Hyde spent the first three games of the season under suspension for an off-field incident last summer. He returned with a chip on his shoulder, and that has played a part in his success this season. He rushed for 1,000 yards in just eight games, becoming the first player under Urban Meyer to reach the 1,000-yard mark in a season. Hyde has run for a total of 1,408 yards and 14 touchdowns in 10 games this year, averaging 7.7 yards per carry. His last game with the Buckeyes will be in the Orange Bowl on January 3 against the Clemson Tigers which will give him one more chance to impress NFL scouts.
Hyde seems to have already left an impression on some NFL scouts while others think that a lot of his success has come from the talent he has in front of him on the Ohio State offensive line and from the offensive scheme that the Buckeyes run. Scouts believe he can make it to the NFL but are unsure of whether he would perform at the level he has during his senior year at Ohio State. NFL Draft experts have noticed other things about Hyde that could make him successful in the NFL. For example, they have noticed his ability to keep his legs going after contact to gain extra yardage as well as how nimble he is for his size (240 pounds), but he still has the power to gain those extra yards after contact. One draft expert even said that Hyde has impressed him the most out of all the senior prospects.
Like last year, draft experts say that it is not likely any running backs will be drafted in the first round. However, they do believe that Hyde could be the first senior drafted or could even be the first running back taken in the draft. Some of the scouts seem to feel differently, but the decision is ultimately up to any NFL organization who may be interested in drafting him.
Hyde’s size, power, and ability at the running back position will enable him to be drafted into the NFL. The big question is how high he will be drafted. Did he make enough of an impression with the Buckeyes this season to be the top running back in the 2014 NFL Draft?