Ohio State has become a NFL pipeline under Urban Meyer. Last season, the Buckeyes had two players selected in the first round in Denzel Ward and Billy Price. Now, the Buckeyes will look to continue sending elite talent to the NFL. Here are five players that could potentially become first round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Will linebacker Malik Harrison:
Only a 3-star recruit from Walnut Ridge High when he committed to Ohio State, Malik Harrison has done nothing but defy expectations. In his freshman season, Harrison only totaled 13 tackles and a sack. However, last season, Harrison vastly improved his production and finished with 36 tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks and one pass deflected.
Harrison stepped up big time for an injured linebacker unit last season. This season, Harrison is expected to be one of the leaders of that unit. Harrison is a freak athlete too, his vertical leap will certainly turn some heads at the NFL Combine if he skips his senior season.
Cornerback Damon Arnette:
Damon Arnette is one of the most underappreciated players on this roster. Last season, Arnette proved to be a viable starter and accounted for two interceptions in 2017. Arnette proved valuable in the nickle too, usually covering slot receivers last season.
The cornerback is not afraid to get his nose dirty as he led all cornerbacks with 44 tackles in 2017. Arnette still has to improve his technique, but if he has a dominant 2018, there is no reason why he could not sneak into the late first round of the draft.
Safety Jordan Fuller:
Jordan Fuller was a 4-star athlete from Old Tappan High School where he played quarterback and led his team to a state championship. At Ohio State, it was unclear what position he would fit into at the college level but last season Fuller made it clear that safety was his home. In his first season as a starter, Fuller recorded three interceptions.
Fuller is a gifted athlete which allows him to get away with some technical flaws at the college level, although the most refined defensive back on this roster, Fuller still needs to improve his coverage skills and needs to be a factor in stopping the run game. He has first round pick written all over him if he can prove he can lead this Ohio State secondary.
Defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones:
Dre’Mont Jones had the option to declare for the NFL Draft last season, where Mel Kiper listed him as the eighth best defensive tackle. Jones decided to return to Ohio State where he will be on of the leaders on the defensive line.
Currently, Jones is projected as a first round pick by experts. Jones has the size and strength to play in the NFL, but his one career sack in two seasons is concerning for a player of his caliber.
Defensive end Nick Bosa:
Nick Bosa has been projected as the No. 1 overall player in the 2019 NFL Draft by some experts. Bosa has it all the size, speed, power and pedigree. The only thing Bosa needs to add to the resume is a dominant 2018 season.
He has been called a better player than his brother Joey Bosa, but Nick will have to increase his sack totals in order to convince scouts of that.
Last season, Bosa recorded 8.5 sacks, but those numbers are expected to skyrocket this season as he will no longer be in a rotation.
At the very least, Bosa will be a top ten pick come April.