Last weekend’s Spring Game provided an opportunity for Buckeye football fans to get a glimpse at the key position battles that have played out throughout Spring practice.
While the Quarterback battle will grab most of the headlines, the search for a new Left Tackle could arguably be the most important position battle entering the Fall.
The departure of Jamarco Jones at Left Tackle has left a big void along an offensive line that is already without 2017 Rimington Trophy winner — and potential 1st round draft pick — Billy Price.
While the Quarterback race will play a significant factor in the offensive play calling next season, it could be argued that the emergence, or lack thereof, of a suitable Left Tackle could have trickle-down implications on who exactly wins the Quarterback job.
Munford is coming off of an impressive true freshman season where he steadily climbed the depth chart before earning significant reps against Michigan while filling in for an injured Isaiah Prince. Prince and Munford alternated time at both the Left and Right tackle positions, but offensive line coach Greg Studrawa said on Wednesday that Munford will stay on the left side for now.
Munford excels in run blocking, and is able to line up blocks on the second level extremely well. The key will be his ability to protect the blind side pass rush. Fortunately for him, he has a front row seat at learning the nuances of elite pass rushing. As you will see in the clip below, Nick Bosa provides a unique challenge to the tackles as he possesses a rare combination of speed and strength.
Perhaps his best trait, however, is his ability to set up moves throughout the course of a series of downs. Having a “Pass Rush Plan” is a trait that very few defensive linemen possess, and will be something the NFL will covet next year as Bosa likely enters the Draft. While Munford is taking his lumps on occasion this Spring, the experience will become invaluable once the Fall season arrives.
In this series of post-spring breakdowns, we focus on a few key players who will impact the 2018 season, beginning with Thayer Munford’s battle against the rare “pass rush plan” of Nick Bosa.