Greg Gabriel: Scouting Ohio State vs. Wisconsin for NFL Draft prospects

Published:
In this Sept. 10, 2016, file photo, Wisconsin's T.J. Watt sacks Akron quarterback Thomas Woodson during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Madison, Wis. Watt has 5 1/2 sacks in Wisconsin’s five games. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)
In this Sept. 10, 2016, file photo, Wisconsin's T.J. Watt sacks Akron quarterback Thomas Woodson during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Madison, Wis. Watt has 5 1/2 sacks in Wisconsin‚Äôs five games. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File) — Morry Gash

It looks like the big game for Week 7 of the college football season is in the Big Ten. No. 2 Ohio State travels to Madison to meet No. 11 Wisconsin. Now, some people might feel the Alabama vs. Tennessee game is the better game, but after seeing Tennessee a few times this year, I feel they are overrated and Alabama is just about in a class of its own.

Wisconsin isn’t loaded with draft-eligible players right now, but they are one of the better-coached teams in America. They play sound physical football and they don’t make mistakes. Their best NFL prospects are a pair of outside linebackers, senior Vince Biegel and junior T.J. Watt, the younger brother of J.J. Watt.

Biegel is a good-sized outside linebacker (6-4, 245 pounds) with growth potential to get to around 260. He has good edge pass rush talent and plays a physical game. Biegel has played in four of the five Wisconsin games and has 9.0 total tackles including 1.0 sacks and 2.0 tackles for loss. Biegel won't play against the Buckeyes because of a foot injury.

Watt is having a great year with 29 total tackles including 5.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss. Watt doesn’t have the natural size as his older brother, but he has height and length to go along with very good growth potential. He is listed at 6-5, 243 pounds.

As usual, since Urban Meyer has been the Ohio State head coach, the Buckeyes are always loaded with NFL talent, a good number of whom are underclassmen.

Earlier in the season, I wrote about some of their NFL-caliber players, like OC/OG Pat Elflein, LB Raekwon McMillan, QB J.T Barrett, defensive linemen Tyquan Lewis and Sam Hubbard and OG Billy Price. All of the above mentioned are having outstanding seasons to date.

We can add a few names to that original list. Last year, Ohio State had a number of defensive backs drafted. Their replacements are all draft-eligible and have the natural traits to become legitimate NFL prospects.

Redshirt sophomore corner Marshon Lattimore has the size and length NFL scouts covet (6-1, 195 pounds). He also has very good quickness, change of direction and body control. His ball skills aren’t bad, as he already has three interceptions this season.

At the other corner is redshirt junior Gareon Conley. He is similar in size to Lattimore and he has similar athletic attributes. To date he has 8.0 total tackles, one interception and two pass breakups.

The free safety is another redshirt sophomore, Malik Hooker, who has ideal safety size at 6-2, 208 pounds to go along with speed and range. In five games he has been quite productive with 23 total tackles, three interceptions and a half sack. Hooker can play either free or strong safety at the next level.