- Marcus Hartman
Although there is no shortage of NFL draft information all year round these days, things don’t really start to get serious until the senior all-star games roll around.
With the East-West Shrine Game having been held last weekend and the Senior Bowl coming Saturday, that makes this a good time to take a look at where some players of interest rank as the evaluation process really ramps up.
Former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah’s top 50 prospects include three players from Ohio State:
Denzel Ward is Jeremiah’s No. 8 prospect and the No. 1 cornerback. The only defensive back ahead of him is Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.
Billy Price is No. 30 overall and the No. 2 center behind James Daniels, an Ohio native who played at Iowa. Jeremiah rates Price as a potential Day 1 starter.
Sam Hubbard is No. 41 overall and No. 3 among defensive ends. Whether teams view him as a 4-3 end, 3-4 linebacker or something in between will be interesting to watch.
Land of 10 projects Ward to be picked 16th to the Ravens in April with Hubbard taken by the Titans at No. 25 and Price going No. 30 to the Vikings.
For what it’s worth, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. is higher on all three. The veteran draft analyst has the 49ers taking Ward at No. 9 with Hubbard going to the Lions at No. 20 and Price ending up in Carolina with the 24th pick.
For a third perspective, Rotoworld projects Price as a future Redskin at No. 13 and Ward a Panther.
Pro Football Focus sees only Ward as a first-rounder at this time. That site projected him going to the Falcons at No. 26 in a draft published Jan. 18.
All of this is likely to change between now and draft day, of course, and it’s important to keep in mind it is all idle speculation at this point because none of the draft ratings folks will actually be making any picks.
But it’s something to talk about, right?