Ohio State NFL Draft Preview

The NFL Draft kicks off in New York City and Ohio State is expected to end its three-year drought of not having a first round pick. Where will Ryan Shazier, Bradley Roby, Carlos Hyde and your favorite Buckeyes wind up? We've got you covered.

The 2014 NFL Draft kicks off tonight at Radio City Music Hall in New York City and Ohio State is looking to produce a first round pick for the first time since 2011. A recent rise in the draft stock of Ryan Shazier should bode well for the Buckeyes in that department tonight, but he won't be the last former Ohio State player to hear his name called this weekend.

With the draft being split into seven rounds over the course of three days, a number of former Buckeyes should find out where they'll be beginning their professional careers in the coming days. What follows is a guide of where Ohio State's draft hopefuls are slotted to be picked during the league's annual selection show.

Round 1

Shazier appears to be all but a lock to be a first round selection after an All-American season in 2013. Scout.com lists Shazier as its No. 17 prospect in this year's draft and mock draft's have him landing in the early 20s tonight.

A 4-3 scheme outside linebacker, Shazier doesn't exactly play a position at a premium in the draft, but his talent and production should be enough to take him off the board before the start of the second round. Potential landing spots for the Plantation, Fla. native include the Arizona Cardinals at No. 20, the Green Bay Packers at No. 21, the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 24 and the Denver Broncos at No. 31.

Shazier may not be the only former Buckeye taken on Thursday as cornerback Bradley Roby was also invited to New York for the draft's first round. Roby is ranked as Scout.com's No. 32 overall prospect in this year's draft, although he is one of the more polarizing players in the draft.

Viewed to be a lock to be a first round pick a year ago, Roby bounced back after an uneven junior season by wowing at the NFL Scouting Combine, where he ran an official 4.39 40-yard dash. Off-the-field issues, however, have clouded the opinion of some when it comes to Roby, who plead guilty to a charge of having control of a vehicle while under the influence last month.

Cornerback, however, is a premium position in the NFL and it wouldn't be a surprise if he were to be picked on Thursday night. Projected round landing spots for Roby include the St. Louis Rams (No. 13), the Bengals (No. 24), the San Diego Chargers (No. 25), the Cleveland Browns (No. 26) and the San Francisco 49ers (No. 30).

Rounds 2-3

If a running back were to sneak into the first round tonight, it would likely be Carlos Hyde, although recent trends show that Hyde will likely wind up in the second round. The Big Ten Running Back of the Year, Hyde is Scout.com's fourth-ranked running back and No. 55 overall prospect.

The Browns have been reported to have interest in Hyde and would likely be in position to take him with the No. 35 overall pick in the draft. In a three-round mock draft run by ESPN analysts Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr., Hyde was selected 42nd overall by the Tennessee Titans.

The fourth former Buckeye who should come off the board this weekend is offensive lineman Jack Mewhort, who played left tackle in his final two seasons at Ohio State, but possesses the ability to play all five positions on the offensive line. Scout.com ranks Mewhort as its 11th-ranked offensive tackle and No. 98 overall prospect.

In McShay and Kiper's joint mock, the Washington Redskins selected Mewhort with the second pick of the third round (No. 66 overall). Given his versatility and the need for offensive linemen in the league, the 6-6, 309-pounder could be a fit with just about any franchise.

Rounds 4-7

This is where things get trickier.

With the late rounds of the draft being more of a crapshoot, it's hard to project just how many more former Buckeyes will come off the board. At some point, it may even be preferable for a player to go undrafted so that he can choose for himself where he'll be spending his professional career.

Center Corey Linsley could find himself facing such conundrum as CBSSports.com ranks him as its No. 6 center and No. 227 overall prospect. CBSSports.com also projects that the Youngstown, Ohio native will be taken in either the sixth or seventh round.

Wide receiver Corey Brown could also come off the board in one of the later rounds, although the second-team All-Big Ten selection is just the 55th-ranked receiver in the draft, per CBS Sports. Kiper thinks slightly higher of Brown, ranking him as his No. 51 wideout.

Last year, 28 wide receivers were taken in the draft.

Kiper also ranks safety C.J. Barnett as his No. 28 safety and Christian Barnett as his 44th-ranked safety. A year ago, 23 safeties were selected in the draft.

Andrew Norwell measures in as Kiper's No. 22 guard and Marcus Hall came in as his 34th-ranked player at the position. It appears as though Norwell has an outside chance of being a late round pick as in 2013, 18 offensive guars were chosen over the course of seven rounds.

Perhaps the player with the most support behind him from the Ohio State fanbase is backup quarterback Kenny Guiton. The Houston, Texas native is Kiper's 19th-ranked signal caller, while CBS Sports ranks him 10 spots lower at No. 29.

It's unlikely Guiton will be selected -- just 11 quarterbacks were a season ago -- but he should find himself on a training camp roster this summer.

Then again, all it takes is one team to take a chance.

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