Ohio State CB Bradley Roby encountered some turbulence during a season that was supposed to vault him to being an early first-round lock. He has taken his lumps, but I still wouldn't count him out of being drafted in the first round.
He was widely considered the best cornerback in the country heading into 2013 and had a good season, even though the dominant perception might say otherwise. After leading the nation with 17 pass breakups in 2012, he had 13 this season (tied for 10th in the FBS with 1.3 per game). But what will people remember about his '13 performance? The first things that come to mind are that he was suspended for the season opener and was beaten repeatedly by Wisconsin WR Jared Abbrederis in a late September game.
Early this season it looked like he was playing with a bit of a hangover after possibly having some remorse about not entering the draft after last season. His struggles against Abbrederis stung him because everyone was talking about it.
However, it says something about Roby that he recovered. I thought he played well in the Big Ten championship game loss to Michigan State. He's also a valuable contributor on special teams (three career blocked punts).
NFL teams are going to want his services, and possibly very early. Keep an eye on him. I still lean toward him being drafted in the second round, but before it's said and done -- if he tests really well -- he could put himself in the first-round mix. NFL teams can never have enough good corners, and Roby has the tools to be a very good one.
Scout raves about Shazier
I've already shared my opinion of Ohio State LB Ryan Shazier here at College Football 24/7 -- I think he's a great playmaker that should be coveted by NFL teams whenever he chooses to enter the draft. I recently heard from an NFL scout, and when the conversation turned to Shazier, the scout lit up. "Man, I love that guy," the scout said of the Buckeyes' star linebacker. "After the first time I saw him play, I went back and watched tape. He just jumps off the screen."
We don't yet know if Shazier will enter the 2014 draft, but be sure that he is on the radar of NFL scouts.
Dennard or Gilbert as No. 1 corner?
Evaluators could have a tough decision on their hands when it comes time to pick the No. 1 corner in the 2014 draft. Do you go with Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard -- the winner of the Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back -- or Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert? It's a close call. I've seen both play this season and came away very impressed. Dennard's performance in the Big Ten championship game is freshest in my mind. Whenever Ohio State tested him, I think he won. He makes a ton of big plays and has the right demeanor for his position. He's also going to be the first college graduate in his family. A very bright future lies ahead for Dennard.
2015 prospect to watch
Michigan State DE Shilique Calhoun said earlier this week that he intends to return for his junior season with the Spartans, and watching him grow is going to be a lot of fun. He's already one of the most disruptive defenders in college football as an aggressive, talented pass rusher. He's one of defenders I'm most excited to see next season.
Follow Charles Davis on Twitter @CFD22.