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!!!

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