Much like TCU’s Jason Verrett, Ohio State’s Bradley Roby is very much discussion about who the No. 3 cornerback prospect in the 2014 class is.
An All-Big Ten first team selection this season, Roby led the Buckeyes with three interceptions and finished third on the team with 63 tackles. A year earlier, his 13 pass breakups helped him earn first-team All-American honors.
Roby has superb speed with tremendous closing ability, and can play tight coverage with wide receivers all over the field. Scouts will be very much tuned in when Roby runs the 40-yard dash, as he’s expected to post a time under 4.40.
At 5-foot-11 and 192 pounds, there are mild concerns about whether Roby has the size to line up against bigger receivers. At times, he can be late finding the ball and, because of his elite speed, can become overly aggressive at times, taking too many unnecessary risks in coverage. Off the field, Roby missed the team’s season opener due to suspension, which is always a red mark when being evaluated by NFL front offices.
Roby was considered the top cornerback prospect entering this year’s college football season, while some scouts still consider him worthy of a first-round selection. The former Buckeye is listed as the No. 45 overall, according to CBS Sports, and the No. 5 corner. He’s listed ass the seventh-best corner by ESPN.
The most oft-mentioned destination for Roby is to the San Diego Chargers at No. 25 overall. Roby would fill the Bolts’ major need at the position, as the team struggled against the pass mightily in 2013, costing them a number of games. They could begin to rebuild their defense by selecting a new No. 1 corner with their first pick.
Should Roby slip past San Diego, the San Francisco 49ers present a good fit, too. Carlos Rogers, Tarell Brown, and Perrish Cox are unlikely to be with the team in 2014, and the Niners could beef up their secondary with young, talented players, beginning with Roby.
If Roby lasts until the second round, he may not last past the Washington Redskins at No. 34. DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson are both expected to be gone in D.C., and first-year Skins coach Jay Gruden may elect to put together a secondary around Roby.