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Ohio State LB Malik Harrison sees stock go up as stats go down

Ohio State is expected to have at least two first-rounders in the 2020 NFL draft with defensive end Chase Young and cornerback Jeffrey Okudah.

Overall, Fanspeak estimates as many as 16 Buckeyes could be drafted or find themselves on an NFL roster next season.

And while Young and Okudah get all the media attention, one name is quietly moving up draft boards: linebacker Malik Harrison (6-foot-3, 240 pounds.) The senior has 41 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks and 2 forced fumbles this season.

Bleacher Report NFL draft analyst Matt Miller calls Harrison a sleeper in his latest scouting notebook.

“It’s impossible to watch Ohio State tape and not come away impressed with linebacker Malik Harrison,” Miller wrote. “A bit of a thumper in the middle of the scheme, Harrison is a heat-seeking missile when tracking down running backs and has excellent speed when running alleys to attack the ball.”

Harrison has 171 tackles and 22 tackles for loss for his career. He had nine tackles and 2 TFL in the team’s big win over Penn State this past weekend.

While he’s put up solid numbers this season, Harrison has about half as many tackles as he did his junior year when he tallied 81 tackles and 8.5 TFLs. Still, evaluators say Harrison is more of a complete player this season.

“His stats this season are not eye-popping but the way Harrison has developed into a three-down defender – making plays in space and up the field while playing tough, disciplined football – has impressed NFL decision-makers,” writes Pro Football Network draft analyst Tony Pauline in his latest risers and sliders report. “Harrison offers scheme versatility and grades as a solid second day selection.”

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