Football Hayes & Cannon

Just Another Man’s Ohio State Football Depth Chart

J.K. Dobbins Ohio State Football Buckeyes Dwayne Haskins

 

There are few things I love in life more than making predictions and seeing them be completely wrong on a very public stage, in writing.  I mean, I’m the idiot who predicted a certain true freshman running back would only receive 7 carries last year.  With publicly failing being so high on my To-Do list and everyone putting out their predicted depth charts, I figured I should jump into the mix as well.

QUARTERBACK

  1. Dwayne Haskins, rSo
  2. Tate Martell, rFr
  3. Matthew Baldwin, Fr

Ohio State has three very young and very good quarterbacks.  All three of them could start for almost any other Big Ten team this season.  Problem is, they only have one spot available and I think that ultimately leads to people transferring out.  If Burrow wins the job, I see Haskins transferring out.  If Haskins wins the job, I see Burrow transferring out.  If Martell wins the job, I would expect both Haskins and Burrow to transfer out.  This is a huge decision and the long-term effects for the position could be pretty detrimental depending on who is named the winner.  As you can see, I predict Haskins is the man.

RUNNING BACK

  1. J.K. Dobbins, So OR
  2. Mike Weber, rJr
  3. Antonio Williams, rSo

There is no change in the running back room unless Williams decides to transfer out, which I don’t think he will.  There are roughly 15-20 extra carries (45 if it’s a big game) out there for someone with J.T. Barrett gone.  I would not be shocked if both Dobbins and Weber rush for over 1,000 yards this season.

“X” RECEIVER

  1. Austin Mack, Jr
  2. Binjimen Victor, Jr
  3. Jaylen Harris, rFr

Just like with the running back room, there are really no changes here when it comes to the depth chart.  This is a huge year for this group of guys though.  I think Mack really explodes onto the scene this season and becomes the clear-cut number one.  Victor is the one I think will benefit from the new strategy the most and may finally reach the potential everyone believes he has.

“Z” RECEIVER

  1. Johnnie Dixon, rSr OR
  2. Terry McLaurin, rSr
  3. Kamryn Babb, Fr

Ohio State has shown they love to rotate guys in and out at the wide receiver room.  I still wish that K.J. Hill would move outside and start here, but it isn’t going to happen.  The biggest question mark is who comes in after Dixon and McLaurin.  I wound up going with Babb but there is no scientific thought in that at all.  At 6’1” and 190 pounds, he’s got the ideal size to be the type of guy they want over there.

H-BACK

  1. Parris Campbell, rSr
  2. K.J. Hill, rJr
  3. Demario McCall, rSo

As I mentioned above, I’d love to see Hill move out of this spot just because I think he needs to see the field a lot more.  The same goes for McCall, who could be the most dynamic playmaker on the offensive side of the ball.  When exactly will McCall be freed?

TIGHT END

  1. Rashod Berry, rJr
  2. Jeremy Ruckert, Fr
  3. Luke Farrell, rSo

Berry has this job on lockdown; it’s what happens behind that will be the interesting story.  Will the highly-touted freshman come in and jump up the depth chart or will Farrell and Jake Hausmann be able to fight him off?  As you can see, I think Ruckert comes in and forces his way onto the field right away.

LEFT TACKLE

  1. Isaiah Prince, Sr
  2. Nicholas Petit-Frere, Fr

I really think we will see Prince slide over to the left side and protect Haskins’ blindside.  He has been an emotional rollercoaster for Buckeye fans but has really settled in.  I think most Buckeye fans would really be shocked at how good he has become since that Penn State game a few years back.  Behind him, I see Petit-Frere stepping in and gearing up to take over next season.

LEFT GUARD

  1. Michael Jordan, Jr
  2. Wyatt Davis, rFr

This is one of the easier choices out there.  Jordan has been a very good starter for two years now and will be looked at to be a leader this season.  Behind him, the Buckeyes really have to start grooming his replacement and I think it will be Davis.

CENTER

  1. Matthew Burrell, rJr
  2. Brady Taylor, rSr

This is a difficult choice but I wound up going with Burrell here even though he has been passed up numerous times for other starting spots.  Will center be where he finally gets his opportunity?  Both guys should be watching their backs for incoming freshman Matthew Jones though.

RIGHT GUARD

  1. Demetrius Knox, rSr
  2. Josh Myers, rFr

Knox was probably the biggest surprise last season as he stepped in when Branden Bowen went down and become a very solid starter.  This is huge because it allows Bowen to move back outside and Ohio State can start grooming the next starter.

RIGHT TACKLE

  1. Brandon Bowen, rJr
  2. Thayer Munford, So

As I mentioned above, Knox makes it possible for Bowen to move back out to tackle.  The coaching staff mentioned time and time again during last spring and fall that Bowen was easily their third best tackle.

DEFENSIVE END

  1. Nick Bosa, Jr
  2. Dante Booker, rSr

I won’t even talk about the starter.  The surprise here should be Dante Booker, as I see him moving from linebacker to defensive end.  I really think we have seen Booker at linebacker for the last time and this position should suit his strengths pretty well.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

  1. Dre’Mont Jones, rJr
  2. Jashon Cornell, rJr
  3. Malik Barrow, rSo

The Defensive Tackle position will be the deepest positional group Ohio State has this year.  Ultimately, I think this will allow Jones to play some defensive end as well.  Cornell was one guy I was very impressed with last year as he showed flashes of dominance.  If he can become more consistent, he is a guy who could become a lot more well-known around B1G-Land.

NOSE TACKLE

  1. Rob Landers, rJr
  2. Antwuan Jackson, rSo
  3. Haskell Garrett, So

I really think Landers has the edge right now but he is going to have a massive battle holding off Jackson and Garrett.  I would not be shocked if either one of these two wind up beating out Landers. Just like at the other tackle position, however, there will be a lot of rotation regardless.

DEFENSIVE END

  1. Chase Young, So
  2. Jonathon Cooper, Jr

Both of these guys are going to dominate next year.  Everyone knows about Chase Young, but a lot of people are forgetting how good Cooper is.  He was the 33rd-best player coming out of high school in 2016 and his performance in the Spring Game last year surely showed he wasn’t all hype.

SAM LINEBACKER

  1. Malik Harrison, Jr
  2. Pete Werner, So
  3. Brendon White, So

This is one of the tougher positions to project.  You’d assume Harrison steps into the starter role, but you can’t forget how talented Werner is.  Also, does Booker still factor into this spot?  Additionally, Ohio State doesn’t know what to do with White and I have a feeling he winds up at linebacker somewhere.

MIKE LINEBACKER

  1. Baron Browning, So
  2. Tuf Borland, rSo
  3. Teradja Mitchell, Fr

I know it won’t be popular and I respect what Borland did last season, but I don’t think he is anywhere near as talented as Browning.  If it’s third-and-goal from the one, I want Borland in there, but Browning is the type of linebacker who can dominate a game like Raekwon McMillan used too.

WILL LINEBACKER

  1. Keandre Jones, Jr
  2. Justin Hilliard, rJr
  3. Dallas Gant, Fr

We’ve heard for a few years about how good Jones is and there are flashes here and there on the field, but will he finally get his opportunity?  Behind him is Justin Hilliard, who I’m a huge fan of, but he seems like another guy who is just trying to find a spot where he can settle in.

CORNERBACK

  1. Kendall Sheffield, rJr
  2. Shaun Wade, rFr
  3. Amir Riep, So

Sheffield really grew on me more and more last season.  There is no denying he struggled mightily at times, but so did many future Buckeye greats at CB over the past couple of seasons.  His combination of size and speed will make him a first-round pick next season.

CORNERBACK

  1. Jeff Okudah, So OR
  2. Damon Arnette, rJr
  3. Marcus Williamson, So

Opposite of Sheffield will be a steady rotation of Okudah and Arnette.  I’m not much of a fan of Arnette as anything more than a nickel back, but he is an experienced guy back there who can play and not screw up too much.

SAFETY

  1. Isaiah Pryor, So
  2. Tyreke Johnson, Fr
  3. Wayne Davis, rSo

It is widely assumed Pryor will take over for Webb, and I have to agree.  He looked great on special teams and has the size Ohio State wants back there.  It will be interesting to see where Tyreke Johnson winds up, but I ultimately feel like he will be a safety.

SAFETY

  1. Jordan Fuller, Jr
  2. Josh Proctor, Fr
  3. Jahsen Wint, rSo

Fuller was able to quietly have one of the better seasons in the Buckeye defensive backfield while all the attention was on the CBs for various reasons.  This year, he will be looked upon as a leader and will become a household name by season’s end.

So there it is, I have four true freshmen cracking the two-deep and six underclassmen starting.  Additionally, I only have three “Ors” marked, and there are sure to be at least 10 more marked somewhere.

There are too many places to count where I am probably wrong, but where do you disagree the most?

9 Responses

  1. I agree with the D-line projections. BB is a known quantity Jackson is not. We will soon find out how he can go against Jordan and the guys in the middle of the O line. LB’s should be Harrison and Browning on the outside, speed and length to cover good Tight Ends, with Tuf Borland in the middle. He has a nose for the ball and good heady field sense. Backups Werner and Jones on the outside, Jones has two years to prove himself and has NOT done it, Hilliard in the middle as Borland’s backup. I see Marotti putting another 10-12 pounds of muscle on Tuf. Like his name, He is TOUGH. Reminds me a lot of Boren!! Coners, Arnette cant cut it. He gets lost too easily and can never find the ball. I hate the “dont look for the ball” philosophy. Arnette gets beat too many times. Sheffield and Okudah as starters with Wade and Williamson/Arnette as the number twos, with Wade as the nickel. Safeties Fuller and Pryor with any one of the backups. Johnson is going to be a good one. Saw him in the All-star game.
    GO BUCKS!!!

  2. Hope your right with the LB’s, need to get back to being an elite group and we have too many 5 star kids to be average again, not buying any WR hype until I see the “potential” develop, seniors are great to have but can also mean not good enough to go pro

  3. K J Hill definitely needs more playing time. He was our most consistent receiver last year. Both Mack and Victor had some consistency issues. Maybe, those will be solved in 2018.

    1. I completely agree. I want nothing more than the starters outside to be Hill and Mack but Hill essentially said it wasn’t happening. In my dream world the two deep would be: Mack/Victor; Hill/Dixon; Campbell/McCall

  4. Meyer is a huge fan of QBs that can pass *and* run when needed. No secret there. That is part of why JT worked so well in his system. Given that, I think I see Burrow winning the job ahead of Haskins. And we must remember, that this time last year Burrow was ahead of Haskins on the depth chart for #2. If the playing field is level with no pre-conceived favorites on the part of the coaching staff, then I think the nod goes to Burrow. JMHO.

    1. All very valid points. I was a huge Joe Burrow fan heading into last season. Unfortunately, I feel like last season put him way behind the curve. As I mentioned on Sons of Schmidt a few weeks ago, it is an interesting situation for the staff. You have one guy who is possibly the best pocket passer the program has had come through in awhile and with the other guy you have kind of the perfect combination of what Urban likes. If you choose Burrow and Haskins transfers, will pocket passers refuse to come to Ohio State? I mean, the guy proved he was good against Michigan and the reasoning would come off simply because he wasn’t a dual-threat. As much as I like Burrow, I just feel like he would have to completely dominate the battle to win it and I don’t think he will. If it is even remotely close, they will go with Haskins and use Martell to run every now and then.

  5. I agree with most of it. At least 1 QB is going to transfer out. I also think Antonio Williams will and Master Teague III will be the 3rd string RB and will get some carries this season.

    I think Austin Mack benefits the most with a new QB, especially if it’s Haskins. I believe Haskins and Mack are roommates. That combination will be lethal and Mack will be our first 1,000 yard receiver in 16 years. I’m desperately hoping Ben Victor adds 20-25 more pounds of muscle and becomes a more aggressive receiver, the sky is the limit for him.

    I agree with Booker sliding over to DE, especially with the lack of DE bodies on the team right now in the spring. It’s also crazy to think Taron Vincent and Tommy Togiai probably won’t be on the 3 deep at either DT position because of how stacked it is. 5 years ago players of their caliber would have been fighting for starting positions day one. Also I think Antwuan Johnson easily becomes our starting nose tackle. I love BB Landers but he’s too small and undersized to be a starting nose tackle or a 3 down guy. Jackson is 6’3″ 305lbs and that’s the kind of size you want in there on first down in running situations.

    Linebacker is so hard to predict, the only thing I think is a given is Malik Harrison probably starts at SAM. Does Hilliard battle Borland at MIKE or stay at WILL. Is Browning’s future at the MIKE or is his superior athleticism best suited for the WILL. The staff is going to put the 3 best linebackers on the field.. I think that’s Harrison, Browning, and Jones.

    Even though our corners get hated on by a lot of the OSU fan base, I love them. Sheffield and Arnette are no doubt going to improve in their 2nd year as starters or guys that play significantly. If Okudah and Wade come on like many expect, OSU is going to have a pretty fantastic 2 deep at CB and I imagine all will play a lot. I think Amir Riep however will switch to safety to provide depth, I think Tyreke Johnson stays at CB for the time being.

    1. I struggle with what Williams will do. If he can take being third string for one more year, he has the possibility to take on a huge role next year a boost his stock. Then again, he could just get jumped by Teague or Snead. It’s a tough position for him.

      I agree on the Jackson/Landers front. I would not be shocked if Landers was the “starter” and Jackson was the guy playing the most. Especially, early on.

      Linebacker is literally just a giant guessing game right now. You really don’t know what position anyone will play this fall. There are so many different guys who could fit into any spot. I try not to be worried about this group but I still have a little PTSD from early 2017 Buckeye LB play.

      I agree, I think the CBs will wind up being a strength this year. A lot of guys struggle in their first taste of action. Just look at Ward two years ago. I was definitely worried about him heading into this past season but he prooved just how dumb I am. I see Sheffield making a similar leap. I’m not sold on Arnette though. A very good nickel and #3 to give the starters a breather but not someone I’d trust out there full-time.

  6. Yesss…I’m in absolute agreement about the LB’s. Personally,I would LOVE to see Browning,Harrison and Jones. That combination has been on my mind since we signed those guys. The athleticism would be off the charts. And I believe that trio could dominate. With Tuff Borland rotating on certain downs at MLB. With a strong D-Line in front of them. I can see that LB unit as ferocious.

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