Ohio State Buckeyes Top NFL Prospects for 2012 and Beyond


The Ohio State Buckeyes are a team having one of the toughest offseasons in all of college football right now, but that didn’t stop the North Carolina Tar Heels from having one of the best groups of NFL talent to come along in recent memory. Now, we look to the Buckeys, who always feature a supremely talented roster, but face a lot of controversy. This is a team that could be BCS bound even with five players missing from the starting lineup because they violated NCAA and university rules.

Despite the controversy, this will be a team to watch in 2011, and they certainly don’t lack for NFL talent…

50 Mike Brewster (Senior), C, 6’5″ 305

Bar none, the best center prospect in the 2012 crop of players. Brewster is entering his fourth year as the starting center for the Buckeyes, and has been a rock for that offensive line. Former freshman All American and a technician on the offensive line. Enters his senior year after being considered a first round talent as a junior. Brewster will likely be the top ranked interior lineman heading into the 2012 draft barring injury, and there’s really not a whole lot you can say about him. He is solid as a rock, durable, reliable, smart, and he is a team leader. Add to that the requisite NFL size, and a degree from one of the most prestigious universities in the United States, and you have yourself a top of the line NFL prospect.

75 Mike Adams (Senior), OT, 6’8″ 305

After two pretty weak years where he struggled with injuries and inconsistency, Adams applied himself off the field and has become one of the top offensive tackle prospects in the country. After a season where he showed great talent and improvement, Adams made one of the worst mistakes of his football career by being part of the scandal of selling Rose Bowl rings and memorabilia. One bad instance does not define a player forever, but it certainly raises some red flags. As a result of his actions, Adams will face a five game suspension at the start of the season, and has likely lowered his draft stock considerably.

1 Dan Herron (RS Senior), RB, 5’10” 202

Another player who will be suspended to start the season is RB Dan Herron, a guy who had just a huge season for the Buckeyes last year. Herron finished the 2010 campaign with 1,155 yards on 216 carries with 16 touchdowns, and he also added 19 receptions. Aside from the apparent off-field concern, Herron is a nice combination of size, speed, vision, power, and quickness. He isn’t Adrian Peterson by any means, but Herron is the type of guy who can definitely grow and succeed in the NFL. Quicker than fast though when he gets into the open field he is hard to bring down. Not really a change of pace back, but a guy who can make plays for you. I would put him in the fourth round discussion at this point, though some have him rated higher. He has excellent agility, but is not a great zone or outside runner. Power runner between the tackles who is at his best in open space. Definitely the type of back that likes to stick his shoulder down and drive ahead rather than use finesse or speed.

8 DeVier Posey (Senior), WR, 6’2″ 215

Posey is one of the better big play wide receivers in the country, but like the last couple of guys on this list, he is also in for a five game suspension for the situation that has happened in Columbus. That is unfortunate, because with a big senior season, Posey had a chance to really be an asset to the Ohio State passing game, and he still has that chance, he will just have to wait until mid-season to do it. Posey is a big receiver with good hands and speed. He runs track for Ohio State, or has run track for them, and is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. One of the top senior receivers in this class, he has caught 113 passes over the last couple of years for 1,676 yards and 15 touchdowns. Big play guy who could easily be a second round pick in next year’s draft.

2 Terrelle Pryor (Senior), QB, 6’6″ 233

Another of the five Buckeyes who are suspended for the first five games of 2011. Pryor is the complete package at the quarterback position, and those who say he’s not one of the top senior quarterbacks in the country are just flat out wrong. Those who say he is best fit as a tight end or h-back in the NFL? There’s a word for those types of people–dumb. Pryor has one of the strongest arms in the country, and not only that, he improved almost EVERY facet of his passing game. He increased his completion percentage from 56.6 almost 10 percent to 65 percent on the season. He went from 18:11 touchdown to interception ratio to 27:11, a ratio that went from roughly 2:1 to 3:1. Despite only 28 more pass attempts in 2010 as he had in 2009, he threw for almost 700 more yards, going from 2,094 yards in 2009 to 2,772 yards in 2010. Pryor also had fewer sacks (19) than any other season in his collegiate career despite a career high in attempts, and the fact that he makes plays out of the pocket. Oh, and by the way, not only did Pryor significantly improve his passing numbers and efficiency as a junior, he also is one of the best dual threat quarterbacks in the country. Over the last three seasons, he has run for 754, 779, and 631 yards to go along with 17 touchdowns. Pryor has fantastic arm strength and the ability to keep plays alive, and I see no reason why if Cam Newton was the top overall pick in the draft that Pryor can’t be as well. He is as good as Newton is, perhaps even better. Unlike Newton, though, Pryor has been required to take snaps under center, and doesn’t run a spread offense like Newton does. Ohio State is a pro style program, and Pryor knows how to move the chains. He is a clutch player and a winner, who has two BCS Bowl victories to his name. If not for this foolish suspension, he would easily be one of the top Heisman candidates in the entire nation. If he can continue to improve his accuracy and decision making, he will be a great NFL quarterback, so long as he keeps his head on straight.

54 John Simon (Junior), DT, 6’2″ 270

One of the leaders of the Buckeye defense on the field and in the locker room. Smart, tough player who dedicates himself in the film room, and is one of the top performers in the weight room. Powerful defensive lineman who combines strength and athleticism. Definitely a little undersized for a defensive tackle prospect, so he will have to add some weight but he is certainly capable of that. I think he will likely return for his senior season in 2013, but definitely a hard worker and a name to watch.

11 Jake Stoneburner (Junior), TE, 6’5″ 245

Big, tall tight end prospect with solid athleticism. Had a decent season in his first year as a starter catching 21 passess for 22 yards and two touchdowns, but I expect him to be a big piece of the Ohio State offense in 2011. If he can add some weight and improve as a blocker, he might be one of the best junior  tight ends available in the 2012 crop of players.