The countdown until the 2016 NFL Draft was a long winding road filled with suspense and intrigue. There were a few stories that have left a mark and the only one that I can recall is the… Actually, I can’t remember anything right now, but I digress. The 2016 NFL Draft is now over and done with and my job right now is to go over the list of Buckeyes selected in this years draft and honorably mention the ones who weren’t as fortunate, but I trust that they’ll succeed even though their dreams are temporarily on hold for the moment.
Thomas was the first Buckeye taken on Day 2 with Pick #47 in the 2nd Round by the New Orleans Saints. After the Saints released Marques Colston, their longtime go-to Wide Receiver, they had to make a move to bolster their receiving corps to complement Willie Snead and company. Thomas has the bloodlines and the sheer potential to add life into the potent Saint Passing onslaught. He can run routes, he can catch it in traffic and he has the ability to separate from opposing Defensive Backs. The only thing that he cannot do is return kicks and punts but his skillset will bolster their offensive attack. Thomas fell into the perfect situation and he has the opportunity to work with a legend in the making in Drew Brees. He will look to him early and often to learn the playbook and to get the timing and chemistry right for the upcoming season.
Who Dat!? The Saints strike while the iron was hot during the 2nd Round with the 61st Overall Pick and another Buckeye fell on their laps. This time in the form of Vonn Bell. Bell would provide a talented potential starter for the Saints and he would fit in perfectly with Kenny Vaccaro in the Defensive Backfield. A playmaker to work alongside a thumper is more than Coach Rob Ryan could ask for. Bell will look to patrol all over the field looking to make plays. Rookie Camp will also be interesting since it’ll be like being back at Ohio State. He will defend Mike Thomas for the life of their rookie contracts and it looks to be interesting to say the least. Bell is a steal because prior to the NFL Combine, he had projections for the 1st Round. He will continue to make plays like had always done throughout his Buckeye career and I don’t see any drop off in the NFL.
Diesel was picked up by the Buffalo Bills in the 3rd Round with the 80th Overall Pick and Rex Ryan is looking to stockpile Defensive Line depth to get a little younger. After being suspended for the Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame, he worked his tail off and got himself back on track. Although he had been projected to go in the Late 1st Round to Mid 2nd Round, he finally heard his name in the 3rd and it continued the Buckeyes streak. The biggest asset that Washington has is his quick first step and his ability to beat the initial blocker. He blows past the slower interior lineman early and often and he has the ability to occupy two blocker to free up one of his fellow Silver Bullets so that they can finish the play. Overall good fit for the Bills.
X-Brax was taken in the 3rd Round with the 85th Overall Pick to add to a now potent offense. The Texans took Fighting Irish Wideout Will Fuller in the 1st Round. They added Lamar Miller to the fold and now all of a sudden the Offense oozes with potential. Oh, and they still have Hopkins on the roster as well. Although they had released longtime bruiser Arian Foster, I think that they will just fine. The Human Highlight Reel will join newly acquired Quarterback and former Denver Bronco, Brock Osweiler in Houston and I am looking forward to seeing if they can light up the scoreboard early and often this season. Miller will look to prove that the transformation into a new position is complete and that he can be the playmaker that all Buckeye fans know him to be. He will most likely start in the slot and be Osweiler’s security blanket.
The Seattle Seahawks took Vannett in the 3rd Round with the 90th Overall Pick and although they still have Jimmy Graham and Luke Willson on the roster another Tight End that is well-rounded cannot hurt what they are trying to accomplish. Yes, the Buckeye Offense rarely used the Tight End, but he was utilized and is a proven blocker. Don’t let the scarcity of his production fool you because he can catch too. He can get open and he can beat slower Linebackers and smaller Defensive Backs if asked to. A workout warrior and a locker room leader, Vannett will learn from Russell Wilson. I am unsure if he’d see the field early but I feel that if he could contribute in any way possible, he would if given the opportunity.
Perry was taken in the 4th with the 102nd Overall Pick and he get’s to team up with former Buckeye and now San Diego Charger, Joey Bosa. Bosa also had the privilege of announcing his teams pick. Perry will be a handful for the AFC West. Not only is he quick off the snap, he can diagnose plays quickly and he is not even close to being injury prone. Perry is an athlete. It will be great to see him earn some playing time and watching him grow. With many other Linebackers on the roster, I think that he will become a Special Teams Ace until players either leave or suffer injuries.
King Dolo Dale was drafted with the last pick in the 4th Round by the Buffalo Bills. Although Tyrod Taylor is the current Starter at the position, Jones will look to learn and develop while waiting for the opportunity to play. Jones has arm strength for days and I do not see that being the issue. His main issue is locking onto a single receiver and his decision making and touch with his throws. All minor things to work through. Cardale pulled a Hulk Hogan after finding out that he had been drafted and when he finds his true potential, WHAT YOU GONNA DO BROTHER!? It’ll be fun to see him succeed when given the shot to.
Although you can debate on whether certain players should’ve stayed an extra year to develop, you really cannot fault them for chasing their dreams and betting on theirselves. Being Undrafted isn’t necessarily a bad thing because diamonds are usually found in this field. It is heartbreaking to not hear you name called but these players still have a shot to stick on a roster whether it is on a Practice Squad or a 53 man roster.
Powell was not drafted but he is a playmaker and a ballhawk. He chose to sign with the Seattle Seahawks joining Nick Vannett. He has a knack for making timely plays and what better environment to learn from that from the L.O.B? The Legion of Boom will assist his progression throughout Training Camp. Although a longshot to make the roster, he can still be placed on the Practice Squad to he can hone and develop into a contributor on the Active Roster.
Marshall should’ve stayed to develop into a star, but like I had mentioned, I cannot blame a player for betting on himself and believing in his ability. Marshall signed with the New York Jets and he joins former Buckeye Devin Smith in a new look offense. Smith played a key role in the recruitment of Marshall and together they could wreak havoc on opposing defenses if they can develop.
Farris signed on with the Detroit Lions and joined Taylor Decker on the Offensive Line. Not many people know that Farris was originally a Defensive Lineman out of high school but due to the lack of able bodies on the offensive side, he was converted. Farris was the final piece to the Offensive Line puzzle that won all the marbles for the Buckeyes two years ago. An able blocker and strong as an ox, Farris will look to once again work alongside Decker.
Well it was fun covering this and I cannot wait to see the talent over the next few years develop and have a chance to break the Miami Hurricanes record of 6 players drafted in the 1st Round. Although some players’ dreams weren’t realized, nothing is ever easy and they will all continue to fight to secure a spot on their respective teams. Oh and before I forget GO BUCKS!
***FWIW: A kicker was drafted in the 2nd Round… And the first Wolverine to come off the board? Graham Glassgow in the 3rd… Yeah the talent overflows up north (sarcasm)… Buckeyes over everything… Especially over anything Maize and Blue.***