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Zach's Draft Corner: Potential Playoff Scenarios/What to Watch

November 30, 2018

 

 

 

Welcome to Zach’s Draft Corner, where it’s always amateur hour.

 

We’ve reached conference championship weekend, and the playoff picture is anything but settled.  There is no professional sport where a subjective ranking of teams defines who gets the opportunity to play for the sport’s biggest championship, but that’s the world of college football (and basketball, but to a much lesser extent).  Conference championships are said to matter a great deal in determining who makes it to the playoff, but as with any subjective ranking, it’s tough knowing how much to take them into account.  In my evaluation, there are seven teams with a realistic shot at making the playoff.  Let’s start with the easiest team to peg…

University of Notre Dame

 

Notre Dame is 12-0 and has played as difficult a schedule as teams within a real conference (wins over Michigan, Stanford, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Northwestern, USC, among others).  Notre Dame doesn’t play in a conference, and therefore has no conference championship this weekend.  They finished their season 12-0, and the only time an undefeated Notre Dame will be left out of the playoff is if there are four undefeated conference winners ahead of them.  This year, we have a maximum of two of those, meaning Notre Dame is in. They are ranked 3rd and have no threat of losing this week.  Write their name down in pen, as they are in for every scenario.  From here on out, assume we have six teams vying for three spots.

University of Alabama

 

Status - 12-0, facing 11-1 Georgia (4) in SEC Championship, ranked #1

Losses - None

Key Wins - vs. (19) Texas A&M (45-23), vs. (22) Missouri (39-10), at (10) LSU (29-0), vs. (18) Mississippi State (24-0)

 

If they win

 

The SEC championship is easy.  The winner between Alabama and Georgia is in, and the loser will need some help.  In our scenario here, if Alabama wins, it doesn't matter what else happens.  They are in, and maintain their position as the best team in the country.

 

If they lose

 

It's hard to envision a scenario where Alabama loses, but let's consider it.  This means Georgia wins, and spots 1through 3 include some order of Notre Dame and Georgia.  Let's assume Clemson, Oklahoma, and Ohio State all win.  This is the most interesting scenario that has a chance of happening, because we can truly see how the committee values conference championships.  

 

Clemson would automatically be in, leaving Alabama, Oklahoma, and Ohio State all with 12-1 records.  The Playoff Committee has already put an 11-1 Alabama in over an undefeated Central Florida, so let’s just forget about them.  Alabama would have a loss by some margin to one of the top three teams in the country (Georgia).  Oklahoma would have a loss to a top-25 team by a mere 3 points (Texas), which they avenged in the Big 12 Championship game.  Ohio State would have a loss to an unranked Purdue by 29 points. Would the committee take Alabama's loss as being the "best loss", overlooking their lack of a conference championship and realizing that Alabama would likely wipe the floor clean with Oklahoma and Ohio State?  Or would the committee see that the records are the same, but Oklahoma gets in as a result of them having a conference championship?  It's hard to tell, but a 12-1 Alabama getting into the playoff over two 12-1 conference champions may be the push we need to get an eight-team playoff.  Regardless, we’d truly be able to see what the Playoff Committee thinks of conference championships.

Clemson University

 

Status - 12-0, facing 7-5 Pitt (unranked) in ACC Championship, ranked #2

Losses - None

Key Wins - at (19) Texas A&M (28-26)

 

If they win

 

This one is also pretty easy.  If Clemson wins, they are in.  No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

 

If they lose

 

It's tough to make a case for Clemson getting in with a loss.  They are talented, for sure.  They would only have one loss, and could have a record that matches other conference champions.  However, their only win against a currently ranked team is a game they barely squeaked out against Texas A&M, and they would have a loss to an unranked team on their resume.  Unless the world burns on Saturday, Clemson is likely out of the playoff with a loss (more on this later)

University of Georgia

 

Status - 11-1, facing 12-0 Alabama (1) in SEC Championship, ranked #4

Losses - at (10) LSU (36-16)

Key Wins - at (22) Missouri (43-29), vs. (9) Florida (36-17, neutral site), at (15) Kentucky (34-17)

 

If they win

 

As described above, if Georgia beats Alabama, they are in.  No questions.

 

If they lose

 

Assuming that two of Clemson, Oklahoma, Ohio State, and Central Florida win on Saturday, it's tough to envision a scenario where a 2-loss team without a conference championship makes it in over a 1-loss Power 5 conference champion or an undefeated "Next 5" conference champion.  In all likelihood, although they will have two "good" losses on their resume, Georgia needs to win in order to move on.  There’s still a chance, though.

University of Oklahoma

 

Status - 11-1, facing 9-3 Texas (14) in Big 12 Championship, ranked #5

Losses - vs. (14) Texas (48-45, neutral site)

Key Wins - at (23) Iowa State (37-27), at (16) West Virginia (59-56)

 

If they win

 

Now we reach the first team that needs help to make it into the playoff, even if they do win.  The easiest path for Oklahoma to get in the playoffs is for Alabama to beat Georgia and either Pittsburgh to beat Clemson or Northwestern to beat Ohio State.  This leaves Oklahoma without much competition for one of the remaining two spots.  This is because an undefeated Clemson would certainly take one of the two remaining spots over a one-loss Oklahoma.  That leaves us with a comparison of Oklahoma and Ohio State.

 

Oklahoma's three-point loss to Texas is much better than Ohio State's 29-point loss to Purdue, which is why Oklahoma is in the driver’s seat right now.  However, Ohio State's two best wins are both better than Oklahoma's two best wins.  If Ohio State blows out Northwestern by some ungodly score and Oklahoma barely scrapes past Texas, it's foreseeable that the committee could have Ohio State jump Oklahoma into the fourth spot vacated by the loser of the SEC Championship.  Oklahoma not only needs to win, but they also need to stomp on the throat of Texas before taking Lucille to their head like they are Negan and Texas is Abraham.

 

If they lose

 

It's all but certain that Oklahoma is out with a loss here.  Unless, of course, something crazy happens…

Ohio State University

 

Status - 11-1, facing 8-4 Northwestern (21) in Big Ten Championship, ranked #6

Losses - at Purdue (49-20)

Key Wins - at (12) Penn State (27-26), vs. (7) Michigan (62-39)

 

If they win

 

I touched on this above, but Ohio State also needs help.  A similar scenario of Alabama beating Georgia and either Pittsburgh beating Clemson or Texas beating Oklahoma is their easiest path into the playoff.  Ohio State's good wins, though, give them a chance to jump Oklahoma for the final spot even if they all win.  Ohio State needs to hope for a close battle in Arlington, while they need to demolish Northwestern.  I'm talking going full Kurt Cobain on their Northwestern guitar.  I'm talking pillaging Evanston, Illinois like they are Mongols.  Ohio State needs absolute devastation on Saturday.  Anything less will be unacceptable.

 

If they lose

 

Bye-bye, Buckeye.  But don't worry.  Urban Meyer will just forget this season like he forgets everything else that is important.

University of Central Florida

 

Status - 12-0, facing 8-4 Memphis in AAC Championship, ranked #8

Losses - None

Key Wins - No victories against ranked teams

 

If they win

 

Oh lord almighty, please let Central Florida grab the fourth spot in the playoffs.  If Alabama beats Georgia, Texas beats Oklahoma, and Northwestern beats Ohio State, the committee absolutely has to let Central Florida in.  You would have three two-loss, non-conference champions, and an undefeated conference champion (even if they played nobody of merit in the season).  There is no way the Playoff Committee, in their right mind, could keep UCF out in this scenario.

 

Even if one of Oklahoma or Ohio State wins and Clemson loses, Central Florida should get in, as they would have one key element:  They beat Pittsburgh, and Clemson didn't.  All I know is that I want to see the battle of the two 2017-18 National Champions in the first round of the Playoff.

 

If they lose

 

You can only get into the Playoff as a 1-loss non-conference champion if your university is in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  Sorry, Central Florida.

Could anyone else get in?

 

Wait, is that… Bah God, that's Jim Harbaugh's music!  Yes, 10-2 Michigan, who is already ranked higher than Central Florida at 7th overall, and who has to be seen as the next team up who isn't playing on Saturday after a close loss to Notre Dame (a team in the playoffs) earlier in the season and a loss to Ohio State (a team currently contending for the playoffs) this past Saturday.  But is there a way for them to get in?  Let's take a look.

 

What do we know for certain?  Notre Dame is in.  The winner of SEC Championship is in.  The other two spots rely on results of four games, so if at least two of those four teams win (Clemson, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Central Florida), the playoffs are pretty set.  All four will be the favorites.

 

What happens if three of those teams lose?  The one winner gets in, no doubt, leaving us with one spot left.  We need to look at SEC championship loser, as well.  If Georgia wins, 12-1 Alabama would certainly get in under this scenario.  12-1 Alabama would be easily selected over a 12-1 Clemson, 11-2 Oklahoma, 11-2 Ohio State, 12-1 Central Florida, and 10-2 Michigan.

 

If Alabama wins, things get interesting.  The 11-2 Georgia Bulldogs with losses to two top ten teams would be compared to the 10-2 Wolverines with losses to two top ten teams.  Georgia's three healthy victories over ranked opponents would probably give Georgia the edge over Michigan's one healthy victory over Penn State and one close win over Northwestern.  Although, if Alabama crushed Georgia, Michigan could have a chance to be ranked ahead of Georgia, but it would still be difficult to overcome Oklahoma (who would have two losses to Texas) and Ohio State (who just crushed Michigan by 23 points).

 

In reality, even if the fourth spot is open to a team that didn't win the conference championship, it seems likely that Michigan would not be the team that gets that fourth spot.  That is, unless….

"Watch the World Burn Saturday" Scenario

 

The scenario you've all been waiting for.  What if all four of Clemson, Oklahoma, Ohio State, and Central Florida lose?  Will college football descend into madness?  The Vegas odds of this scenario happening are not even on the board because they took the Clemson-Pitt money line off, but let's speculate anyways.

 

If Alabama wins the SEC Championship, we have to choose two of 12-1 Clemson, 11-2 Georgia, 11-2 Oklahoma, 11-2 Ohio State, 12-1 Central Florida, and 10-2 Michigan.  If Georgia wins, substitute 12-1 Alabama in for 11-2 Georgia.  Either way, I still think Michigan gets left out.   While you may be able to make a case for Michigan over Central Florida (much tougher schedule and better losses) and Clemson (similar argument), Georgia, Oklahoma, and Ohio State would all seem to have a strong argument over Michigan.  The seven teams with a "realistic" shot look to be the only seven teams with a chance at all, even with this doomsday scenario.

 

Central Florida is out, as it will take a doomsday scenario much worse than this for a non-undefeated, non-conference winning, non-power five team to get into the playoffs.  The last two spots likely go to the teams with the best "losses", and how close their conference championship game losses are.  Assuming all games being equal, it seems likely that the loser of the SEC championship game and Clemson would take the final two spots, although the committee may value Oklahoma's or Ohio State's stronger schedule over Clemson's pitiful one.  This is all to say, let's just expand the playoffs to 8 teams and take some guesswork out of this.  The five conference champions get in, and the next best three teams.  Simple, right?

 

Friday, November 30

 

MAC Championship - Northern Illinois University vs. University of Buffalo at Ford Field in Detroit, 7:00 PM, ESPN2

 

Northern Illinois has a pair of late round prospects that have some intrigue.  Max Scharping (senior offensive tackle, #73) has prototypical size (6’6”, 320 pounds) and has absolutely dominated his competition.  In 2017, Scharping had a pass block rating of 99.2 on Pro Football Focus, allowing only 5 pressures on 425 pass blocking snaps.  The level of competition will drop him down, but if he participates in the Senior Bowl and continues his strong play, he could be a Spring riser.  The other prospect is Sutton Smith (junior defensive end, #15), who absolutely does not have prototypical size.  He’s listed at 6’0” and 230 pounds, meaning he is likely more around 5’11” and 220 pounds.  However, his technique and speed as an edge rusher is intriguing, and he could be a SAM/secondary edge rushing prospect for the 49ers in the sixth or seventh round come April.

 

The Buffalo system isn't varied enough for Anthony Johnson (senior wide receiver, #83) to show much versatility on tape, leaving him as a high-ceiling prospect that could be a steal in the middle rounds.  Tyree Jackson (junior quarterback, #3) is the gigantic, big-armed quarterback hoping to be the next Josh Allen.  Johnson is extremely talented and Jackson has shown nothing worse than what Allen put on tape, and in a year when quarterback prospects are scarce, someone could easily talk him up to an E.J. Manuel-esque rise up their draft board.  On defense, Khalil Hodge (senior linebacker, #4) has the sideline-to-sideline ability to be the leader of an NFL defense someday.

 

Pac-12 Championship - (17) University of Utah vs. (11) University of Washington at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, 8:00 PM, FOX

 

Utah doesn’t have a ton of talent, but they are always really tough for opposing teams, which is looking to hold true again this year.  Chase Hansen (senior linebacker, #22), Bradlee Anae (junior defensive end, #6), Julian Blackmon (junior cornerback, #23), Leki Fotu (junior defensive tackle, #99), are draftable talents on defense, but are all likely late-round prospects.  Zack Moss (junior running back, #2) is the strongest prospect for Utah, but is still a mid-round pick at best, and an ankle injury causing him to miss the remainder of the season may push him back to school next season.  Jackson Barton (senior tackle, #70) is another late-round guy on the offense worth watching. Matt Gay (senior kicker, #97) is one of the best kickers in the country, but his position will devalue him to being a late-round guy.  Although, plenty of NFL teams have had kicking woes this season, so maybe some team will reach for him in the third round.  Marquise Blair (senior safety, #13), Tyler Huntley (junior quarterback, #1, out with a collarbone injury), and Cody Barton (senior linebacker, #30) are likely undrafted free agents at this point.

 

Trey Adams (senior tackle, #72) was the preseason OT1 for many draft pundits, but a back injury ended his season early.  Or so we thought.  Adams suited up for Washington last week in the Apple Cup, and immediately elevated the Washington offense.  Him returning and proving he is healthy could solidify him as a first-round pick come April.  Kaleb McGary (senior tackle, #58) is a behemoth on the right side, and Nick Harris (junior center, #56) guides the unit.  Myles Gaskin (senior running back, #9) has been the main weapon for the Huskies.  Jake Browning (senior quarterback, #3), and Drew Sample (senior tight end, #88) will hope to keep Washington’s passing offense afloat, but are certainly later round prospects.  The strength of Washington’s defense, and their team in general, lies in their secondary, with Byron Murphy (sophomore cornerback, #1), Jordan Miller (senior defensive back, #23), Taylor Rapp (junior safety, #7), Myles Bryant (junior cornerback, #5), and JoJo McIntosh (senior safety, #14) all being strong prospects to hear their names called early in next April’s draft, though Jordan Miller is dinged up with a leg injury.  Greg Gaines (senior defensive tackle, #99) has tried to replace the production of Vita Vea on the defensive line, while Ben Burr-Kiven (senior linebacker, #25) is an athletic playmaker in the front seven.  Other potential prospects that could be drafted late include Tevis Bartlett (senior linebacker, #17), Jaylen Johnson (senior defensive end, #92), Chico McClatcher (junior wide receiver, #6), and Shane Bowman (senior defensive tackle, #96), although Bowman's hopes may be fading with a foot injury caused him to miss around two months of his final season.  Also keep an eye out for my "diamond in the rough" on the interior defensive line, Levi Onwuzurike (sophomore defensive tackle, #95).

 

Saturday, December 1

 

Big 12 Championship - (14) University of Texas vs. (5) University of Oklahoma at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, 12:00 PM, ABC

 

On defense, Texas boasts a talented secondary with potential first round pick Kris Boyd (senior cornerback, #2) on one side, Davante Davis (senior cornerback, #18) on the other, and P.J. Locke III (senior safety, #11) roaming the back end.  They will be tested throughout this game, and they could all make themselves a lot of money with a strong performance.  Anthony Wheeler (senior linebacker, #45), Charles Omenihu (senior defensive end, #90) and Breckyn Hager (senior defensive end, #44) round out the talented defense.  On offense, Texas is led by Collin Johnson (junior wide receiver, #9), a receiver with consistency issues but has been physically compared to Calvin Johnson.  On the other side is Lil’Jordan Humphrey (junior wide receiver, #84), who is anything but little at 6’4” and 220 pounds.  Calvin Anderson (senior tackle, #66) and Tre Watson (senior running back, #5) also have some potential.  Sam Ehlinger (sophomore quarterback, #11) has been much improved this season, and could be a top quarterback prospect in 2020.

 

With Rodney Anderson (junior running back, #24) being out for the season with a knee injury, “Hollywood” Marquise Brown (junior wide receiver, #5) has stepped up and is proving his worth as a big-play receiver.  In case you didn't watch ESPN hammer this fact into your head about thirty times last Friday, he's also Antonio Brown's cousin, so there's that.  Kyler Murray (junior quarterback, #1) is a Heisman candidate, but his committed baseball career means that his football career will be limited to this season. Enjoy him while you can.  Ben Powers (senior guard, #72, out indefinitely), Cody Ford (junior guard, #74), Bobby Evans (junior tackle, #71), and Dru Samia (senior tackle, #75) have been exceptional along the line thus far, and look to continue that dominance against a strong Texas team.  While the Big 12 isn’t known for defense, Neville Gallimore (junior defensive tackle, #90, questionable with an undisclosed injury), Prentice McKinney (senior safety, #29), and Caleb Kelly (junior linebacker, #19) are all talented enough to hear their names called next April.

 

AAC Championship - University of Memphis at (8) University of Central Florida, 3:30 PM, ABC

 

Memphis lost quite a bit of talent last year, but still have some guys worth checking out.  Darrell Henderson (junior running back, #8) is the shiny weapon this year on offense, having a ridiculous 9.2 yards per carry on 158 attempts this season.  Trevon Tate (senior tackle, #72) and Drew Kyser (senior center, #54) heads a line that will look to open holes on the ground for Henderson to burst through.  Curtis Akins (senior outside linebacker, #7) is intriguing on the defense.

 

For Central Florida, the only true prospect was quarterback McKenzie Milton (junior quarterback, #10).  Unfortunately, a gruesome knee injury leaves his football career in jeopardy, and almost guarantees he returns for his senior season, whether that season is played in 2019 or 2020.  The remaining prospects are all good AAC players, but are nothing more than training camp hopefuls at this point.  Trysten Hill (junior defensive tackle, #9) is an athletic and strong defensive line prospect, eating up blockers while Pat Jasinski (senior linebacker, #56) and Titus Davis (senior outside linebacker, #10) clean up the mess.  Kyle Gibson (senior cornerback, #25) has done an admirable job taking over for Mike Hughes as the team’s primary cornerback, but is certainly not at the first-round level his predecessor reached.  On offense, Tyler Hudanick (senior tackle, #53) and Wyatt Miller (senior tackle, #78) bookend a strong offensive line, and Dredrick Snelson (junior wide receiver, #5) gives the Knights a dangerous weapon on the outside.

 

SEC Championship - (1) University of Alabama vs. (4) University of Georgia at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, 4:00 PM, CBS

 

This is the matchup of the weekend.  I’m not even bothering to put the other game playing at this time, because you should tune in to this and leave your remote for four hours.  Among the reasons is the battle of underclassmen for 2020 quarterback supremacy, with Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa (sophomore quarterback, #13) and Georgia’a Jake Fromm (sophomore quarterback, #11) squaring off for the first time since last year’s National Championship.

 

The Crimson Tide have perhaps the most talented defense in the country, and an offense to match.  Deionte Thompson (junior safety, #14), Anfernee Jennings (junior outside linebacker, #33), Raekwon Davis (junior defensive tackle, #99), and Mack Wilson (junior linebacker, #30) all have lived up to the first round chatter they have been receiving thus far.  Isaiah Buggs (senior defensive tackle, #49), Terrell Lewis (junior linebacker, #24), and Quinnen Williams (redshirt sophomore defensive end, #92) are all having solid seasons as well, and are starting to garner first round buzz themselves.  Saivion Smith (junior cornerback, #4), Shyheim Carter (junior cornerback, #5), and Trevon Diggs (junior cornerback, #7) have come on strong this season in the secondary, and would all be drafted if they decide to enter the 2019 draft.  On offense, Jonah Williams (junior tackle, #73), Matt Womack (junior tackle, #77), Ross Pierschbacher (senior guard/center, #71), and Lester Cotton (senior guard, #66) hope to all come off the board before the end of the second round, and should open plenty of running lanes for Damien Harris (senior running back, #34, questionable with a concussion) and Joshua Jacobs (junior running back, #8).  Irv Smith, Jr. (junior tight end, #82) almost matched his solid 2017 production in the first three games of 2018, giving Alabama yet another weapon to play with.  

 

Quite a bit of Georgia's main talent is younger, but there is still plenty to be excited about in this Georgia class.  Deandre Baker (senior cornerback, #18) and J.R. Reed (junior safety, #20) form a strong tandem on the back end and could each be picked before the end of Day 2.  Tyler Clark (junior defensive tackle, #52), Julian Rochester (junior defensive tackle, #5), and Jonathan Ledbetter (senior defensive end, #13) anchor a fierce defensive line, which benefits D'Andre Walker (senior outside linebacker, #15) coming off the edge.  Terry Godwin (senior wide receiver, #5), Calvin Ridley’s younger brother Riley (junior wide receiver, #8), and Mecole Hardman (junior wide receiver, #4) provide the firepower on the outside.  Isaac Nauta (junior tight end, #18) gives Georgia a reliable extra blocker and checkdown option.  Elijah Holyfield (junior running back, #13, and son of Evander) and Brian Herrien (junior running back, #35) have done an admirable job replacing the duo of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel.  Lamont Gaillard (senior center, #53) and Kendall Baker (senior guard, #65) anchor the middle of the Bulldog offensive line.

 

ACC Championship - (2) Clemson University vs. University of Pittsburgh at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, 8:00 PM, ABC

 

Clemson has only one win against a ranked team this season, and an ACC Championship matchup with unranked Pitt shows just how weak their schedule has been this season.  Christian Wilkins (senior defensive tackle, #42), Dexter Lawrence (junior defensive tackle, #90), Clelin Ferrell (junior defensive end, #99), and Austin Bryant (senior defensive end, #7) form maybe the best defensive line in the country, leaving Kendall Joseph (senior linebacker, #34), Mark Fields (senior cornerback, #2), Tanner Muse (junior safety, #19), Isaiah Simmons (sophomore safety, #11), Albert Huggins (senior defensive tackle, #67), and Tre Lamar (junior linebacker, #57) with the task of cleaning up whatever manages to make it past the line.  One intriguing name to note is Trayvon Mullen (junior cornerback, #1), who has improved as the season has gone on and worked his way into the CB2 conversation behind Greedy Williams of LSU.  On offense, Mitch Hyatt (senior tackle, #75) looks to work his way into the top tackle conversation, while Hunter Renfrow (senior wide receiver, #13) is proving his worth as a potential slot receiver. Greg Huegel (senior kicker, #92) is another kicking prospect who has a chance to make it into the NFL with a strong senior season.

 

Pitt has been up and down team so far this season, but has somehow managed to secure a spot in the ACC championship game.  While they aren’t loaded with talent, the Panthers do have some prospects to keep an eye on.  Dewayne Hendrix (senior defensive end, #8) and Rashad Weaver (sophomore defensive end, #17) lead the defense, while Qadree Ollison (senior running back, #30) and Darrin Hall (senior running back, #22) form a mighty thunder (Ollison) and lightning (Hall) tandem, with Alex Bookser (senior guard, #78) leading the brigade.

 

Big Ten Championship - (21) Northwestern University vs. (6) Ohio State University at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, 8:00 PM, FOX

 

Northwestern is probably just happy to be here.  Paddy Fisher (redshirt sophomore linebacker, #42) was contending for a first round draft position and the top overall linebacker in the class, though a relatively pedestrian sophomore season has put him more in the Day 2 discussion.  Fisher leads a Wildcat defense that also includes Montre Hartage (senior cornerback, #24), Joe Gaziano (junior defensive tackle, #97), and Nate Hall (senior linebacker, #32) as draft-eligible prospects with a legitimate chance of hearing their names called in April.  On offense, Northwestern is led by Clayton Thorson (senior quarterback, #18), who came back from a torn ACL in 2017 to have a respectable year.  Scouts love Thorson’s intangibles, but his already weak physical traits make Chad Pennington look like Patrick Mahomes by comparison, giving him an extremely limited ceiling.

 

Nick Bosa (junior defensive end, #97) may very well be the first overall pick next year, but he is missing the remainder of the season with a core injury.  Dre'Mont Jones (junior defensive tackle, #86) and Robert Landers (junior defensive tackle, #67) each have first round aspirations with their strong 2018 campaign.  It seems, though, like Dwayne Haskins (redshirt sophomore quarterback, #7) is the most likely to join Bosa in the first round after his hot start to the season and his dominating performance against Michigan.  Ohio State’s receivers – Parris Campbell (senior wide receiver, #21), Johnnie Dixon (senior wide receiver, #1), K.J. Hill (junior wide receiver, #14), and Terry McLaurin (senior wide receiver, #83, probable with a head injury) – all have the athletic profile to get drafted, but need to show the production to go along with it to have a real chance to be more than Day 3 prospects.  Parris Campbell is the most likely of the bunch to work his way up the ranks.  Michael Jordan (junior guard, #73) and Isaiah Prince (junior tackle, #59) anchor an offensive line that will look to clear room for Mike Weber (junior running back, #25), who shares the backfield with talented true sophomore J.K. Dobbins.  Prince in particular has been exceptional as a right tackle this season.  On the back end of the defense, Damon Arnette (junior cornerback, #3), Kendall Sheffield (junior cornerback, #8), and Jordan Fuller (junior safety, #4) hope to continue Ohio State’s recent tradition of strong play in the secondary.  Dante Booker (senior linebacker, #33) and Jashon Cornell (junior defensive tackle, #9) are likely undrafted guys, but should find a camp home next summer.

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