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How many draft picks will Ohio State produce in 2020?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 29 Ohio State at Penn State Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Last Spring, Ohio State had nine players selected in the 2019 NFL Draft — just one player away from tying Alabama for the most. Of those nine, two were drafted by the Redskins — QB Dwayne Haskins and receiver Terry McLaurin.

Related: Alabama could break it’s own record for total draft picks in a single NFL Draft

While studying quarterback Dwayne Haskins, I wrote “Ohio State goes six deep at WR, with around five being legitimate NFL prospects. Collectively, they supply Haskins with an enviable blend of deep speed, yards after catch, and contested catch abilities.”

If Haskins and wide receiver Terry McLaurin end up proving their worth, could the Redskins go back to the well again in 2020?

If they do, they could be selecting from among the following players.

1. Chase Young, DE/OLB, 6’5/265, Jr. (1st Round)

Pro Football Focus ranked him 5th in their The top 50 NCAA players for 2019.

PFF explains:

“No edge defender brought in more total pressures a season ago. Over the past two seasons, he’s won 19.4% of his pass-rush attempts and recorded a pressure on 17.0% of his snaps, both of which are top-10 figures among active edge defenders.”

Young came to Columbus as a consensus 5-star prospect and one of the Top-10 high school players in the nation. As a true freshman, Young contributed 19 tackles on the season, including 6.0 tackles-for-loss and 3.5 quarterback sacks.

Young wasn’t supposed to be the man at Ohio State last season, as defensive end Nick Bosa was expected to play at an All-American level in 2018. However, things changed early for the Young and the rest of the Buckeyes’ defense when Bosa 2.0 decided to shut it down for the season after suffering an abdominal injury.

Big Ten Championship - Northwestern v Ohio State Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

In his absence, Young finished with 34 tackles with 15.5 tackles for a loss, 10.5 sacks (tied for the Big Ten lead), five passes broken up and two forced fumbles.

At 6’5” and 265, Young has a blend of speed and power resembling Montez Sweat. In fact, Young resembles Montez Sweat physically, as each player sports an angular frame with relatively think legs. Young could be the first non-quarterback selected in the 2020 NFL Draft.

2. Jeffery Okudah, Cornerback, 6’1/200, Jr. (1st Round)

Like Chase Young, Okudah also was a consensus 5-star prospect and one of the Top-10 high school recruits in the nation. Also, like Young, Okudah may leave Columbus as a Top-10 draft pick.

At roughly six feet and 200 pounds, Okudah has the look of the the prototypical NFL cornerback. Similar to former Buckeyes’ corners Marshon Lattimore and Gareon Conley, Okudah has exceptional length and speed, and excels at press-man coverage.

As a sophomore in 2018, Okudah had 34 tackles and eight pass break-ups.

NCAA Football: Cotton Bowl-Ohio State vs Southern California Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

His performance in Ohio State’s Rose Bowl victory against Washington showed why Okudah was the top-rated cornerback in his recruiting class. Despite having yet to intercept a pass at Ohio State, Okudah has a chance to jump to the NFL with a strong junior year.

Click here to read: Jeffrey Okudah’s Rose Bowl Performance previews seemingly inevitable breakout season

3. J.K. Dobbins, Running Back, 5’9/217, Jr. (2nd Round)

Once upon a time, Ohio State’s Mike Weber was considered a top prospect entering the 2017 season, but injuries opened the door for Dobbins, who set the Buckeyes program record for rushing yards by a true freshman, with 1,403 yards (seven touchdowns, 7.2 YPC). Last season, as Ohio State transitioned to more of a pass first offense under Dwayne Haskins, Dobbins YPC dropped to 4.6 (1,053 yards and 10 touchdowns).

Rotoworld’s Hayden Winks adds that Dobbins has caught 48-of-56 career targets for 398 yards with just 2 drops. Winks writes, “Ohio State will sometimes put Dobbins at receiver (slot and wideout) and half of his targets last year were beyond the line of scrimmage, something that’s really rare for a college running back.”

I can say that watching Dobbins on film is like watching a pinball machine, as he bounces off would-be tacklers. He runs with a good forward lean and finishes runs by falling forward.

Like most Ohio State prospects, he is expected to test well at the NFL Combine. Dobbins’ high school SPARQ scores included running a 4.44 second forty time and a 43.1-inch vertical jump.

Draft analyst Tony Pauline gave Harrison a first round grade over the summer, which may be a little optimistic given the strength of the 2020 running backs class.

4. Jordan Fuller, Safety, 6’2/205, Sr. (Round 2-3)

Fuller surprised most when he announced he was returning for his senior season. He is a returning captain and was one of the more productive players on the defense each of the past two seasons.

Fuller tied Harrison for the team lead in tackles last season with 81 (Fuller led the team with 61 solo stops). He also had 2.5 tackles-for-loss, one interception, two fumble recoveries and four pass break-ups.

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl Game-Ohio State vs Washington Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

After starting 2017 as the “boundary” safety, who plays deeper in the Buckeyes’ scheme, in 2018 Fuller was playing “field safety”, which came with more coverage responsibilities. It was an adjustment that Fuller struggled with last season. Most insiders expect Ohio State to play play a lot of single high coverages in 2019, with Fuller being the lone deep safety.

At 6-foot-2 and 204 pounds, Fuller possesses ideal safety size. He has experience playing both close to the line in man-coverage situations, and also being the deep center fielder and last line of defense.

5. Malik Harrison, Linebacker, 6’3/251, Sr. (Round 2-4)

In 2018, Harrison led all OSU defenders with 865 snaps. He tied Jordan Fuller for the team lead in tackles with 81, including 8.5 tackles-for-loss, with 2.5 sacks, and one interception.

Draft analyst Tony Pauline gave Harrison a second round grade over the summer, while Dane Brugler ranked him as his 6th Senior LB prospect.

6. Thayer Munford, Offensive Tackle, 6’6/313, Jr. (Round 2-3)

Munford started 13 games for Ohio State in 2018, and played the most snaps of anyone on the team who is returning in 2019. However, he missed the Rose Bowl with a back injury that required surgery in January and was held out of spring practice.

With Washington potentially needing a new left tackle, Munford is one to watch.

Not everyone is on board. Draft analyst Tony Pauline stamped Munford with just a third round grade, while his counterpart Dane Brugler ranked him as just his ninth underclassmen offensive tackle.

I feel the best is yet to come for Munford, who is still just 19 years old entering his junior season. He will be the only full-time returning starter on the Buckeyes’ offensive line, and has all the tools to be a star when he’s fully healthy.

7. Damon Arnette, Cornerback, 6’0/195, Red-Shirt Senior, (Round 2-4)

Per PFF, Arnette logged 584 defensive snaps, had 40 tackles, one interception and six passes broken up in 2018. He enters his final season with 25 starts.

NCAA Football: Big Ten Championship-Ohio State vs Wisconsin Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State corners are not supposed to stay four seasons, but Arnette is entering his fifth season in Columbus. Many around the Buckeyes’ program were expecting Arnette to move onto the NFL with Okudah and red-shirt sophomore Shawn Wade emerging as OSU’s top corners, but Ohio State alum, and NFL Hall of Fame receiver, Chris Carter has known Arnette since he was a young child, and advised him to return for his final season.

8. K.J. Hill, Wide Receiver, 6’0/198, RS-Sr. (Round 3-4)

Hill doesn’t have the game-breaking speed of Curtis Samuel, Parris Campbell, or Terry McLaurin, but has had the Buckeyes’ most reliable hands since the days of Michael Thomas.

Hill led Ohio State in receptions with 56 in 2017, and was second on the team to Campbell with 68 receptions on 93 targets (73.1 %catch rate) in 2018.

Seemingly everyone thought Hill was going to head to the NFL in the ‘18 draft, with some in the draft media projecting him as high as the second round.

Three of Ohio State’s top four receivers from last season have graduated, leaving Hill as OSU’s top returning pass catcher, and he only needs 48 catches to pass David Boston (191) as Ohio State’s career leader in receptions.

Additionally, Hill was Ohio State’s primary punt returner in 2018, but isn’t really very explosive in that role.

Rotoworld’s Hayden Winks points out that 80% of Hill’s receptions from last year were within 10 yards of the LOS before summarizing that “Hill profiles as a starting-caliber slot receiver with somewhat limited upside given his age, athleticism, production, and route tree.”

9. Austin Mack, Wide Receiver, 6’2/215, Sr. (Round 4-5)

Mack came to Ohio State as a top-100 prospect in the 2016 class, and received some Michael Thomas comparisons due to his size and playing style. He has shown a knack for making the higher degree of difficulty catches, and is said to be a more explosive athlete than Hill.

There were flashes last year of what some felt Mack was going to be from the start, but injuries and inconsistency have tempered expectations.

Mack was formerly a roommate of Dwayne Haskins, which could make Mack a nice day three selection for the Redskins.

Mack enters his senior season with just 52 career receptions for 689 yards with three scores. He is coming off a serious foot injury, and is moving from the “X” (split-end) to the “Z” (flanker) position for the 2019 season.

10. Robert Landers, Defensive Tackle, 6’0/285, RS-Sr. (Round 5-7)

Now a veteran of 39 games, Landers started 11 of 14 games last season. For his career, he has 51 total tackles, 17.5 tackles-for-loss, a forced fumble and three quarterback hurries.

An undersized NT, Landers’ low center of gravity allows him to win the leverage battle against most offensive linemen in college, but he is a fringe NFL prospect.

11. Tuf Borland, Inside Linebacker, 6’0/230, RS-Jr. (Round 5-7)

Borland came to Ohio State as a 4-star outside linebacker prospect and has played in every game for the past two seasons. Borland suffered a ruptured Achillies in March of 2018, but did not miss a game for the Buckeyes during the ‘18 season.

Now a fourth-year junior, Borland had nine starts as a freshman in 2017 and 11 in 2018. Loved by the coaches, Borland was named a captain prior to the 2018 season, and finished third on the team with 67 tackles.

Michigan v Ohio State Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

He was given a third round grade by draft analyst, Tony Pauline, but I am not so sure. Each of the past two seasons, Ohio State has gone out of it’s way to get Borland off the field in obvious passing situations, and that is not expected to change this season. Folks close to the program expect Baron Browning (6’3/248, Jr.) and Teradja Mitchell (6’2/242, Soph.) to make a push for Borland’s starting position.

12. Rashod Berry, Tight End, 6’4/255, RS-Sr. (Round 6-7)

Ohio State actually has three players who could start at tight end, including Luke Farrell and Jeremy Ruckert, but I am predicting Berry will have the most impact in 2019.

Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual - Washington v Ohio State Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Berry is an explosive athlete, who is said to be among the best on the team, but he has been relegated to being just a rotational player during his time at Ohio State. Now a fifth-year senior, Berry has one final shot to prove he is worth a draft pick.

13. Demario McCall RB/WR/KR, 5’9/195, Sr. (Round 6-UDFA)

McCall might be the player left on the team with the closest skill set required to qualify for the “Percy Harvin position” (also filled by Braxton Miller, Curtis Samuel, and Parris Campbell), but that position may have left with Urban Meyer’s retirement.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 01 Rose Bowl - Washington v Ohio State Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

McCall enters his final season with under 1000 all-purpose yards, but could see a bigger role as a 3rd down back in addition to his kickoff return duties.

14. Brendon White, Safety, 6’2/215, Jr. (Round 5-7)

Seeing little playing time early in the year, White then capped the 2018 season by being named the defensive MVP in the Rose Bowl. He is expected to man Ohio State’s new “Bullet” position, which is similar to Michigan’s “Viper” OLB/S hybrid that Jabrill Peppers made famous.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 01 Big Ten Championship Game - Northwestern v Ohio State Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

He also has NFL bloodlines; he is the son of William White, who played eleven years in the NFL.

While White improved throughout last season, he may not be a starter in 2019, and his role is unclear. He seems unlikely to declare with another season of eligibility remaining.