Aside from the two major surprises in the draft with Nate Ebner going to New England in the 6th round and Mike Brewster not getting drafted, the other three pretty much went where they were expected to. Let’s take a look at all of the drafted Buckeyes and how they will fit in with their respective teams.
We begin with the highest pick in the draft for the Buckeyes in OT Mike Adams and him landing in Pittsburgh. Adams didn’t exactly have a stellar NFL combine literally falling into the middle of the road in just about every category.
Clearly the best lineman on the Ohio State squad each of the past two season, Adams had a huge upside in his protection blocking. Missing a few games in the last season it was easy to see marked improvement across the line when he returned. The Steelers are all about running the ball and controlling the clock as well as play action. This was a good get for their revamping of the line. They invested two first round and two second round picks to shore things up. Adams will be learning RT behind a good veteran in Flozell Adams and will have time to get acclimated to the NFL in a system that has a history of solid line play. Practicing across from his old counterpart and teammate Cam Heyward should get him ready for a nice NFL career.
DeVier Posey played all of three games for the Buckeyes during the season, but took care of business while he was suited up. He didn’t have much time to show the world what he possesses in the skill department and really probably already proved his worth during his junior season while TP was still slinging the ball. The Texans grabbed the speedster with good hands in the third round. He too ended up with middle of the road numbers at the combine, but turned in one of the better 40 times there with a 4.5.
40-Yard Dash: 4.50
It’s difficult not to share the football when you have the talent on the field that the Buckeyes did while Posey was around. On several occasions he showed flashes of greatness and why he was one of TP’s favorite targets. He joins a Texans squad that is short on talent at the wideout position. Andre Johnson is recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery so the team drafted Posey and Keshawn Martin. They expect another addition to step up but see Posey stepping into the slot and being productive immediately. Of all of the young wide receivers on the Texans roster I see Posey moving into a starting role by mid-season as his work ethic and talents will separate him from the others.
Boom Herron endured it all and let the whole world see his emotions his first night back in the Scarlet and Gray. With tears rolling down his cheek during the national anthem and coin toss ceremonies, he didn’t disappoint. As he had done every time he stepped on the field he was the emotional leader of this team. There won’t be very many players in a Buckeye uniform that’ll outwork the dependable Ohio State RB. Being in the NFL combine with some of the talent he was up against Herron performed better than most predicted.
40-Yard Dash: 4.66
The Cincinnati Bengals had opportunities to get free agents to replace their workhorse the past two season in Cedric Benson. The did get Ben Jarvis Green-Ellis who is coming from the Patriots into a whole new ball game with the Jay Gruden run offense. They needed a younger version of Ced to step in and produce immediately. They are returning Bernard Scott, Brian Leonard and Cedric Peerman of whom one will not continue with the squad. Bernard Scott had his best season as a running back in Cincy and appears to be the second back in the fold to get lots of carries. One thing they will find is that none of them, save for hard-working Brian Leonard, will outwork Boom Herron. His knowledge of the type of offense Gruden runs and the fact that he catches the ball well will put Boom in contention for playing time by mid-season. Boom is in just about the same situation another former Buckeye in Brandon Saine landed in. He may not initially make the cut, but he will be difficult for the Bengals to not keep.
I have to admit, I was probably more shocked about Mike Brewster not being drafted than I was that Nate Ebner did. Brewster was the man who replaced the man who many considered one of the best to play in the middle for the Buckeyes. He was very dependable and a great leader along the line. He could have come out after his junior year and been drafted high and chose not to because of everything that had transpired. He was one of the off the field leaders that the Buckeyes desperately needed this past year. And for the most part had a pretty good NFL combine.
40-Yard Dash: 5.35
I don’t buy into the notion that teams were picking up on how he was holding the ball or the lean of his body prior to the snap. Brewster had enough experience at the position and within the offense to know his place and duties. I believe a lot of what it had to do with was dealing with a team situation that wasn’t handled well at all by everyone concerned. Brewster held this team together along with Boom Herron among others and at different times during the season was the first person to Braxton Miller after a long run.
No matter what the reason was for him not being drafted the Jacksonville Jaguars got a gift in the undrafted free agent. Their line was considered one of the ten worst in the league last season and most experts were surprised they didn’t stock up on linemen, but they helped Maurice Jones-Drew win the rushing title so they have to be doing something right. With Brad Meester returning and three-year Pro John Estes in the fold, Brewster will have an opportunity to make the two deep for the Jags.
Two things jump out right away when you begin breaking down Nate Ebner. One, there are no NFL combine statistics to give you and two, he only played three snaps in Scarlet and Gray last year. What is even more impressive about him being drafted by the New England Patriots is that they had to really do their homework to decide on him.
With Dick Tressel taking the reigns of the special teams last year a message was spent to players who lacked the intensity the previous season. If you aren’t going to hit on special teams then take a seat. One thing is for sure, Nate Ebner can flat out thump some skulls like I always like to say. Special teams were fun to watch last year because you knew that Ebner was going to blow someone up. He wasn’t alone, he had a couple other cranium knockers that helped in Nate Oliver, Zac Domicone and freshman Curtis Grant as well. Not entirely sure that Ebner makes the Patriots squad but I have to admit I do not believe that they would draft him and not keep him. He will definitely come in and compete and show the NFL world that former Rugby players know how to hit. Sometimes in the NFL, players do achieve their dreams through heart and toughness, just look at Brian Leonard of the Bengals.