Buried behind all the USC hype: Buckeye Commentary says Ohio State might net itself another six first-rounders in the upcoming draft.
Color me skeptical, but it's not outside the realm of possibilities. Buckeye coach Jim Tressel is becoming an NFL favorite at draft time, of late.
While USC continues to get a majority of the pub with probably 5 first-round picks, Ohio State can easily duplicate that if not better it. FoxSports just released their newest 1st round Mock Draft and in it are 4 Buckeyes: Hawk, Carpenter, Whitner and Mangold. Funny thing is Santonio Holmes, regarded as the top WR in the draft, (many have Chad Jackson as well) is no where to be found on FoxSport's list. Also missing is Ashton Youboty, yet both players are found in round 1 on this mock draft and this one too. So, potentially 6 first rounders if all goes well. Impressive.
The snag, naturally, is that none of the Buckeyes' players (other than linebacker A.J. Hawk) elicit much excitement and do not have anywhere near the potential as someone like a Bush or Leinart, nor are they as buzzworthy as some of the Miami first-rounders like Kellen Winslow or Jonathan Vilma. Not like that's going to stop the program in Columbus from continuing to churn out quality NFL players, though.
Personally, the only surefire first-rounder I see is Hawk. Next closest is probably Mangold, far and away the draft's top center which means any center-hungry team will reach in order to get their hands on him.
The top of the draft is unusually deep and the receiver class is uninspiring, so I can see teams sitting on Santonio Holmes a bit and perhaps hoping for him somewhere in round two. Pro Football Weekly gives linebacker Bobby Carpenter a 2nd round projection, as the No. 7 overall outside 'backer. There are questions about his coverage ability and instincts-"asks too many questions"-and now has some durability concerns after the broken ankle suffered against Michigan. He's also a bit of a 'tweener in that he can play along the line in some 3-4 schemes and may become a specialized player if it is discovered he's a weak cover linebacker. However, he's very productive and has the NFL pedigree to not get overwhelmed.
Corner/safety Donte Whitner is another 'tweener, although some teams have made great use of that type of player in the secondary. He's a guy who is going to be very high on some teams' secondary list and very low on others'.
Finally corner Ashton Youboty looks like a second rounder to me. Quality corners, especially ones with his size and speed, are at a premium in the league, but for my taste he's incredibly inconsistent (lethargic, even). PFW has some nice things to say about him, mainly that he's another Ohio State corner in the line of Shawn Springs, Nate Clements and Chris Gamble and that should help him in the league's eyes.
My guess is Hawk, Mangold and possibly Holmes and Youboty go in the first round with a rush for everyone else in the early to mid second round.