Today’s Topic: Which Position Group Is the Biggest Question Mark?
This was a question that Tom Orr and I tackled from a listener on this week’s Buckeye Weekly podcast.
There are plenty of questions about the 2019 Ohio State Buckeye position groups, with some more difficult to answer than others.
Because it’s the largest group on the field, you can usually find plenty of questions about the offensive line. But I like the group that the Buckeyes are going to put on the field in 2019, and I think they can be better than they were this past season.
And there certainly aren’t any giant question marks about the defensive line. Sure, replacing Dre’Mont Jones at the three technique is a concern, but there are former High School All-Americans waiting in the wings. And we already know what replacing Nick Bosa looks like, so that question has been answered.
The receiving group loses Johnnie Dixon, Terry McLaurin, and Parris Campbell, but when you return the likes of KJ Hill, Austin Mack, Binjimen Victor, Demario McCall, Chris Olave, and others, you’ve got enough answers for any questions being asked.
And it’s not the safeties or the cornerbacks. Even though Kendall Sheffield has left for the NFL, there are enough known quantities to see the quality.
For me, it really comes down to two position groups. The first being linebackers. Every linebacker on the roster returns, save for Dante Booker and possibly Keandre Jones. And more will be added in the summer.
That being said, let’s not pretend like this is a group without questions. And the answers provided last season weren’t always correct.
With a new linebackers coach and new co-defensive coordinators, the linebackers may look a bit different than they did in 2018, and that’s okay.
Still, there are enough pieces here for me to think the answers will suffice. This is a group, after all, with eight contenders for three starting jobs this spring. They’ll get it figured out.
Instead, the answer for me is quarterback. I absolutely believe that Matthew Baldwin or Justin Fields will put up big numbers for the Buckeyes this coming season, but that’s me having faith in Ryan Day and Ohio State’s ability to know what they’re doing in recruiting.
Granted, everybody wanted Fields, so it didn’t take a special eye to find him.
But I have to go back to the fact that this is really just a two-man quarterback battle. Now, there have been such battles before, but when it was Cardale and JT, they had Joe Burrow waiting in the wings. Right now, the Buckeyes have a third-string quarterback that they don’t necessarily want to see out there for important snaps.
Contrast that with the 2014 season and let me know how you feel now.
There is no doubt that this is a talented quarterback room, but it is one of quality instead of quantity. The Buckeyes are one snap away from being one snap away from being in a situation they hoped would never happen.
There’s no other position group on this team that you can say that about, so that is why the Ohio State quarterbacks are the biggest question mark headed into 2019.