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NFL Draft Post-Combine Big Ten Defensive Rankings: No. 4 Ohio State Cornerback Bradley Roby
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5 Mar 2014 04:50 PM EST

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Bradley Roby was a star at the NFL Scouting Combine. (Image Source: David Banks/Getty Images)

Here are my Post-NFL Scouting Combine rankings of the defensive prospects coming out of the Big Ten conference:

1) CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State, Senior (Top 20)

2) DT Ra’Shede Hageman, Minnesota, Senior (Late First Round to Second Round)

3) OLB Ryan Shazier, Ohio State, Junior (Late First Round to Second Round)

4) CB Bradley Roby, Ohio State, Junior (5110, 194 pounds)

The OSU cover corner is probably the most difficult prospect to evaluate coming out of the Big Ten. Heading into the season I probably would have placed Roby atop a list of draft eligible defensive prospects coming out of the conference. He was coming off an impressive sophomore season and supremely gifted physically.

However, despite first team All-Big Ten honors, the Buckeye had a pretty up-and-down junior season. Maybe his eye was already on the NFL a la Jadeveon Clowney, who knows? The bottom line is he had some bad moments, the worst being against Wisconsin when he was absolutely abused by wide receiver Jared Abbrederis. Roby could not keep up with the Badger in man coverage and that wasn’t the only game that left the corner well done after a getting beat deep. It’s not as if the Big Ten is chock-full of speed burners at the wide receiver position.

At the scouting combine, Roby flashed his first round talent. He has a very good frame for a cornerback and great speed. In fact, his 4.39 40-time was fourth among cornerbacks at the combine and was more than a full tenth of second faster than Darqueze Dennard’s 40-yard dash (4.51). The Buck also flashed impressive explosiveness—his 38.5” vertical jump was sixth and 10’3” broad jump eighth among corners—as well as strength (17 bench press reps was sixth).

More importantly, Roby’s 4.04 short shuttle time was the fifth fastest of all the cornerbacks and sixth among the defensive backs. More than any other drill it mimics the skills a coverman needs and Roby flashed his speed, fluid hips and change of direction ability.

He did have good moments in 2013, intercepting three passes and getting his hands on 13 others, while being a force against the run. Roby can hit and thrives playing near the line of scrimmage. His 69 tackles, 54 solo stops, were both third on Ohio State despite the fact he missed nearly three full games. Roby can also contribute on special teams where his speed coming off the edge allowed him to block two kicks.

Right now Roby is in the mix to be one of the handful of cornerbacks that will go in the first round and I’d be very surprised if he wasn’t drafted in the top 50, especially after what we saw in Indianapolis. He’s a good football player who is inconsistent. Right now he’s a better athlete than he is a player, but he has shown flashes of greatness. Roby could be one of those prospects who turns out to be a better pro than collegian and it’s possible he ends up as the best cornerback in this draft class when it’s all said and done, but he needs some coaching up.

Projection: Late First Round to Second Round

Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. 

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