Former Ohio State wide receiver has been a standout performer in Mobile, Ala., during Senior Bowl preparation, but he likely won’t be one of the first two Buckeyes off the board in the NFL draft later this year.
The consensus top two prospects to come out of Ohio State this year are defensive end Nick Bosa and quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who are widely projected to go in the top 10. In fact, Bosa is generally considered a likely first overall pick for the Arizona Cardinals while Haskins is projected to be the first quarterback off the board, possibly at No. 6 to the New York Giants.
During Senior Bowl prep, McLaurin was asked by Tom Rock of Newsday about his two star teammates, who both opted to leave OSU after three seasons in Columbus while McLaurin was a two-time captain who played for the Buckeyes for five years.
Bosa left Ohio State after suffering what turned out to be a season-ending injury in week three, opting to drop out of school in order to prep for the draft.
“He has a life-changing opportunity,” McLaurin said. “While we missed him and we wished we could have had him, we understood.”
As far as the guy throwing passes to McLaurin in 2018, the wide receiver had high praise. That said, McLaurin noted that Haskins’ arm talent isn’t the only thing that sets him apart.
“His throws are always going to be great, but at that position he’s going into where he’s going to be a top-10 pick, he needs to be a great leader,” McLaurin said. “The maturation he had from TCU where he was unsure and we struggled on offense to the time in the Maryland game, he was taking over our offense and I was deferring to him. That’s what you want to see out of your quarterback.”
McLaurin himself had a career year as a fifth-year senior, catching 35 passes for 701 yards (20.0 yards per catch) and 11 touchdowns.
The 2019 Senior Bowl is scheduled for Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET at Ladd-Peebles Stadium and will be broadcast on NFL Network.
The 2019 NFL draft begins April 25 and finishes April 27.