Ohio State Football: Is Bradley Roby Really the Best Corner in College Football?

Tim BielikSenior Analyst IMay 17, 2013

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 6:  Bradley Roby #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes steps in front of Quincy Enunwa #18 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers to intercept a pass at Ohio Stadium on October 6, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. Roby returned the interception 40 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Ohio State corner Bradley Roby is certainly among the best corners in the Big Ten if not the absolute best. But ESPN's Mel Kiper thinks Roby's better than just the best in the Big Ten.

In his initial big board for the 2014 NFL Draft, ESPN's draft expert has Roby as the top corner prospect available and No. 9 overall.

Ohio State has produced its fair share of talented corners in the last few decades including Antoine Winfield, Shawn Springs and more recently Malcolm Jenkins.

Roby certainly has the ability to be as good as any of those names and showed last season why, with 17 passes defensed and a pair of interceptions.

His experience as a wide receiver in high school means he has a natural ability to attack the football in a one-on-one situation, something that's more important than ever in this era of spread offense.

And his success in 2012 means that opponents have to respect Roby. He'll see a lot fewer passes thrown his way, which is one of the signs of a marquee corner.

Roby also had 41 solo tackles last season (second only to Ryan Shazier), showing his ability to make the stop in space, which is another thing that a corner needs to do to be successful in today's game.

His biggest drawback, however, has to do with the fact that he is only 5'11".

Taller corners like Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner from Seattle have been successful by combining their great size with typical corner skills to shut down even the taller receivers.

But Roby can make up for this deficiency with his combination of athleticism and ball skills which he has shown throughout his career.

He has also proven to be a good special teams player, tallying a blocked punt last season. His speed could allow him to be used as a returner at the next level if whichever team drafts him decides to let him field kicks.

Bradley Roby certainly has all the tools to be the best corner in the country. He just has to go out and prove that on the field by shutting down the opponents' passing attacks and leading his team to a great season.


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