Looking at Ohio State's 2014 Offensive Line Depth Chart
By Tony Gerdeman
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State offense is going to look a little bit different in 2014. Sure, quarterback Braxton Miller returns, so it will still look familiar in that way. However, the loss of tailback Carlos Hyde and four starters on the offensive line means that new players are going to have to emerge.
Making a successful transition from Carlos Hyde to Ezekiel Elliott and company will largely depend on how well the 2014 offensive line performs. While there are a few players with good experience, Taylor Decker is the lone returning starter, and he'll be playing a new position.
Offensive line coach Ed Warinner had a bit of a rebuilding job to do during his first year at Ohio State, and he managed that one just fine. If he can do the same again, then the Buckeyes will be very well positioned up front in 2015, as there is only one senior on the offensive line in 2014.
Taylor Decker (Jr. 6-7 315)
Urban Meyer has already announced that Taylor Decker would be moving from right tackle to left tackle, which shouldn't have been a suprise to anybody. He started every game last season, and is the anchor for the Buckeyes in 2014. He is potentially one of the best offensive linemen in the entire Big Ten.
Photo by Dan Harker
Darryl Baldwin (rSr. 6-6 310)
Meyer said last week that right now Darryl Baldwin is his starter at right tackle. He has played in quite a few games as a backup, with some of that game action being extensive. Baldwin is a former defensive lineman, but has been in the two deep on the offensive line for a couple of years now.
Evan Lisle (rFr. 6-6 297)
Evan Lisle redshirted last season, but should battle Darryl Baldwin for the starting right tackle spot. It isn't a stretch to say that the coaching staff hopes that Lisle wins the job, that way they'll have the possibility of a three or four-year starter at one of their tackle spots, rather than having to replace a senior in 2015.
Jamarco Jones (Fr. 6-5 285)
To hear Urban Meyer tell it, the Ohio State recruiting class would have almost deflated without the signing of Jamarco Jones. Meyer said that he expects Jones to end up in the two deep this season. Assuming the non-winner of the Baldwin - Lisle contest backs up Taylor Decker, Jones should then end up as the #2 right tackle.
Kyle Trout (Fr. 6-6 295)
It's isn't yet sure where Kyle Trout will eventually end up, but given the numbers situation, he is expected to start out at tackle. He is already on campus and working out, so he'll have a nice head start, which is a luxury that each coach would want all of their offensive linemen to experience.
Brady Taylor (Fr. 6-5 295)
Brady Taylor is from Columbus, Ohio, but was a very late offer by the Ohio State staff. He was previously committed to Virginia Tech, so it's not like his offers were paltry. While many expect him to redshirt, Urban Meyer warned that he could be a guy who sneaks up on people and lands on the depth chart this season.
Jacoby Boren (Jr. 6-2 290)
Jacoby Boren played in six games last season and is the favorite to win the starting center job in 2014. He played well early last season as Corey Linsley came back from injury. He's not the biggest guy, so we don't really know if the grind of the season can wear him down. Being a Boren, however, he should be fine.
Billy Price (rFr. 6-3 299)
Urban Meyer said last week that if Billy Price isn't starting, then he'll be somewhere on the depth chart. Price has worked at center, but could also be considered a candidate for one of the guard positions if he is one of the top five offensive linemen. He redshirted last season, so it's tough to peg how ready he is.
Photo by Dan Harker
Pat Elflein (rSo. 6-3 295)
Pat Elflein played very well last season, especially on big stages like the Michigan and Michigan State games. While he is not a returning starter, the coaching staff definitely has a sense of calm and confidence where Elflein is concerned. He is a virtual lock to be one of the starting guards in 2014.
Photo by Dan Harker
Chase Farris (rJr. 6-4 308)
Chase Farris was one of the team's more athletic offensive linemen last season, which is one of the reasons they had to move him to defensive line. Whether he moves back to the offensive line in 2014 is a question mark, but what isn't much of a question is that if he does move, he'll be one of OSU's best guards.
Antonio Underwood (rJr. 6-2 303)
Antonio Underwood tore his ACL in fall camp last season, so he redshirted in 2013. Before that injury, however, he was one of Ed Warinner's top eight offensive linemen. If he returns to form, there's a good chance that he could find himself not just on the depth chart, but at the top of it.
Kyle Dodson (rSo. 6-6 310)
Kyle Dodson has had to deal with injuries in his time at Ohio State, and now he has moved from tackle to guard. The question that should be asked is if he was moved because of his ability to play guard immediately, or his inability to play tackle ever. Urban Meyer said that it's time for Dodson to produce now, regardless.
Tommy Brown (rJr. 6-4 308)
Tommy Brown spent most of last season in the two deep, and he likely expects to do so again. He will be pushed, however, and will need to show that he is more than just a practice player. This is his fourth year on campus, so you can imagine the pressure that Urban Meyer will be putting on him to contribute.
Demetrius Knox (Fr. 6-4 305)
Just a freshman, Demetrius Knox is one of the two rookies on the offensive line that Urban Meyer said needs to be in the two deep immediately. There are some expectations that Knox could do even better than the two deep, but that's too much to put on a freshman at a place like Ohio State.
Marcelys Jones (Fr. 6-4 340)
Marcelys Jones is an early enrollee, so Ed Warinner will be able to begin molding him in the spring. Right now, however, strength coach Mickey Marotti is doing the molding, and it's something that Jones definitely needs. As of this moment, it would probably be most realistic to expect a redshirt here.
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