It is known as “The Game,” and when Michigan and Ohio State take the same football field, NFL talent can be found everywhere. Whether it is in the form of a top first-round selection, Day-2 starter or mid-round sub-package candidate, varying levels of prospects will be on the field at all times.
Let’s examine where these prospects will fit best at the next level.
Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State (TDN Rank: 1)
Outside of having a great quarterback, being able to affect QB play with top pass rushers is the most impactful way to win in today’s NFL. Chase Young is a blue-chip prospect with the traits and production to be an elite professional defensive end. Every team would benefit from Young’s production, but he is likely going to be selected as the second- or third-overall pick to a team that does not have a glaring need at quarterback.
Most realistic fit: New York Giants
Jeffery Okudah, CB, Ohio State (TDN Rank: 6)
Jeffery Okudah provided plenty of exciting flashes in 2018, and he has finally put it all together this season. He is an exciting man coverage cornerback with fluid hips, rapid feet, blazing speed, route mirroring ability, ball skills, physicality and size. While I do not think he is an ideal fit for zone-heavy defensive schemes, Okudah has the makings of a lockdown CB. He should be among the top-10 players off the board in April.
Most realistic fit: Jacksonville Jaguars
Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State (TDN Rank: 27)
A versatile corner, Shaun Wade can play outside or in the slot using a physical brand of football and showcasing impressive ball skills. He has been a dynamic blitzer, tackler and cover man for the Buckeyes, and his physical traits are impressive. Wade is a gifted prospect who should be considered a top-25 talent.
Most realistic fit: Kansas City Chiefs
J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State (TDN Rank: 49)
The hype for Big Ten running backs has been centered around Jonathan Taylor. While Taylor has been outstanding, another prospect promises top talent. J.K. Dobbins is a physical runner and has been effective inside and outside while showcasing an impressive receiving skill set. He has the makeup of an NFL starter and Day-2 pick.
Most realistic fit: Miami Dolphins
Joshua Uche, EDGE, Michigan (TDN Rank: 108)
One of my favorite sleeper picks in the rising DE class is Joshua Uche. He has mid-round steal written all over him. A bursty, bendy and explosive speed rusher, Uche puts considerable stress on offensive tackles to keep pace with him around the outside edge track. He is an effective gap shooter and has a chance to star in sub-packages at the next level.
Most realistic fit: Baltimore Ravens
Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan (TDN Rank: 110)
He may not be the most dynamic and shifty wide receiver, but Donovan Peoples-Jones is a big-play threat with his size, hands, body control, physicality and ball skills. He could be a solid value option after the first wave of WR prospects come off the board.
Most realistic fit: Indianapolis Colts
Ben Bredeson, IOL, Michigan (TDN Rank: 129)
Ben Bredeson is built like an offensive tackle but he projects most favorably to a role on the interior offensive line. Bredeson, who flashes both lateral mobility and power as a drive blocker, is a scheme-versatile player that could provide an NFL team a starting-caliber prospect in the middle rounds. He will enter the league with over 40 starts under his belt and an impressive frame.
Most realistic fit: Los Angeles Rams
K.J. Hill, WR, Ohio State (TDN Rank: 115)
K.J. Hill has enjoyed a record-setting career at Ohio State and has the makings of a top-three or -four option in the NFL. While he is not overly explosive in terms of play speed, and his ball skills can fail him, Hill is a smooth operator that is a detailed route runner. He would be a welcomed addition for a team that needs a receiver who can simply get open and catch the football with consistency.
Most realistic fit: Denver Broncos
Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State (TDN Rank: 124)
The talent has always been apparent for Damon Arnette but his play in 2017 and 2018 was plagued by inconsistency. He was able to put together an impressive senior year to become one of the nation’s most improved prospects. His size, ball skills and experience executing multiple coverage techniques make him a valuable target in the middle rounds.
Most realistic fit: Carolina Panthers
Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State (TDN Rank: 125)
Malik Harrison is not likely to be an every-down player at the next level, but his ability to attack downhill and work into the line of scrimmage makes him an appealing early-down gap plugger. He can stack and shed blocks and clear contact. Harrison is also a devastating finisher.
Most realistic fit: Green Bay Packers