COLUMBUS, Ohio – While more than a dozen former Buckeyes wait for the phone to ring, the Browns and Bengals will go looking for the players that will help them take a step up during this weekend’s NFL Draft.
NFL Draft Thurs. May 8 – Sat., May 10, Radio City Music Hall.
-Live coverage: ESPN/ NFL Network
1st Round Thursday (8:00 p.m.)
2nd/3rd Rounds Friday (7:00 p.m.)
Rounds 4-7 Saturday (12:00 noon)
There are 16 former Ohio State players who have made themselves available for the draft, four of them projected by NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock to be selected with the first 100 picks: LB Ryan Shazier is projected as the No. 18 pick, cornerback Bradley Roby is No. 25, Carlos Hyde is Maycock’s No. 31 pick and the No. 2 running back and OL Jack Mewhort is No. 59.
The other 12 Buckeyes who will be available during the draft or as free agents:
OL – Corey Linsley, Andrew Norwell, Marcus Hall, George Makridis
WR/PR – Corey Brown and Chris Fields
DB – C.J. Barnett, Christian Bryant, Corey Brown
RB – Jordan Hall
QB – Kenny Guiton
K- Drew Basil
Ohio State’s 67 NFL first-round picks is second-most among all universities and OSU ranks third with 405 total draft selections.
Unable to resolve their biggest need since their expansion return 15 years ago, the Browns are expected to use one of their two first-round picks Thursday night on a quarterback.
For months, the Browns have analyzed college quarterbacks as if they were looking to buy a new house. They’ve inspected each thoroughly, measured them, timed them, interviewed them, checked and double-checked their backgrounds to find out if one can lift them from NFL irrelevance.
Will they choose Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, the dynamic mystery man in this year’s draft, at No. 4? Or will they wait until No. 26 and grab one of the QBs likely to slide such as Derek Carr or Teddy Bridgewater. Or get a second-tier QB like Aaron Murray or A.J. McCarron?
And then what? Since the 1999 return, the Browns have drafted seven quarterbacks – Tim Couch, Spergon Wynn, Luke McCown, Charlie Frye, Brady Quinn, Colt McCoy and Brandon Weeden – none of whom have turned into the kind of star the team needed at the position.
During their 15 years of failing to make the playoffs, the Bengals drafted players to start right away and turn things around. It never worked out that way.
With three consecutive postseason appearances, they’ve finally gotten themselves to the point where they don’t need someone to be an overnight star. Instead, they’ll be looking long term and trying to add to their depth during the three days of the NFL draft this week.
They’ll likely bolster the cornerback group and the defensive line, which have been sapped by injuries and free agency. They might draft a quarterback in a later round, although they remain firmly committed to Andy Dalton as the starter.
The Bengals pick 24th in the first round Thursday.