31 overall).

Linebacker James Laurinaitis will be the third, and likely last Buckeye to be picked in the first round. James was thought to be a top 10 pick had he entered the 2008 draft and he certainly did nothing to lessen his draft status, but based on team needs in this draft, he'll most likely be picked in the latter half of the first round.

Teams possibly considering Laurinaitis may include Green Bay (No. 9 overall), Denver (No. 12 overall), Chicago (No. 18 overall), New England (No. 23 overall), Miami (No. 25 overall) and New York Giants (No. 29 overall).

Wide receiver Brian Robiskie leads the list of Buckeyes who could find a new NFL home in round two. After an impressive workout at the NFL combine, he moved closer to the late first round, but won't quite make it that high. Teams interested in the 2nd could include Cleveland, St. Louis, Cincinnati, NY Giants, NY Jets, Indianapolis and Dallas.

Linebacker Marcus Freeman, CB Donald Washington, and WR Brian Hartline could also get some consideration in the 2nd round although I could see Freeman and Washington each going as low as the third or fourth and Hartline going anywhere from the third to the seventh round.

The best of the rest who may steal a spot in the draft (but could just as easily go undrafted) include DT Nadar Abdallah, QB Todd Boeckman, OL Alex Boone (especially given his recent off the field troubles.), OL Steve Rehring, TE Rory Nicol and PK Ryan Pretorius.

Running back Mo Wells, S Jamario O'Neal, and P A.J. Trapasso are probably on the outside looking during the draft, but may get looks as undrafted rookie free agents.

Whether they are drafted or not, I suspect all of these former Buckeyes will have a shot to make it.

The Buckeyes may have had recent struggles winning BCS bowl games, but one thing they haven't dropped off in is sending players to the pros.

2009 should be no exception!

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