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Buckeyes CB Bradley Roby to declare for NFL Draft

The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com

Bradley Roby is rated as the No. 3 cornerback and No. 29 prospect overall. (USATSI)

Bradley Roby is rated as the No. 3 cornerback and No. 29 prospect overall. (USATSI)

Ohio State junior cornerback Bradley Roby will declare for the 2014 NFL Draft following the end of the Buckeyes' season, head coach Urban Meyer said Wednesday.

Roby is rated as the No. 3 cornerback and No. 29 prospect overall eligible for May's draft, according to current ratings by NFLDraftScout.com. Oregon junior Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (No. 24 overall) and TCU senior Jason Verrett (28) are the only cornerbacks rated ahead of him.

Meyer said Roby, who was expected to leave the Buckeyes after this season, will be honored on "Senior Day" when Ohio State plays host to Indiana on Saturday.

Roby, 5-feet-11 and 192 pounds, has eight interceptions and 32 pass breakups in his career. He considered entering the 2013 NFL Draft a year ago as a redshirt sophomore, but decided to return to Ohio State for “one more year.” Roby entered the season as a potential top-10 pick, but his rocky junior campaign has raised some red flags about his pro potential.

NFLDraftScout.com analyst Dane Brugler said Roby has plus speed to blanket receivers all over the field with the explosive burst to eat up grass quickly and close in a flash. He is a controlled athlete with excellent change of direction skills and coordination, but he needs to show more consistent anticipation and stay alert for all four quarters. He is a tough, physical hitter and will lower his pads and drive into his target, but he often throws his shoulder instead of wrapping up and his size. He will likely run a sub-4.4-second 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combin in February, but the more important numbers might be his height and weight.

Roby definitely has the speed, footwork and gifted athleticism to be a consistent cover man at the next level, but his lack of size and length along with inconsistent instincts and tracking skills are strong concerns. He flashes first round ability, but he struggled on several occasions this season, most notably against Wisconsin senior wide receiver Jared Abbrederis. Roby needs to stay focused on every snap and while he shows lightning quick reflexes, he also needs to improve his awareness to recognize and sniff out what the offense wants to do in order to reach his full potential. While he still has a shot to be a first round draft pick, Roby isn’t a lock top-32 player like once thought.

Ohio State junior linebacker Ryan Shazier and quarterback Braxton Miller are also considered strong possibilities to leave Columbus early for the NFL level. Neither have publically addressed their football futures.

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