Scouting the Big 10: Ohio State 

In what was an off year for Ohio State, the program had only three players drafted last April after a trio of Buckeyes were selected during the first round of the 2004 draft. The situation in NFL war rooms will be significantly improved in 2006 for Ohio State prospects.

Santonio Holmes looks like the next top receiver to come out of the program.  Solid in all aspects of the game, Holmes quickly releases off the line of scrimmage, immediately gets to top speed and displays the ability to stretch defenses.  Selling routes, he gets separation from opponents, displays good focus and consistently makes the reception away from his frame.  Offering good amount of upside, Holmes is a top 45 selection if he leaves for next April's draft.  Tackle Rob Sims is an athletic blocker on the blind side and another prospect with a good degree of upside.  Quick in all aspects, Sims jolts opponents at the point of attack, displays solid footwork sliding out to protect the edge and works hard until whistle blows.  Needing to improve his balance, Sims must learn to finish blocks as he is a narrow based player.  Also lacking prototypical tackle size, Sims may  project to offensive guard by some NFL-teams.  Center Nick Mangold is an explosive blocker with a great feel for the game.  Quickly getting into blocks, Mangold gets tremendous leverage on defenders which gives him a decided advantage, then seals opponents from the action.  Effective with the shotgun snap, he plays heads-up ball and works well with teammates.  Not a finisher, Mangold lacks the dominant base and has difficulty controlling opponents for any length of time.  Finally tight end Ryan Hamby is a solid pass catching threat who makes the difficult reception in a crowd.  Offering the quarterback a nice target, he consistently gets open and displays reliable hands.  Hamby shows a marginal playing strength and cannot finish off defenders blockers.

Ohio State has four draftable linebackers starting with AJ Hawk.  An explosive defender who forces the action, Hawk quickly fills gaps in run defense yet at the same time scrapes laterally making plays out to the sidelines.  Strong at the point, he defeats blocks on his way to the action and makes a lot of positive plays.  Also instinctive, Hawk does a solid job diagnosing the action and is effective covering the pass as well as defending the run.  A little too intense, Hawk does play out of control at times yet his passion for the game and physical skills make him a solid first round prospect at a number of linebacker positions.  Anthony Schlegel is an outstanding run defender who quickly diagnoses the action, takes good angles to play and displays a closing burst bearing down on ball handlers.  Scraping laterally through the trash, he flies around the action and works to make plays.  A bit stiff, Schlegel is a two down defender taken off the field on passing situations.  Bobby Carpenter is an instinctive linebacker who consistently puts himself in a position to make the play on the ball.  Quickly keying the action, he takes good angles to play and is very efficient.  Fast for the stopwatch, Carpenter hand times to a 4.52-40 yet does not always show that speed on the field nor play with great explosion.  Still, a prospect with outstanding size\speed numbers, Carpenter will be a top 60 pick in next April's draft.  Mike D'Andrea would start for most programs in the nation yet due to the quality and quantity at the Ohio State program, and a torn knee ligament suffered in '04, he's a backup linebacker for the Buckeyes.  Even with that D'Andrea is an explosive run defender who displays the ability to get off blocks and make a play on the ball carrier.  A two-down defender, D'Andrea will get looks by NFL scouts and has a definite possibilities at the next level.  Ohio State consistently puts quality defensive backs into the NFL and next April will be no different.  Safety Nate Salley is an explosive center fielder who displays awareness in coverage and immediately locates the ball.  Quick up the field, he is hard hitting in run support and rarely makes poor decisions.  Junior cornerback Ashton Youboty is technically sound, possessing excellent size and the ability to shut down opponents.  If he improves on his sophomore campaign it not unreasonable to think that Youboty could be an early first round pick should he enter the 2006 draft.

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