Day Two and Three: Buckeye Bonanza Continued

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.

Mike Thomas:

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.

Vonn Bell:

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.

Adolphus Washington:

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.

Braxton Miller:

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.

Nick Vannett:

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.

Josh Perry:

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.

Cardale Jones:

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.

The Undrafted’s

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.

Tyvis Powell:

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.

Jalin Marshall:

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.

Chase Farris:

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.***

Men of the Scarlet and Gray Podcast Fiesta Champions

I reminisce with Chip Minnich about the Desert showdown that was the Fiesta Bowl on New Years day. We give a little recap about the game versus Notre Dame, offensive and defensive players of the game, we even touched on the targeting call made against Joey Bosa.

Chip and I discuss some of the juniors leaving early for the NFL (at the time of the recording Vonn Bell had not declared but has since). Nine underclassmen are putting the Scarlet and Gray down to join the big boys in the NFL. We also talk about defensive coordinator change with Chris Ash going to Rutgers and Greg Schiano now the Buckeyes new co-defensive coordinator.

We also give our prediction of who might be the winner of the national championship game coming up between Alabama and Clemson.

All Things Buckeyes

Buckeye Blues:

If you are as much of a die-hard Ohio State fan as I am, you are very much displeased with Saturday’s turnout.  With so much anticipation and with so much riding on this game, the Buckeyes just flat out played poorly and sloppily to the point to where minor mistakes derailed their title defense.  Now I am not saying that they are completely out of the Playoff picture, they will just need a lot of help…  A LOT!!!  They need to prepare for a Michigan team hell bent to make a statement in the first installment of Meyer VS Harbaugh.  This will be the most inopportune time to fall asleep or to go through the motions.  Needless to say this is a terrible way to send off their seniors, but it happens in College Football.  This isn’t the last brick in the foundation by any means.  If and I mean IF Penn State can upset Sparty at East Lansing, and IF the Buckeyes show up in Ann Arbor next week, they have a punchers chance.  But with me being the realist that I am, that isn’t the likeliest scenario.  But again, you never know.  Well played Sparty, well played.  Great win and FYI I hate you lol.

Offensive Offense Play Calling:

This is a tricky and touchy subject for me.  What I saw today was atrocious and a complete disaster.  There comes a time and place to call certain plays, but when you run the same QB Draw play expecting a different result?  You sir or ma’am are high.  Whoever is calling the plays on offense needs to be less predictable, less conspicuous.  WHY NOT FEED ZEKE?  But that’s none of my business though.  Something needs to give and Urban Meyer needs to address the lack of creativity when on offense.  Either help out more with the play calling or go out and find a coach who calls less predictable plays.  The QB Draw can only be effective for a short period of time.  Win or lose though, lose in this segment, I am still a proud Buckeye fan.  Hopefully they show some fight and show that they are indeed a great offense.

Recruiting Extravaganza Fail:

Of all the weekends to no-show, it had to be this weekend where all the blue-chip and top choice recruits flooded into the Shoe to watch a battle.  They got a battle on defense from both sides, but the offenses failed to provide a spark.  Especially Ohio State’s.  There is no word yet on what the visiting recruits had said or mentioned about the game, but you never know.  It was a hotly contested game throughout and I think the atmosphere and the fans helped it.  You never know until National Signing Day and we won’t know until an announcement happens, but in this day and age, that means nothing.

Bittersweet Endings:

So there are a ton of media outlets who are reporting that both Ezekiel Elliot and Cardale Jones are headed to the NFL Draft after the season.  That is a huge blow to the Buckeyes when it comes to our current Running Back corps, but with Antonio Williams from this current recruiting class and Mike Weber from last years class, along with Curtis Samuel still in the fold, I see no issues at all with Zeke’s decision.  We are well taken care of in that aspect.  It is also safe to say that the QB position is also covered.  Last year the Buckeyes snagged touted recruits Torrance Gibson and Joe Burrow and they have Tristan Wallace in this current recruiting cycle.  They also still have J.T. Barrett too.  So it is all good for the most part.  I hate to see them go but I think that it’s safe to say that I will trade for all of the former Buckeyes in Madden Next year and I am hoping EA Sports releases another NCAA Football game soon.

Michigan State Spartan Preview

When and Where:

Saturday Novemeber 21,2015 3:30 PM EST
Ohio Stadium Columbus, Ohio msu

TV/Radio
ESPN College GameDay
ABC
Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit
and Heather Cox
Sirius/XM Channel 84

Series History
Overall………………………….Ohio State leads, 29-14
In Columbus………………………Ohio State leads, 14-8
In East Lansing…………………..Ohio State leads, 15-5
Neutral …………………………MSU leads, 1-0
Last Ohio State Win……………… 49-37, 2014 in East Lansing
Last MSU Win……………………. 34-24, 2013 in Indianapolis
Biggest Margin of Victory for OSU ….42-0, 1979
Biggest Margin of Victory for MSU ….32-7, 1965
Longest Winning Steak for OSU ……..8, (1975-84)
Longest Winning Steak for MSU ……..3, (1912-53)
Current Win Streak ……………….Ohio State, 1

Streaks
Urban Meyer 1,000 yard rushers-3
Hyde, Elliott (2)
Ezekiel Elliott 15 straight games with 100+ yards rushing per game
Most consecutive conference victories – Ohio State 30
Most consecutive victories – 23 Ohio State
Consecutive games with a reception – 26 Michael Thomas
24 points a game – 25 Michigan State
Consecutive FBS Bowl appearances – 8

Michigan State Spartans Offense

Sparty is lead by Ohio (Hinkley Township) native Connor Cook. Cook will be coming into Columbus with a possible right shoulder strain, won’t know how or if any effect until Saturday (hopefully he is at full strength). Connor has 2,482 yards with 21 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions. He obviously is having a pretty good season averaging 248.2 yards a game passing, 2.1 touchdowns and .4 interceptions. He has a completion rate of 56.3 percent and a passing efficiency of 143.02 percent.

Looking at MSU pass catchers and Aaron Burbridge jumps out at you. Burbridge has 65 receptions for 1021 yards, with 6 touchdowns. His longest reception is 56 yards and averages 15.7 yards a catch for 102.1 yards per game. Following Aaron is RJ Shelton who currently has 34 catches, 376 yards and 3 touchdowns this season. RJ’s longest reception is 29 yards and averages 11.1 yards a reception for 37.6 yards per game. The only other receiver the Spartans have for over 200 yards is Marggarrett Kings with 32 catches, 450 yards and 5 touchdowns. King’s longest reception 42 yards and averages 14.1 yards per catch for 50 yards per game.

The Spartans rushing attack currently has 1524 yards on the ground, 3.9 yards per rush for an average 152.4 yards per game. They have crossed the goal line 19 times with their rushing game. The running back trio of LJ Scott, Madre Landon, and Gerald Holmes have at least 400 yards so far this season, Scott has the most at 531 so far.

Michigan State is averaging 32.9 points a game this season.

Michigan State Spartan Defense

This isn’t the same Sparty defense Buckeye fans have become accustomed to witnessing the past few years. The Spartan defense was probably at their peak in 2013 in my opinion with the best caliber of players. Last year it was a little easier to pass again them than the year before but the rushing defense was still stellar. This season they have some great players, but statically they are surrendering 121 rushing yards per game which is 18th in the nation currently. Their total defense is ranked 46 and to my memory seems a little off from years past. Some of it has to do with injuries and have to admit Pat Narduzzi leaving has hurt some too. The front line of Shilique Calhoun, Malik McDowell, Demetrius Cooper, Lawrence Thomas and Joel Heath will be creating problems for Ohio State’s offensive line. Michigan State has 29 sacks and 12 interceptions. They might not be on paper the scary shutdown defense we might be used to in recent memory but make no mistake about it, they will be creating many issues for the Buckeyes.

NFL Future

There will be quite a few NFL scouts in attendance for the game. There is a good possibility of being 20 draft picks for the 2016 NFL Draft, 8 being First Rounders.

Hard to Say Goodbye

This is going to be a real emotional game for many Buckeyes who are seniors and possible underclassmen declaring early for the draft. Really going to be hard to see Braxton Miller in his final game in Columbus. For everything he has done, been through you just know the fans will be still packed in the Stadium singing Carmen Ohio for the final time in the most majestic place in America.

Ohio State Policy Change

In case you haven’t heard or read yet, Ohio State announced this week after the situation that happened across the pond in Paris they will no longer be allowing you to bring in your backpack or any bag that isn’t see through. Remember the world we live in is forever changing and get to your seats earlier so when you go through and get checked out before entering your not frustrated or being rude to the wonderful folks responsible for helping keep over 100k fans safe.

2015 NFL Draft Part 2

Many Browns and Bengals fans will be reading this section seeing that both teams draft picks will be in this section. The third part of the series will unfortunately not appear until after the Super Bowl. I will post revised columns of Part 1 and 2 throughout that time.Please keep in mind that not all players have declared for the draft so things could get shaken up when certain players declare. Again I am putting who Todd McShay posted in his first Mock Draft below my choices.

 

11. Minnesota Vikings: Kevin White, WR, West Virginia

While an OT is the true need for the Vikings, I do not think that where they are and what OT are available are worth the reach here. If Winston declares then the door is opened for them because that will change a lot of things in the early part of the draft. I give the nod to White over DeVante Parker. I like White’s big play ability more than Parker and I think White has better hands. White would go much higher if his route running skills were a little bit better and a team had a bigger need at WR. I feel the Vikings need to upgrade their WR core. As I mentioned before in Part 1 you cannot evaluate a quarterback’s future or skill set unless you give him talent to work with.

McShay: Cedric Ogbuehi

12. Cleveland Browns: Danny Shelton, DT, Washington

Shelton is a force in the middle and with Phil Taylor having injury problems and the Browns ability to not stop the run. Shelton is a great fit for a future replacement for Phil Taylor and a great piece to stopping the run.

McShay: Danny Shelton

13. New Orleans Saints: Dante Fowler Jr, DE/OLB, Florida

Fowler could see himself rise into the Top 10, but it all has to do with if Winston declares. The Saints continue to ignore the defensive side of the ball and that has plagued them. They also need help on the offensive line and I could see them moving down to meet that need. However, at some point you cannot ignore the defensive side of the ball. Fowler played the DE/OLB role for the Gators this season. I expect him to transition into the NFL nicely at the same position. With the amount of playing time I think he should get with the Saints he could be a dark horse for defensive rookie of the year.

McShay (When the Mock Draft was posted Saints were picking 21): TJ Clemmings

14. Miami Dolphins: Shaq Thompson, OLB, Washington

I personally think that the Dolphins need to take a WR here like Parker or Jaelen Strong. However they only take a WR in the first round if they part ways with Mike Wallace. Currently Wallace is still on the roster so the Dolphins go OLB. Thompson is very good in coverage and is a terrific athlete, also played and started at running back for the Huskies. I think that speed will transition very well in the NFL and he could end up being a stud at this position.

McShay: Shaq Thompson

15. San Francisco 49ers: DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville

San Francisco needs to add help for Kaepernick. I could see them upgrading their D-Line because that unit seemed desperate for depth. I am not a fan of Crabtree and never really was in the NFL. I think Parker could actually be comparable to Anquan Boldin. I think both would compliment each other very well.

McShay: Devin Funchess

16. Houston Texans: Michael Bennett, DT, Ohio State

Houston could take a WR so Parker or White could be in play here if they drop this far. I think Bennett would be a great fit for Houston. He can play the DE in a 3-4 or could play as a smaller DT in a 4-3. His play down the stretch against Wisconsin and Alabama makes him the top DT prospect. I gave the Browns the nod to Shelton because of his size and what Cleveland needs. Bennett is the better player between the two and Houston’s front line on defense could get scary. If Houston makes a move or two in the secondary and Mallet stays healthy they could be dangerous in 2015-2016.

McShay (Houston was picking 13 when Mock Draft came out): Devante Parker

17.  San Diego Chargers: Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State

I went back and watched some of the Oregon vs Florida State game to review this pick when I saw Goldman was still highly thought of. When I watched Goldman specifically he seemed to play pretty well in that game. He did seem very winded in that game, but when your over 300 pounds how do you not get winded by Oregon’s offense? I like Goldman a lot for the Chargers he plays the run well and can get after the quarterback a little bit from his position.

McShay: Eddie Goldman

18. Kansas City Chiefs: Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State

The Chiefs are so desperate for a WR you just know they will not pick one in the first round, but they should. The WR’s the Chiefs have are mediocre at best. Strong has size and some good speed and I think he could be a great stepping stone for the Chiefs to upgrade their WR position.

McShay: Kevin White

19. Cleveland Browns: La’el Collins, OT/G, LSU

When Collins was thinking about going pro last year many labeled him as a potential stud guard in the NFL. I am still going to label him there because I would not be surprised at all if he lands there. The Browns would love to land one of the four very talented WR’s in this draft. However, Schwartz is not the answer at RT and I think Collins could add much needed depth and talent to the OL. The Browns need to do something because once Mack went down so did the season and the OL.

McShay Jaelen Strong

20. Philadelphia Eagles: Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State

His length to speed ratio is going to be something NFL teams love because that seems to be the trend, bigger corners. The Eagles were pretty bad at the corner back position and Waynes is a talented corner who has some pretty good hands.

McShay: Trae Waynes

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State

Back to Back Spartans on the board. This pick is probably the hardest to project because the Bengals are talented and their true need, in my opinion, is a QB who could actually push Dalton. The Bengals could draft an OT if they cannot resign Whitworth. They could draft a WR to complement Green. While Sanu had a good year, he struggled when it was his time to shine and I think his ability would best be suited in the slot. With that said at the end of the day the Bengals had 1 sack in the playoff game against the Colts. If you want to help your struggling QB you need to be able to pressure the opposing Quarterback and get better field position. That is why the Bengals choose Calhoun.

McShay (Bengals picked 24th in the Mock Draft)L Andrus Peat

2015 NFL Mock Draft Part 1

With the regular season of college football over it is time to dig into the next step for these players, the NFL Draft. This mock draft will not include trades because each team values their pick individually. This will be a 3 part series, this post will include the top 10 picks. I have not decided how many picks will be in the next two posts. This will be an updated series all the way up to the Draft starts. While all the picks will be based off my own thoughts, opinions, and what I have seen on tape. I will also be taking some information from Todd McShay and Mel Kiper because they are able to gather more information and have more resources than I. When reading you will see that I will include my pick, as well as Kiper and McShay’s pick. All picks are based off of the standings going into week 15. Also, Jameis Winston will not be included in this draft because said he would not declare until at least the 2016 draft. If he changes his mind picks will be updated.

 

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

Mariota is a tremendous athlete. I really like the style of Oregon’s offense translating to the NFL. The NFL is so much faster than college football as we all know. The speed at which Oregon runs their offense will help Mariota translate well, also with Oregon’s offense being so fast Mariota has to process information quicker than most QB prospects. With a future stud in Mike Evans and a veteran WR in Vincent Jackson this could help him go along way in development.

McShay: Mariota

2. Tennessee Titans: Leonard Williams, DE/DT, USC

To me the Titans need to upgrade talent in general. I feel Williams is the most NFL ready on the defensive side of the ball. I feel Tennessee will upgrade on defense because teams seemed to run all over the Titans this season. If your defense is not able to get stops then your offense is not able to get into a rhythm. I feel Leonard has the physical tools and the motor to be a good NFL player.

McShay: Jameis Winston

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Randy Gregory, OLB/DE, Nebraska

I really like Gregory’s physical tools. He had a good season for Nebraska. I feel that Jacksonville is trying to mimic what Seattle has done, and that is build the defense and let the offense come along. Jacksonville’s defense was a lot better than their record shows and I look for them to keep adding to the defensive side of the ball.

McShay: Leonard Williams

4. Oakland Raiders: Amari Cooper. WR, Alabama

Cooper is a pure play maker and if he were a few inches taller I would not be surprised him going first overall and the Bucs try and move Jackson. The Raiders need someone for Carr to throw the ball too. The best way to evaluate a QB is to surround him with talented guys. If there was an elite LT prospect I think that is where the Raiders would go, but you cannot afford to let Cooper go.

McShay: Randy Gregory

5. Washington Redskins: Shane Ray, DE, Missouri

Before the season I did not even know who Shane Ray was. As I did research and read what McShay and Kiper had to say about Ray. I immediately went to the tapes and realized how good this guy was in the SEC. He was the most impressive player last season, after watching the film, that included Ealy and Michael Sam. The only concern I have is that Ray is only 6’2″ 240 pounds. That is not to say undersized guys cannot be successful in the NFL. It just gets me worried with the Redskins because they have had a lack of successful DE’s staying healthy.

McShay: Shane Ray

6. New York Jets: Devin Funchess, WR/TE, Michigan

I think this pick varies on so many things. Whether Ryan stays as the HC, does the GM stay? If the GM stays then I believe the Jets could be in place to move up to grab Cooper. If the Jets fail to do that then Funchess to me seems like the best choice. if the Jets would not have drafted Pryor in the first round then they would take Collins. The Jets need to add as much talent on offense as they can. With Funchess having so much versatility this is the best chance foe the Jets to upgrade and help Smith or Vick at QB.

McShay: Amari Cooper

7.  Atlanta Falcons: Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa

This pick varies on so many things it is hard to decide what to do with this pick. I feel the best thing for the Falcons is to reach on Scherff and help keep Matt Ryan up right. The beauty about this pick is it is low risk high reward. While Scherff needs to work on his pass blocking, McShay and Kiper both feel like if he is moved to OG he could be a dominate player. I feel like if I am the Falcons I am willing to take this high of a pick in hopes Scherff becomes a good RT or move him to LG and let Matthews and Scherff dominate on the left side.

McShay: Dante Fowler Jr.

8. New York Giants: Vic Beasley, DE/OLB, Clemson

The Giants are put into a tough spot here. If they are able to sign JPP before the draft, then they consider taking Cedric Ogbuehi. Based off what I feel JPP will want and what the Giants will be willing to pay will not even be close and the Giants draft Beasley who would probably play SLB, as McShay feels, and then be a pass rusher when need be. I agree with that statement.

McShay: Vic Beasley

9. Chicago Bears: Landon Collins, S, Alabama

As a Bears fan I wish they would of taken Clinton-Dix last season because the defense is just in so much trouble. Collins is the answer to prayer for the Bears defense and will help out tremendously. Collins has a good build and can cover well, also is a good tackler. When you play in a division that has explosive offenses, like Detroit and Green Bay, the Bears need to upgrade the secondary.

McShay: Landon Collins

10. Carolina Panthers: Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M

The Panthers are really hoping that the Giants and Falcons take an OT. The Panthers really need to upgrade the OL. Ogbuehi is a really good athlete for his size. I think that the lack of success that Texas A&M had at the QB position effected his performance this year and he could be the first OT off the board.  Ogbuehi would be a good answer at RT for the Panthers and really give them an answer at that position.

McShay: Brandon Scherff

 

 

Coach Meyer speaks out on Hernandez

Since all of the Aaron Hernandez news started to break a few weeks ago Coach Meyer has done his best to stay out of the headlines. While many writers have dragged his name into the story to try and gather their own headlines and hits to their stories. I am choosing not to link any of these stories because they are sensational at best and almost entirely unfounded and under researched by the “media members” attempting to lay blame at the feet of Urban Meyer.

When asked about the case recently Coach Meyer declined to comment to respect the family of the slain victim/victims? Aaron Hernandez is being accused of many horrific crimes in the media but so far only accused of one actual murder in the actual Court of Law and not the Court of Public Opinion. Coach Meyer is a public figure and he has many detractors and although most in the OSU fanbase would jump on those bandwagons a few years back when he was at Florida and ruining Buckeyes NC dreams the truth is we didn’t know what kind of program he ran we weren’t privy to the day to day operations and how he handled his players and program. it can be argued we still don’t know fully how he has handled the OSU program but I can see with my own eyes the way he and his coaches spend time preparing the players for a future outside of football. How they bring their principles and beliefs to the program and share those with the players and hold them to those standards. The players are responsible for their own actions and are treated really well when they are doing well and are treated really badly when they don’t but in both cases you can see and feel the love Coach Meyer has for his players. You can sense how when bad things happens it weighs heavily on Coach Meyer and when they do great things how proud he is of his players.

Much of the criticism against Meyer is “Monday Morning Quaterbacking” looking back in hindsight and trying to judge Meyer on what he didn’t do and not what he did do. Some of the accusations against Meyer are incredulous and insane. I have seen people say that Meyer and Florida paid off the police not to charge his players with multiple shootings and assaults. As if it is just that easy to do and that no one in the police or State Attorney General office would notice Florida players getting a pass on murder charges.

Enough of my opinions lets read what Coach Meyer has to say in his own words. Again some on the “media” will twist these words or worse claim he is lying but they don’t have any proof of the contrary and are just spouting their personal opinions and NOT FACTS. So here thanks to Tim May at The Columbus Dispatch we have Coach Meyers own words on this subject….

“I’ve been, on purpose, staying away from this whole thing, but I’m not now,” Meyer told The Dispatch yesterday before embarking on a family vacation. And he added that, foremost, his “prayers and thoughts are with the family and friends of the victim.”
Yet aspersions have been cast in some media circles that the way Meyer and others tried to help Hernandez work through some of his personal challenges might have served to “enable” him. In a brief interview yesterday, Meyer refuted that claim and others:

Question: Have the recent personal attacks on you in relation to this case bothered you?

Answer: Whenever someone attacks your character, our staff — people aren’t aware of all the things we do in terms of being a mentor, dealing with issues and all that. Yeah, I have been avoiding talking about this because you’re talking about a serious crime; you’re talking about families that have been very affected by this. And to pull something back personal that isn’t true from four to seven years ago, that’s mind-boggling to me.

Q: Pat Dooley of The Gainesville Sun wrote a week ago that you and your wife, Shelley, welcomed Hernandez into your home at times back then, offering him family-style exposure among other ways of trying to show him the right path. Do you think now about what else you could have done?

A: Absolutely. When one of our (Florida assistant) coaches started recruiting him up in (Bristol) Connecticut, it was right after his father had died suddenly. There was a lot of emotional trauma with that. Years ago, that would weigh forever on my chest — “What could we do? What could we do?” Then I’d talk with other coaches, and in essence the conversation was you do the best you can. But at the end of the day, there is free will. You can’t change people. You can set the table and try to help them, make sure there is a spiritual component in their life, make sure there is a family atmosphere. And that’s what we try to do — it’s what we’ve tried to do everywhere.

Q: So how do you react when someone uses the term “enabler” to describe how you handled Hernandez?

A: When I hear that, the first thing I know is it’s not true. And second, I don’t spend much time thinking about it. I’m worried about my players and my team and my family. Years ago, (such criticism) used to bother me. That’s why I don’t read much anymore; I just stay away from it.

Q: What do you recall of Hernandez’s brushes with the law during his time at Florida?

A: Relatively speaking, he had very minor stuff. He was questioned about being a witness (to a shooting), and he had an argument in a restaurant (in which Hernandez allegedly struck an employee in an argument over an unpaid bill), and he was suspended one game (reportedly for a failed marijuana test). Other than that, he was three years a good player. That was it.

Q: It has been suggested that Hernandez failed four to seven drug tests in his time at Florida.

A: I just received an email from a friend where there is an accusation of multiple failed drug tests by Hernandez covered up by the University of Florida or the coaching staff. This is absolutely not true. Hernandez was held to the same drug-testing policy as every other player.

Q: In regards to the shooting incident, in which two people in a car were wounded, a police report surfaced that showed Hernandez and teammate Reggie Nelson were questioned but never charged. What do you recall of that episode?

A: I don’t remember his name in (the report). I remember it was about a one-hour discussion. One of my coaches came in and said, “Hey, they’re getting questioned for this.” … I said, “Well, what do I need to do?” And he said, “Nothing. They’re not involved.” And that was it. They weren’t questioned for (doing) the shooting. They were questioned as a witness.”

Q: You mentioned that your concern for Hernandez rose most when he occasionally would visit his hometown.

A: His people back home said, “Keep him (in Florida), don’t let him come back home” (because of what they saw as unsettling influences). That was a big part of it, now that I remember it. And I didn’t understand the seriousness of it. People warned me and the coaches warned me, saying, “He can’t go back home.” Again, though, I had no idea we’d be talking about what we are now.

Q: Many look upon college head coaches, despite a three- to five-year exposure with an athlete, as being quasi-parents responsible in part for how an athlete turns out.

A: Absolutely that is part of our responsibility. Now can it completely wear you out in worrying about what’s going on 24/7? Yes. But it is our responsibility. We represent the university. We’re like the CEO of a company, but the difference is we’re in the public eye. And then the stories that get told and printed, with the inaccuracies, that’s what just wears you out.

Our program, in my opinion, does as good of a job as anybody in America in involving families, making it a family atmosphere, getting to know our players and trying to develop our players in all areas of their life — social, spiritual, athletic, everything. Our coaches coach, but that’s a small part of it. … It’s why we work so hard on life after football with these kids.

tmay@dispatch.com
@TIM_MAYsports

In Case You Missed It

Brian Robiskie re-signed by Lions

Former Buckeye Brian Robiskie has been re-signed by the Detroit Lions after being briefly released by them last week. Details of the deal aren’t yet known but his re-signing most likely has to do with the new minimum salary cap put in place by the NFL. Robiskie hasn’t done much to think he has a shot at a starting position and with Nate Burleson (the person Robiskie replaced) coming back and whichever receiver the Lions take in the draft, Robiskie certainly has a lot of work to do to earn a starting spot.

Devin Gardner thinks he’s Colin Kaepernick 

Can’t wait to see what some veteran defensive lines think about that

Yes, the similarities are striking.

Receivers make a splash in Spring Game

Michael Thomas, who I mentioned in last week’s ICYMI again looked very good. However this is eerily similar to last year’s spectacular performance which failed to foreshadow the disappointing numbers he would put up in the regular season. Meyer said about him, ““He’s one of those guys that just makes these great plays and then makes mistakes… That’s just either lack of focus or it’s inconsistency, which great players don’t have.”

Chris Field’s on the other hand impressed enough to earn a starting spot. The senior scored touchdowns for both the Scarley and Gray teams and has been impressing all spring. “I’m going to name him a starter today,” Meyer said after the game. “I told him I would if he finished this spring (strong). Chris Fields has earned a starting job on the offense, which is amazing.”

 Location, location, location

Bob Hunter writes about the Spring Game, “There was still the sense that location is what really mattered, that holding the “game” in an NFL stadium in a city that never really has embraced the Buckeyes made this day special. It added spice that the scrimmage wouldn’t have had were it just another spring day with 70,000 watching practice in the Horseshoe.”

Mike Osiecki fired as OSU head hockey coach

The three-year coach was fired today after what athletic director Gene Smith called, “a difference of opinion over the management of the program that could not be resolved”. During his tenure Osiecki compiled 46-50-16 record. Assistant coach Steve Rohlik will take over in the interim.

Breaking Down the 2013 Ohio State Draft Class

Ohio State has a long-standing tradition of producing quality NFL talent. Since 2000, the program has produced more NFL draft picks than any other school, as 83 Buckeyes have had their names called by NFL teams since the new millennium. Though the program is not graduating any players who will be drafted in the top ten, a number of Buckeyes might be receiving phone calls before the name of Mr. Irrelevant is called on Saturday, April 27.

Below is a rundown of the ten Buckeyes who have a legitimate shot to be drafted or signed as a free agent soon after. Each player saw significant playing time at Ohio State, and has a chance to make an impact, to varying degrees, in the NFL.

Jonathan Hankins: Leading this year’s Ohio State draft class is Jonathan Hankins. The defensive tackle decided in December that the grass was greener in the NFL and bypassed his senior year for a chance to play in the pros. According to Dane Bugler of CBSSports.com, Hankins is a lineman with a “rare combination” of size, foot speed and strength. Hankins had a stellar junior year. In his second year as a starter, Hankins racked up 55 tackles, five tackles for loss and a sack. Big Hank was versatile at the position, demonstrating that he can fit into either a 3-4 or a 4-3 scheme in the NFL. He defends the run well and possesses good awareness and instincts. He will most likely be picked towards the end of the first round or at the start of the second. Hankins is not the best defensive tackle in this year’s draft class, but will make a nice prize for the team that chooses him.

John Simon: Few fans of the Scarlet and Gray can forget John Simon. The dedicated Buckeye who plays with passion and drive, Simon made a reputation for himself in Columbus. He was a consistent playmaker at OSU who could be relied upon for energy and big plays. Despite all of Simon’s positive qualities, he faces a challenge in the NFL. Too small to play defensive line and too big to play linebacker, he has already been deemed a “tweener.” In spite of this, Simon is an intriguing prospect for NFL scouts. Simply looking at his stats during his senior season could give a quarterback a case of the jitters. Simon totaled 44 tackles, nine sacks (first in the Big Ten), and 14.5 tackles for loss. He garnered the Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year and the Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year awards for his efforts. The intense lineman also earned All-Big Ten and 3rd team AP All-American honors. Over the course of his career, he started 37 consecutive games over three seasons before suffering a minor knee injury in the week prior to the Michigan game.
Known for his non-stop motor, Simon is a great tackler with “excellent recognition skills.” A relentless player, Simon is dedicated on and off the football field. Head coach Urban Meyer compared the talented athlete’s work ethic to that of the coach’s well-known quarterback at Florida– Tim Tebow. But as stated before, Simon is too small to play defensive line as he did as a Buckeye. This will hurt his draft stock. He will get used to sitting back in coverage and running one-on-one with backs and tight ends. This will be a major adjustment. In Pro Bowl practice, he looked like a “fish out of water,” according to Bugler. Simon doesn’t yet have the footwork needed to succeed at linebacker. He will need coaching to become a mainstay at the position. Regardless, Simon’s remarkable work ethic and motor will likely earn him a spot on an NFL roster. He is currently projected as a third rounder.

Etienne Sabino– Many thought when Sabino chose the Bucks that he would join a long line of great Ohio State linebackers. But the five star recruit out of high school never seemed to put it all together in college. Not to say that Sabino didn’t have a solid career, but he didn’t become the all-star he was projected to be. He also missed much of his senior year with a broken fibula. Sabino did manage 45 tackles, two sacks, four tackles for loss, a forced fumble and two interceptions in eight games, though. There are many NFL greats who didn’t shine in college. Sabino has the raw athletic ability to succeed in the pros. The linebacker “flies all over the field” and blitzes well downhill. Though he has to improve at processing information and taking good angles, Sabino will likely be taken around the fifth round.

Reid Fragel– The most memorable characteristic of Reid Fragel is his height. Standing at 6’8 and 310 pounds, Fragel is an imposing figure. A converted tight end, the Grosse Point Farms (MI) native played offensive tackle during Meyer’s inaugural season at Ohio State. Fragel recognized that tight ends don’t usually play a large role in Meyer’s offensive scheme, so Fragel made the transition to offensive tackle. He added 20 pounds of muscle in the offseason, bulking up while keeping his quickness. The switch was ultimately successful, as he provided a solid senior presence on the offensive line. Fragel performed well this season, never relenting his starting role. But going into the NFL, he is at a bit of a disadvantage. As one would imagine, his technique at the offensive tackle position is not refined to a professional level. But with time, Fragel can develop into a solid offensive tackle. One potential worry is an undisclosed injury that held him out of the Senior Bowl, but Fragel probabaly will still go off the board around the fifth or sixth round.

Zach Boren– Another player who flip-flopped positions his senior year, Zach Boren established himself as a leader at linebacker as the season wore on. Originally a fullback, Boren transitioned to linebacker early in the 2012 campaign, as Meyer’s offense doesn’t typically call for a bruising back. Since Boren played linebacker in high school, he soon readjusted to the position. He became a mainstay of OSU’s talented defense, growing into a fearless inside linebacker. Boren showed good awareness and agility at the position, posting impressive stats. He racked up 50 tackles, a sack and five tackles for loss en route to being named the team’s Defensive Player of the Year. Due to his late switch, it is unlikely that Boren will be drafted until the later rounds. At the very least, Boren should get a chance with an NFL squad as a special teams player, thanks to his tenacity and drive.

Jake Stoneburner– Though he did flirt with other positions, Jake Stoneburner was mostly used as a tight end at OSU. A tall, athletic player talented at catching and blocking, Stoneburner saw time as a tight end, H-back, fullback and wide receiver at Ohio State. While he didn’t rack up monumental stats his senior year (16 catches for 269 yards and four touchdowns), Stoneburner displayed a number of good qualities, such as “smooth” footwork, “tenacity” as a blocker and “excellent” body control. He had a good enough career as a Buckeye to at least earn a chance with an NFL team as a late-round flier. But repeated holding penalties and limited stats will hinder his draft stock. Right now, he is projected as a sixth to seventh round pick.

Travis Howard– A cornerback with some definite talent but some significant shortcomings, Travis Howard is a player who has the talent to play in the NFL but needs some work. Howard enjoyed a solid career with the Bucks, especially during his senior season. He recorded 40 tackles, six passes defensed and a Big Ten best four interceptions, earning him Honorable All-Big Ten honors. As he displayed in 2012, Howard has good ball skills and foot quickness. Though a bit lean for a cornerback at 6’1 and 198 pounds, Howard makes good reads and is aggressive in run support. But the playmaker has to work on his timing, positioning and discipline. He has the potential to be a contributor in the NFL, but must fix these areas of his game. Howard looks to be a third day pick, as he will likely go in the seventh round.

Nathan Williams– A defensive line/linebacker hybrid, Nathan Williams is, in a way, a lesser-known version John Simon. Williams is a physical tackler who plays with a lot of energy just like Simon, though Williams struggled with a knee injury during his time at Ohio State. He missed the 2011 season because of his knee, but worked his way back into the lineup in 2012. By the end of his senior campaign, Williams looked fully healthy. He certainly played like it, notching 40 tackles, two sacks and four tackles for loss on the year. Scouts may doubt about his ability to stay healthy, but Williams could improve his draft stock with a good Combine. As of now, he is projected to either be picked in the seventh round or go undrafted.

Orhian Johnson– A versatile safety who had to fight for playing time at Ohio State, Orhian Johnson is an intriguing prospect. During his career as a Buckeye, he not only played both safety positions, but also spent time at outside linebacker and cornerback. Though he often had to battle for playing time with higher-ranked recruits, Johnson always found a way onto the field. His size and athleticism certainly had something to do with that. With the talent he displayed at OSU, he could be a solid special teams player in the pros. But Johnson has some obstacles to overcome if he expects to play on defense. He needs to add some muscle, eliminate the “dumb” penalties he has been known to incur and also take better angles in run support. Still, Johnson should earn a spot on an NFL roster, whether he is taken very late in the draft or signed as an undrafted free agent.
Garrett Goebel– As a defensive tackle for the Bucks, Garrett Goebel posted impressive stats. During his senior season, he compiled 86 tackles, two sacks, 12 tackles for loss, two passes defensed and one fumble recovery. Goebel flew under the radar, though, as he was not well-known as a Buckeye. He has not been noticed too much by scouts, either. Though he started every game of his junior and senior seasons, Goebel will most likely not be drafted. He still has a shot to be picked up by a team via free agency, though. Goebel will have to establish himself on special teams or on the practice squad before he gets a major opportunity with an NFL team.

Information from CBSSports.com, OhioStateBuckeyes.com and NFL.com was used in this article. Phrases in quotation marks are words used by Dan Bugler of CBSSports.com.

Week #15 Open Thread

With the dearth of posts around these parts, you’d think the college football season had ended. Sure, it ended for the Buckeyes 2 weeks ago, there’s still a lot of football being played. Man, did this season fly by. Here’s our last chance to hold on to that sweet nectar that is our favorite sport. Enjoy it while you can, especially before BCS Hate Week starts in earnest tomorrow shortly after the Bowl Selection Show.

Here’s our last regular season Open Thread. Feel free to fill the comments with whatever is on your mind. Like: “What is up with those Army uni’s?”

Update:
Yes, there is some great football going on, but Michigan just upset #4 Duke (talk about mixed emotions) and Ohio State is beating #7 Notre Dame at last check. I don’t have ESPNU for the same reason no one else does, so I’m just watching the ticker when I get a chance.

Updated again:
I’ll be honest, I didn’t think that Alabama, at this point in the third quarter, would be in this game. But after a drive that took over half the third quarter, the score is tied 17-17. I don’t think anything would make me happier than seeing Urban Meyer lose. (Update – And of course, Florida rips off 14 points like they’re free)

Oh, and congrats to the Buckeyes on upsetting two top-25 teams this week, beating Notre Dame. Also, congrats to Teh ESPN for preventing just about everyone in Buckeye Nation from seeing it. Why, again, do we have the Big Ten Network?