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Phil Harrison

Todd McShay has six Ohio State players projected in his way-too-early 2024 NFL mock draft

It’s no secret the Ohio State football team has a load of offensive talent on its roster, but there is also an expected improvement coming on the defensive side of the ball that showed itself even in the spring. A lot of that skill is with some of the sophomores like Marvin Harrison Jr. and TreVeyon Henderson, but there are also some more traditional four-year players that could break out this year.

So much so that many of the very early NFL mock drafts have a bushel of Ohio State players potentially landing in the first round of the draft in April of next year. And while anyone with a keyboard can project what happens next year in that annual spectacle, when someone like ESPN’s Todd McShay says as much, well, it’s worth noting.

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McShay released his way-too-early 2024 NFL mock draft (subscription required) and has six — yes six! — Buckeyes going off the board in the first round in Detroit. Here is a look at all six OSU players McShay projects, where they might land and why.

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Marvin Harrison Jr., Wide Receiver

April 15, 2023; Columbus, Ohio; Wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. (18) waves to the crowd following the Ohio State spring football game Saturday at Ohio Stadium. Barbara J. Perenic/Columbus Dispatch

McShay’s Projected Pick

No. 2 overall to Arizona Cardinals

What McShay Says

“If Arizona is sticking with Murray, then the next step is to get him a talented receiver, whether or not DeAndre Hopkins sticks with the team. Harrison is going to be among the elite grades at the position, perhaps even the highest since A.J. Green (97) in 2011. He has great size at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds and fantastic hands, catching 77 passes for 1,263 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. With Hopkins under contract only through 2024 and Marquise Brown coming off the books after this coming season, the receiver room could use a difference-maker.”

J.T. Tuimoloau, Defensive End

Nov. 5, 2022; Evanston, Illinois; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau (44) celebrates a stop during the second half of the NCAA football game against the Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field. Ohio State won 21-7. Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch

McShay’s Projected Pick

No. 8 overall to Chicago Bears

What McShay Says

“The Bears have two picks in the top 11 here, and after essentially ignoring the edge rush in the 2023 draft, they will likely be going that direction early in ’24. The Bears’ 20 sacks ranked at the bottom of the league last year, and they traded Robert Quinn at midseason. Tuimoloau is coming off a breakout year with the Buckeyes (only 3.5 sacks but 27 pressures and 12 tackles for loss) and will only keep getting better. He looks the part, too, at 6-foot-4 and 270 pounds.”

Jack Sawyer, Outside Linebacker

Nov. 12, 2022; Columbus, Ohio; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Jack Sawyer (33) celebrates a sack during the second half of the NCAA football game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Ohio Stadium. Ohio State won 56-14. Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch

McShay’s Projected Pick

No. 15 overall to Denver Broncos

What McShay Says

“Sawyer joins Tuimoloau to form arguably the top edge rush tandem in the nation entering the 2023 season, and he’s a bit of a hybrid, showing the ability to rush off the edge standing up or with his hand in the dirt. He started only three games over the past two years, and the production is still coming (7.5 total sacks), but Sawyer has a lot of upside. The Broncos could use an influx of edge rush help; Baron Browning and Zach Allen are the top pass-rushers on this team right now by sack count, and both had fewer than six in 2022.”


Michael Hall Jr., Defensive Tackle

Sept. 3, 2022; Columbus, Ohio; Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Tommy Eichenberg (35), defensive tackle Michael Hall Jr. (51), and defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau (44) celebrate a sack of Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Tyler Buchner (12) during the NCAA football game at Ohio Stadium. Adam Cairns-USA TODAY Sports

McShay’s Projected Pick

No. 19 overall to the New York Giants

What McShay Says

“The Giants will have some decisions to make along the defensive line, with Leonard Williams, Jihad Ward and A’Shawn Robinson all set to play on expiring deals this season. (Dexter Lawrence just agreed to a four-year extension.) Hall is explosive on the interior, picking up 4.5 sacks last season. I could see him fitting in with New York nicely.”


Emeka Egbuka, Wide Receiver

Nov. 26, 2022; Columbus; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Emeka Egbuka (2) makes a touchdown catch against Michigan Wolverines defensive back R.J. Moten (6) in the first quarter of their game at Ohio Stadium. USA TODAY Sports

McShay’s Projected Pick

No. 21 overall to the New Orleans Saints

What McShay Says

“If Harrison and Egbuka both go in Round 1 next year, that makes five Ohio State receivers on Day 1 over the course of three years. That’s wild. I’m curious to see what Egbuka does this season without C.J. Stroud under center. He plays with speed and burst, and he averaged 15.6 yards per catch last season en route to 1,151 yards and 10 TD catches. In New Orleans, he could team with Chris Olave — one of those aforementioned other Buckeye first-rounders — and Michael Thomas to give Derek Carr a solid pass-catching trio.”

Denzel Burke, Cornerback

Sept. 10, 2022; Columbus, Ohio; Arkansas State Red Wolves wide receiver Reagan Ealy (28) has the pass broken up by Ohio State Buckeyes cornerback Denzel Burke (5) during the second half at Ohio Stadium. Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

McShay’s Projected Pick

No. 25 overall to the Los Angeles Chargers

What McShay Says

“Six Ohio State players make the list here, though Burke needs to take the next step and play his way into Round 1. He has the talent to do it. Burke has only one interception through two years, but it was a pick six. Michael Davis is a free agent after this season, and J.C. Jackson is returning off a right knee injury, so the cornerback room is an area that needs a boost. But the Chargers could also get a defensive tackle to shore up the run defense if there’s one on the board.”

Contact/Follow us @BuckeyesWire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Ohio State news, notes, and opinion. Follow Phil Harrison on Twitter.

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