LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 14: Defensive lineman Nick Bosa #97 of the Ohio State Buckeyes rushes offensive lineman Brenden Jaimes #76 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers* of the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium on October 14, 2017 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)
Photo: Steven Branscombe/Getty Images
Photo: Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

NFL Draft: Ohio State players expected to be called early and often

The 2019 NFL Draft is set for later this week in Nashville.

The festivities begin Thursday night with the first round, continue Friday night with the second and third rounds then conclude Saturday with round 4-7.

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Ohio State figures to be part of the narrative in the Music City all three days.

Here are five things to know about OSU and the 2019 draft:

1. There should not be a long wait for the first Buckeye to hear his name called.

Nick Bosa was the popular projection to be the No. 1 pick for a year or more despite a season-ending injury in September.

That changed when Kyler Murray, the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback from Oklahoma, decided he would give football a try rather than join the Oakland A’s organization.

Bosa remains the near-unanimous choice to be the No. 2 pick, which belongs to the San Francisco 49ers.

“There are a handful of plays where he's triple teamed and he'll crawl to the quarterback, like he just finds a way to get it done,” NFL.com draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said on a recent conference call with reporters. “But look, if you want somebody that can win early with speed, he can overpower you. He's outstanding with his hands. The effort is off the charts." 

Ohio State defensive end is a candidate to be the No. 1 overall pick.

2. Dwayne Haskins is on deck for Thursday night, too.

After just one year as the starting quarterback in Columbus, declared in January with the hope of being the first quarterback taken and a top five pick overall. 

Since then, Murray Mania not only caused Haskins to be somewhat overlooked but created some doubt about whether or not the former Buckeye will even be taken in the top 10. 

Additionally, Duke’s Daniel Jones and Missouri’s Drew Lock have been the subject of some buzz recently, but at this point it is hard to tell what is true and what is smokescreen created by teams trying to keep opponents off their trail. 

Haskins could go as high as No. 6 to the New York Giants with Denver (picking 10th), Cincinnati (11th) and Washington (15th) all popular picks as potential destinations.

Ohio State quarterback says he showed enough on film in one season as a starter to be a franchise QB at the next level.

3. Bosa is scheduled to be at the draft, but Haskins is not.

Some wondered if Haskins’ decision to spend draft night with his family (reminiscent of former Browns left tackle Joe Thomas) was an indication his stock was falling earlier this month, but coach Ryan Day said that was always his plan.

“He just wanted to be with his family, and he’s got a big family, a lot of supporters, so I think he wanted to do something back home,” Day said. "I think that’s something he always wanted to do.” 

Meanwhile, Larry Johnson will also represent the Buckeyes at the draft.

The Ohio State defensive line coach is widely credited for helping Bosa develop a diverse repertoire of pass-rush moves that combined with his physical gifts have teams salivating at the chance to add him to their roster. 

4. Another three or four players could be taken on night two.

Mock drafts move from noteworthy to not worth much at all beyond the first round (and perhaps the first half of the first round), but those who do them see as many as four Ohio State players being drafted in the second or third round: receivers Terry McLaurin and Parris Campbell, defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones and offensive lineman Michael Jordan.

McLaurin was widely viewed as a draft season winner, shooting up draft boards with a great week at the Senior Bowl then working out well at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis a few weeks later. 

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There have been reports of first-round chatter for him, but he could also last much longer. Pro Football Focus rates McLaurin the No. 68 player in the draft, 28 spots ahead of Campbell, who was more productive at Ohio State and ran faster at the combine.

Jones is PFF’s No. 62 player while Jordan ranks No. 123. 

5. Several Buckeyes should have busy Saturdays.

Pro Football Focus has nine Ohio State players in its top 150.

Aside from those already mentioned, offensive tackle Isaiah Prince is No. 165 followed by running back Mike Weber (219) and cornerback Kendall Sheffield (245).

That trio could conceivably be taken at any point on day three with the unpredictability being tied to their positions.

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Prince is a former four-star prospect who plays a premium position but was somewhat inconsistent in college. The same is true of Sheffield, except he was once considered a five-star talent and an injury at the combine prevented him from being able to work out in full for teams until earlier this month.

Weber, on the other hand, plays a position that has become somewhat commoditized with the NFL becoming more of a passing league, though he had a good combine.

Johnnie Dixon, a speedy receiver, could also be a late pick, while a handful of other Ohio State products are likely to sign free agent deals. 

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