Projecting OSU’s Offensive Depth Chart – Post NFL Declaration Edition

Ohio State Football Buckeyes


It has been nearly two weeks since the Buckeyes only lost three underclassmen to the NFL Draft, so we now have a much better picture of what the Ohio State roster is going to look like next season. There are still a few recruiting pieces left to fall into the puzzle, but for the most part, we can peer into the crystal football and get a pretty good idea of what the depth chart is going to look like heading into spring football.

There were still plenty of losses, however, including stalwarts J.T. Barrett, Jamarco Jones, and Billy Price. Those players won’t be replaced easily, but life will go on.

We will start with the offense first today, which was bolstered by the return of Mike Weber, Parris Campbell, and the rest of his receiving buddies. The only freshmen listed below will be those who have enrolled early.

7 Dwayne Haskins, rSo OR
10 Joe Burrow, rJr
18 Tate Martell, rFr
Matthew Baldwin, Fr

It’s going to the biggest quarterback competition in Ohio State football spring history. (I don’t know if that’s true, but everything nowadays has to be the biggest or best.) Dwayne Haskins is the favorite here, but the job is still very much up for grabs.

Running Back
2 J.K. Dobbins, So OR
25 Mike Weber, rJr
26 Antonio Williams, rSo
Master Teague, Fr

J.K. Dobbins kept the starting job last season following Mike Weber’s early-season injuries. Even though both you and I consider Dobbins the starter, don’t be surprised when they are listed as co-starters next season. Part of the reason Weber came back was because he was promised touches. He didn’t come back to be a backup. True freshman Master Teague is now on campus and we’ll see what he can do in the spring as well.

21 Parris Campbell, rSr OR
14 K.J. Hill, rJr
30 Demario McCall, rSo
80 C.J. Saunders, rJr

If you ever find yourself downplaying the return of Parris Campbell, just go YouTube some highlights to remind you of what he can do with the ball in his hands. K.J. Hill, meanwhile, led the Buckeyes in catches last season. He told me about a week ago that he will be back at H in 2018. Now you add Demario McCall into the mix, who finally gives the H-back position somebody with experience running between the tackles. This position will get even deeper in the summer when true freshman Jaelen Gill gets to campus.

X Receiver
11 Austin Mack, Jr OR
9 Binjimen Victor, Jr
15 Jaylen Harris, So

The “OR” will likely remain at every receiver spot in 2018. Jaylen Harris will try to add his name into the mix this spring. Austin Mack closed the season well with three catches for 56 yards against USC in the Cotton Bowl, but only had four catches over the Buckeyes’ last six games. Binjimen Victor, meanwhile, had five receptions over the last seven games. Even though they were entrenched as co-starters, there is still room for somebody like Harris if he proves that he can produce. Also keep an eye on Harris — who only played in three games in the first half of the season — being allowed a redshirt for last year due to injury. That’s just speculation based on it happening to other players every single year on every single team.

Z Receiver
83 Terry McLaurin, rSr OR
1 Johnnie Dixon, rSr
87 Ellijah Gardiner, rFr

Terry McLaurin and Johnnie Dixon both have to be looking forward to the Buckeyes throwing the ball deeper this coming season. Putting Ellijah Gardiner — a 6-foot-5 receiver — at the Z with them is just a projection based on room. Gardiner has track speed, so this could be an interesting pairing. I think everyone is looking forward to seeing what he can do this spring.

Tight End
13 Rashod Berry, rJr OR
89 Luke Farrell, rSo OR
81 Jake Hausmann, rSo

Ohio State returns eight career receptions at tight end, with six of those belonging to Rashod Berry. Berry spent 2017 as the No. 2 next to starter Marcus Baugh. Luke Farrell played in nine games last season and Jake Hausmann played in three. Both were very highly recruited, so there is still plenty of promise there as well. Berry is the favorite here, but it is natural to see some advancement from the younger players now that playing time is available. The Buckeyes will also be adding the nation’s top tight end recruit in the summer, so that will add some impetus as well.

Left Tackle
59 Isaiah Prince, Sr
58 Joshua Alabi, rJr

The expectation is that Isaiah Prince will take the Taylor Decker Route and move from the right side to the left side. Despite what you still think of Prince from the 2016 Penn State game, he was pretty outstanding this past season and should be even better in 2018.

Left Guard
73 Michael Jordan, Jr
53 Wyatt Davis, rFr OR
71 Josh Myers, rFr

Michael Jordan is entrenched at left guard…unless they kick him out to tackle. I don’t expect that to happen, but there are a bunch of talented guards who could help the team this coming season. Wyatt Davis and Josh Myers are too highly-touted prospects who could make the decision to move Jordan easier.

79 Brady Taylor, rSr OR
69 Matt Burrell, rJr
Matthew Jones, Fr

Replacing Billy Price is not going to be easy, but Brady Taylor and Matt Burrell will likely get the first cracks at it. Matthew Jones is a true freshman who has already enrolled. He was the No. 1 center in the 2018 recruiting class.

Right Guard
78 Demetrius Knox, rSr OR
76 Branden Bowen, rJr
66 Malcolm Pridgeon, rSr
61 Gavin Cupp, rSo

Demetrius Knox played well once he was inserted into the starting lineup when Branden Bowen went down with an injury. It will be interesting to see where Bowen lines up in 2018. He was one of the five best offensive linemen to start the season last year, and given the turnover from 2017, he should be again. His versatility will likely come into play once again.

Right Tackle
76 Branden Bowen, rJr OR
75 Thayer Munford, So
Max Wray, Fr

The staff loves Thayer Munford, which is why he didn’t redshirt as a true freshman last year. Both Munford and Branden Bowen were in the initial mix at right guard last season. Bowen ended up winning the job, even though he was a tackle in 2016. Greg Studrawa will find his best five offensive linemen again this year, and then fit them in the right spots. Even though the tackles may not be as deep as they were a year ago, the overall depth on the offensive line is pretty impressive.


12 Responses

  1. If Burrow stays, people tend to forget how he was AHEAD of Haskins before his injury and has every bit of a shot at starting this year and I hope he dos stay….I would also like to see Pridgeon develop/get better..was talk after he transferred of him starting and i know he was hurt but seems like he hasn’t climbed the depth charts as expected…yet.

  2. You mention..Ohio States offense. IF that is true than Tate Martell is the only quarterback that makes any sense. If you mean a completely retooled Ohio State offense the door swings back open for an open competition. Day doesn’t have the teaching ability to teach ball handling skills so if CEO Meyer decides to continue JT Barrett left and JT Barrett right, and JT Barrett the center of the universe offense, only Tate and Joe make any kind of sense. If the CEO decides to incorporate more a a West Coast of true pro set offense, Dwayne and Joe are the only 2 that make any sense.

  3. Campbell should be benched IF he shows signs that he still has ball control problems and can’t catch a ball past 10 yards early into this season. His speed doesn’t out weigh the negatives he brings to the table. I’d rather see McCall and Saunders out there. Hopefully Campbell fixes his problems and has a stellar season

  4. Jordan to LT, Knox and Bowen at the Guard spots

  5. Don’t fool yourself…Joe Burrow will not be given a chance to win the starting job. Urban has it preset in his mind that Haskins is his man…my hope is that Burrow will find himself at a college that will appreciate his talents. I just wonder…why a preferred walk on at QB (Kory Curtis) is never mentioned…will he not be given a chance?

    1. Kory Curtis did a great job on the scout team this past season. This spring will be an opportunity to actually run OSU’s offense rather than somebody else’s.

      1. Thanks Tony….I met him in Florida while officiating a basketball game where his parents coach. Great kid….He is from a local high school…did not officiate any of his games but his stats were good…wish him well…in your opinion do you think Burrow will really get a chance or does he have one foot out the door?

        1. I think he’ll absolutely get a shot. But if he already has one foot out the door, it won’t do him any good. I think he’s all in because there’s no reason not to be.

  6. Have an inkling Ruckert is gonna get a lot of playing time early on, Gerd.

    1. We shall see. He’s certainly going to get a shot to prove he belongs.

    1. He should be in the mix at OG as well.

Comments are closed.