Archives for April 2016

1st Round of the NFL 2016 Draft: Buckeye Bonanza

With the recent success with Coach Urban Meyer and his fine coaching staff on the College Gridiron, you almost would be foolish to claim that the Ohio State Buckeyes are one of the more highly regarded College Football Programs in the nation.   Without a shadow of a doubt, the Buckeyes have lived up to the tradition and the expectation of excellence and success that many college programs aspire or strive to be.  Coach Meyer, the program building architect and his band of excellent coaches have amassed an astounding 50-4 record during their tenure within the Buckeye program.  They have effectively restored Ohio State to the powerhouse that the nation and solidifies their place among the other top programs in the nation.  With consistent success with recruiting the Buckeyes stay competitive and stay loaded with talent year in and year out, without any drop-off in talent or production.  This is only the start of what could be an annual occurrence.

Class of 2013:

The Buckeyes recruiting class of 2013 was by far Coach Meyer’s best and most productive class to date. From top to bottom, the 2013 class became the defining class to Coach Meyer’s legacy, to his legacy as a coach for the Scarlet and Gray.  With key players and playmakers moving on in this years draft, they all share memories together and an unbreakable bond with each other.  They have experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.  They won Big Ten titles together and the Inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship and most recently the Fiesta Bowl against a competitive Notre Dame squad.

Joey Bosa:

The Buckeyes first round dominance was started by the San Diego Chargers and Buckeye Defensive End Joey Bosa at #3 Overall.  Many draft pundits were predicting a steep fall down the mid to lower part of the first round, but as we all know, the draft can be filled with twists and turns and pleasant surprises.  And this definitely qualifies as a surprise.  No one expected the Chargers to pull the trigger on Bosa due to the needs on the Offensive Line, but there was his moment and he would be the first Buckeye taken in the first round.  Bosa brings a relentless motor and pass rushing ability as well as the knack for blowing up plays and disrupting timing and wreaking havoc in the backfield.  Definitely not a huge need, but it can’t hurt to bring pressure to the opposing Quarterbacks of the AFC West.

Ezekiel Elliot:

At #4 overall, Zeke was removed from the Big Board after Bosa was taken a pick prior.  Wow!  This was a headscratcher from a needs standpoint.  The Dallas defense was in need of an impact player and they passed on Jalen Ramsey of Florida State.  The Cowboys signed Alfred Morris to a contract during free agency and the Cowboys still have Darren McFadden and Lance Dunbar on deck and many fans were left scratching their heads collectively.  There is no doubt that Elliot would be the best out of the bunch and it isn’t even close.  Sure Morris has the edge on experience, but I feel that Elliot is far more superior in all aspects of the game.  He can run it down defenses throats, he has the speed to pull away in the open field, he can shimmy through the smallest of holes and he can block.  He is the full package and he will become an integral part of the Cowboys offense to lessen the burden on Tony Romo.  Behind the wall of humanity that he will soon call his Offensive Line, he is a can’t miss prospect because he will be running behind something similar to what he had at Ohio State.  The sky is the limit with his potential.

Eli Apple:

At #10, to the New York Giants, Eli Apple will be locking down Wideouts within his division and will see former teammate, Ezekiel Elliot twice a year for the duration of their rookie contracts.  It sounds enticing and I am looking forward to the matchup when it comes around.  Apple was one half of the Defensive Back Alcatraz, starting alongside Gareon Conley.  Never shying away from contact, Apple with wreak havoc and have an opportunity to shut down opposing Wideouts for the next couple of years.  Apple can mirror the opposing Wideout, preventing him from breaking away and more times than not, he wins that battle.  In the NFC East, a division that has Dez Bryant, Desean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, he will be sorely needed to make stops early and often.  I feel that he will fit perfectly into the system alongside DRC and newly signed DB Janoris Jenkins, Apple would be tasked to play the slot man, if he was needed to play right away. Regardless, with time being available he will blossom into a starter as he gets more experience in the NFL.

Taylor Decker:

The Detroit Lions took Decker #16 Overall in the First Round.  The Lions will most likely plug him in as a starter with the lack of depth at that position.  Decker can play both the pass and the run which makes him valuable.  He is not only durable, he is also dependable and he never gives up easily.  The Ohio State offense would occasionally lean on him and depend on him to protect the Quarterbacks blindside and he succeeded more often than he had failed.  The former Buckeye Team Captain shows the grit and the determination to finish blocks and although he doesn’t have the nasty streak that most people would like to see, he gets the job done.  He will lift and reshape an Offensive Line that has struggled for years.  Although, he will be playing up north, he will pave the way for Abdullah and company for years and years.

Darron Lee:

With the #20 Overall Pick, the New York Jets took a chance on Lee, a former High School Quarterback and “skinny, pencil necked” Athlete.  Ohio State develops players, whether you are highly sought after or an afterthought in recruiting circles.  It panned out for Lee and the Buckeyes.  The Silver Bullet or the Defensive Missile usually wreaked havoc to opposing offenses throughout his Buckeye career.  It will translate easily for Lee in the NFL.  He will be called upon to make plays when his teammates are being doubled my offensive lines.  With David Harris as the Defensive Quarterback and with Revis Island on one side and a bevy of defensive behemoths throughout the Defensive Line.  I think that it is safe to say that Lee has the most ideal scenario to become the most productive out of the five Buckeyes that have been drafted.

So with Round One in the books, I can see a similar outcome during day two of the NFL Draft.  With many Buckeye playmakers still waiting to hear their names called, I feel that this would only solidify the Buckeyes both in the College ranks, with recruiting and in the NFL by having so many former players drafted in the draft.  It is a perfect storm with exposure and it will only help strengthen the Buckeyes case for years and years.  This is always the case with Coach Meyer.  You lose the players that you would like to keep, but there are always players that have stayed the path and patiently awaited for their time to shine. They will not waste their opportunity to fill the vacant spaces as they hope to follow the path of the 2103 Buckeyes class.  Rounds Two and Three will be an interesting one and more Buckeyes are going to hear their names tonight.  Go Bucks!!!

Heard Around the ‘Shoe – 4-29-2016

Day 2 of the NFL Draft:

Buckeye Recruits React to Draft:

Buckeye Target Trey Sermon goes Boomer Sooner:

Any 2015 Buckeyes Going To Be 2016 Browns?

Growing up in the Cleveland area, I have memories of the Cleveland Browns that are quite vivid. I will passionately argue that The Fumble hurt far more than The Drive. I remember being so disgusted when the Browns traded Chip Banks and drafted Mike Junkin. And I proudly wear and own a Brian Sipe jersey, having been in the stands for Sipe’s last game as a Brown versus the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1983, before Sipe jumped to the USFL.

The heartaches and frustrations of the Cleveland Browns fanbase are too many to write; it is painful enough that I remember them. One of the most puzzling decisions the Browns have made since their NFL return in 1999 has been to continually ignore and neglect selecting players from Ohio State.

Yes, I know that the Browns have former Buckeyes Brian Hartline and Terrelle Pryor on the roster. Former Buckeye Simon Fraser played for the Browns as an undrafted free agent from 2005-2007. And I also remember that the Browns drafted former Buckeyes Darnell Sanders in 2002 and Brian Robiskie in 2009. But that’s it – 2 players on the current roster, with a grand total of 5 Buckeyes from 1999 through 2015.

Compare and contrast that with the Pittsburgh Steelers. From 2001, when the Steelers selected Rodney Bailey in the sixth round, the Steelers have picked a total of 8 Buckeyes. The most recent selection was in the 2015 NFL Draft, when Pittsburgh picked Doran Grant in the 4th round. Mike Adams, Doran Grant, Cameron Heyward, and Ryan Shazier are all on the Steelers roster – considering Grant grew up in Akron, and the Browns have a need at cornerback, wouldn’t it be nice to see Grant playing for Cleveland instead of Pittsburgh?

Back to my point. With so many talented Buckeyes in the 2016 NFL Draft, could the Browns wise up and improve their roster with some Buckeyes?

I will quickly add that I do not believe all of the Buckeyes would make sense for the Browns. For example, while Joey Bosa should be a tremendous pro, the Browns are running a 3-4 defense, which would transition Bosa from a 4-3 defensive end to a 3-4 outside linebacker. I am not sure if that would be in Bosa’s best interests as a pro. Besides, I do not believe Bosa will even be on the board for the Browns to pick.

Could Vonn Bell be in the Browns’ draft plans?

Wouldn’t it be nice if the Browns selected Michael Thomas in the second round? How about Nick Vannett in the third round? On day 3 of the draft, picking Jalin Marshall late in the sixth or seventh round? Chase Farris? Tyvis Powell?

Hue Jackson is the latest Cleveland Browns head coach to try and turn around this once proud franchise. A good place to start is to add players from about two and half hours south on I-71.

Heard Around the ‘Shoe – 4-28-2016 (Draft Day Edition)

2016 NFL Draft Today:

Todd McShay’s Final Mock:

#5 – Joey Bosa – Jacksonville Jaguars

#13 – Ezekiel Elliott – Miami Dolphins

#15 – Taylor Decker – Tennessee Titans

#19 – Darron Lee – Buffalo Bills

#20 – Eli Apple – New York Jets

More Draft Tweets:

Final Mel Kiper Mock Draft:

#4 – Ezekiel Elliott – Dallas Cowboys

#6 – Joey Bosa – Baltimore Ravens

#16 – Taylor Decker – Detroit Lions

#17 – Darron Lee – Atlanta Falcons

#29 – Eli Apple – Arizona Cardinals

 

Men of the Scarlet and Gray Podcast Bosa Is Not Top 8 Draft Pick

This week Ryan Rosko an editor for factoryofsadness.co joins us to discuss the Ohio State
Buckeyes in the draft along with the Cleveland Browns.

We discuss that Ryan doesn’t feel Joey Bosa is a Top 8 draft
pick. The reasons why the Cleveland Browns need to stay away from
Cardale Jones. Can the Buckeyes get 6 players drafted in the first
round of the NFL Draft to tie Miami who set the record in
2004. There was also talk about Eli Apple to the Steelers.

Chip gave us his wish list of the Browns picking Michael Thomas
and Nick Vannett along with giving Chase Farris a shot. Shannon
gives his dream scenario of the Browns drafting Joey Bosa, Michael
Thomas and Cardale Jones. Ryan wishes the Browns don’t trade out of
the 8th spot and taking Ezekiel Elliott.

Heard Around the ‘Shoe – 4-27-2016

New 2017 WR Offer to Omar Manning:

2017 DB Prospect Daniel Wright Top 11: 

Buckeye Commit Shaun Wade Army All-American:

Ohio State #1 in Newest ESPN Rankings for 2017:

Buckeyes at the Draft:

Todd McShay’s Top Prospects by Position:

Quarterbacks:

#13 – Cardale Jones

Running Backs:

#1 – Ezekiel Elliott

Wide Receivers:

#5 – Michael Thomas

#8 – Braxton Miller

#35 – Jalin Marshall

Tight Ends:

#2 – Nick Vannett

Offensive Tackles:

#4 – Taylor Decker

Defensive Ends:

#1 – Joey Bosa

Defensive Tackles:

#13 – Adolphus Washington

Outside Linebackers:

#3 – Darron Lee

Inside Linebackers:

#2 – Joshua Perry

Cornerbacks:

#4 – Eli Apple

Safties:

#2 – Vonn Bell

#13 – Tyvis Powell

Joey Bosa Signs Endorsement Deal:

 

Nike Signs Zeke:

Heard Around the ‘Shoe – 4-26-2016

Sorry for the break in daily social media updates! Heard Around the ‘Shoe is back!

Mel Kiper Jr’s. Last Big Board:

2 – Joey Bosa

8 – Ezekiel Elliott

15 – Darron Lee

16 – Taylor Decker

26 – Vonn Bell

28 – Eli Apple

61 – Joshua Perry

63 – Adolphus Washington

66 – Michael Thomas

70 – Braxton Miller

101 – Nick Vannett

153 – Cardale Jones

171 – Jalin Marshall

179 – Tyvis Powell

Todd McShay’s Tier’d Prospects:

Tier 2:

1 – Joey Bosa

4 – Ezekiel Elliott

Tier 3:

13 – Darron Lee

16 – Taylor Decker

Tier 4:

25 – Eli Apple

30 – Vonn Bell

37 – Michael Thomas

Tier 5:

51 – Braxton Miller

58 – Nick Vannett

Tier 6:

71 – Joshua Perry

77 – Adolphus Washington

Todd McShay’s Ultimate Draft Preview:

Highest Floor:

#2 – Taylor Decker

Most Consistent Tape:

#1 – Joey Bosa

#2 – Ezekiel Elliott

Most Physical Players

#5 – Ezekiel Elliott

Best fit for today’s NFL:

#3 – Darron Lee

Most pro-ready from Day 1:

#1 – Joey Bosa

Quarterback Strongest Arm:

#2 – Cardale Jones

Running back Best vision/patience:

#1 – Ezekiel Elliott

Tight End Best Ball Skills

#2 – Nick Vannett

Offensive Line Best run-blocker (tackles)

#2 – Taylor Decker

Defensive Line Best motor:

#3 – Joey Bosa

Defensive Line Best counter puncher:

Joey Bosa – Very slippery as a pass-rusher, in large part because of his ability to keep OTs off his pads with his exceptional hand-to-hand combat skills.

Linebacker Best in coverage:

#3 – Darron Lee

Safety Best in coverage:

Vonn Bell – Can match up against most slot WRs and TEs one-on-one. Has outstanding range in deep zone coverage.

Defensive Backs Best ball skills:

#2 – Vonn Bell

Buckeye Target Chase Young:

The Rise of Ezekiel Elliott Part 2:

Buckeye Mom’s Head to the Draft:

2016 Ohio State Spring Football Conclusions

“Almost everything that is great has been done by youth…” ~ Benjamin Disraeli

For the past couple months, beginning in February, every Friday at 8am EST has begun with this quote on this site. I have written about what I perceived concerns about various position groups, and it culminated in a glorious 2016 Ohio State Spring Game on April 16th in Ohio Stadium.

Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer must be pleased with one crucial area as it relates to spring football – the Buckeyes left the spring game with no injuries that could impact the 2016 season. Fifth-year senior running back Bri’onte Dunn did not play in the spring game with a sprained ankle, but will be back in the mix for the starting running back spot for fall camp.

Showing my age, I can vividly recall Ohio State spring game performances that were tremendous, yet did not translate into fall game production. It is important to keep things in proper perspective. With those caveats in mind, below are three distinct impressions that were made upon me as I sat in D Deck of Ohio Stadium…

1. The 2016 Ohio State Defensive Line Will Rotate Frequently ~ Yes, Ohio State was playing as many offensive and defensive linemen as possible in the spring game. It was challenging for either the Gray’s or Scarlet’s offensive lines to protect Joe Burrow or Stephen Collier whenever either was playing quarterback. With all of that on the table, the defensive linemen who have been waiting in the wings used the spring game as an opportunity to show what they could do if given the opportunity. For example, I don’t want to call him a sleeper, but Jashon Cornell, a moved defensive end to defensive tackle, seemed to emerge during the spring game.

On a somber note, Donovan Munger’s Ohio State career has come to an end, due to health concerns. Best of luck to Munger in all of his future endeavors, and many thanks for all of his contributions to Ohio State football…

For the first time since Coach Meyer came to Columbus in 2012, Ohio State has so many defensive linemen that will allow Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson to continually refresh players who will be able to harass the opposition’s quarterback. Think about this – Nick Bosa is not yet on campus, and Coach Meyer has stated Bosa will play in 2016.

2. Do Not Sweat J.T. Barrett’s 2016 Spring Game Performance ~ J.T. Barrett had an uneven day during the spring game, but there were several extenuating circumstances that impacted his performance. First of all, Barrett wore a black jersey that did not allow him to scramble or face contact. As stated up above, the offensive line was more of a ragtag collection, with projected starters Pat Elflein and Billy Price being withheld from competition. And projected starters Noah Brown and Corey Smith did not play this spring as both are still recuperating from their respective 2015 injuries.

Did Barrett make some throws in the 2016 spring game that were puzzling? Absolutely. Do I believe Barrett would have made those same throws in actual game competition? Absolutely not. Look at Barrett’s spring game as someone who was dealt some specific restrictions, and was testing the boundaries of what was possible, with a mandate to avoid injury at all costs. Look for Barrett to come out impressively against BGSU on September 3rd looking more like his typical self.

3. The 2016 Team Will Continue To Improve Every Week ~ It bears repeating, but with so many young players, the competition for playing time will be fierce and continuous all year long. Will inexperience sometimes be frustrating, especially in the secondary? Without question. The game at Oklahoma in week three will be must-watch TV for not just Ohio State and Oklahoma fans, but the nation –

Don’t take my word for it; go back and listen to the podcast link that included Clair Crawford. Read my man Tony Gerdeman’s thoughts on Ohio State following the spring game. Remember that I wrote this in April – this is going to be a team that will be feared by the end of the 2016 season.

Heard Around the ‘Shoe – 4-21-2016

Buckeye Target Joshua Kaindoh lists Top 4:

Buckeye Target Cam Akers gets UA Invite:

Cardale Jones at Cavs Playoff Game last night:

Buckeye Target Amir Riep to visit MSU this weekend:

Todd McShay’s 5.0 Mock Draft: 

#4 – Ezekiel Elliott – Dallas Cowboys

#5 – Joey Bosa – Jacksonville Jaguars

#10 – Darron Lee – New York Giants

#18 – Taylor Decker – Indianapolis Colts

#20 – Eli Apple – New York Jets

Chris Jent Officially back at OSU:

New Offer Out to 2018 WR:

 

Oklahoma Checking in On Jk Dobbins:

 

Heard Around the ‘Shoe – 4-20-2016

Donovan Munger Done at OSU: 

Article on Ohio State and the Draft:

Eli Apple Draft Profile:

Ezekiel Elliott Draft Profile:

Braxton Miller Draft Profile:

Taylor Decker Draft Profile:

Darron Lee Draft Profile:

Adolphus Washington Draft Profile:

Nick Vannett Moves the Sticks:

Vonn Bell Moves the Sticks:

Cardale Jones Moves the Sticks:

Louis Riddick on Ezekiel Elliott:

Nick Mangold – Hockey Fanatic:

Will Smith’s Family takes out Full Page Ad: