The way I see it, the 2012 and 2013 defense was not because Luke Fickell was a poor defensive coordinator, but because Withers' had a conflicting defensive philosophy. It was ultimately a poor fit and hire by Urban Meyer, who doesn't "miss" very often when choosing asst. coaches. Withers had a great resume coming into OSU, but Fickell and him were never going to see eye-to-eye on how the defense should be coached. Fickell had the title of "defensive coordinator," but if your "co-DC" is coaching the back half of your defense to play a high-risk/high-reward mindset while the other half of your defense is super conservative, you're going to have a discombobulated team overall. Chris Ash coming in fixed a lot of it because Fickell finally had a co-DC that was on the same page as him.
In my personal opinion, Shaq isn't in the discussion because he never broaden his game.
Don't get me wrong, Shaq dominated the NBA for a good decade or so, but imagine if he had developed a mid-range game like Duncan, Yao or other dominant big men, or keep improving his FT% like he did in 2002 instead of letting it tank again. It would have probably boosted his career to a ~28-30+ ppg range and made him a more legitimate challenger to Jordan for the GOAT title. Instead Shaq relied on his insane strength and athleticism for the major of his career until it failed him with age/injury.
Personally, I wouldn't describe Bosa "slipping," but rather scouts/media have started to study Oregon's DeForest Buckner and NFL teams' needs are becoming more apparent. So it more that Buckner got elevated to Bosa's level, and not Bosa dropping.
Buckner was overshadowed in the regular season because of Oregon's overall piss-poor defense, but their fans will be the first to tell you that Buckner was no way at fault (I've seen a lot of them describe their defense this year as "Buckner plus 10 friends"). If you go back and watch Oregon's games this past season, you'll see that Buckner faced a ton of double and triple-teams as well. It was mostly because Buckner was Oregon's only respectable force on DL, but he still managed to rack up 83 TLKs, 17 TFLs, 10.5 sacks, and 5 PDs as a DE/DT for them.
Bottomline, Bosa and Buckner are both far and away the elite prospects in their position groups, and teams will probably have to flip a coin between the two.
This is my pick as well. Perry has been the linchpin of the LB corp for the past 3 years, maybe out-shined by his fellow teammates in Shazier and Lee in terms of hype, but never outworked or outproduced by them. Adding on Perry's A+ personality as a model student, citizen, and leader. I think teams would be foolish to let Perry slip past them in the 2nd round.
Any team that needs a gritty, high-motor LB should be jumping at the chance to get Perry. Especially, a team that is lacking a 3-4 ILB.
1.5 years... but has all the top-3 spots for numbers of 3-pointers made in a single season (4 of the top 6 spots).
The most common criticism I've heard for Bosa is his speed. A lot of scouts have been pegging Bosa as a "power guy" with really great hand techniques, but they are wary about him being able to push around NFL-caliber OL as easily. So in the situations where Bosa can't "bull-rush" an OL, they think that he lacks the lateral speed to simply run around them a la Von Miller.
Bosa can challenge that perception by dominating the cone and shuttle drills at the Combine, but even if he doesn't I don't think he needs elite speed to be successful in the NFL. JJ Watt is known as a "power guy" and he built his DPoY career on relentless, unwavering effort on every single snap. If Watt can't bull rush an OL, then he just looks to bat down the pass, chase the play down from behind or just attack will with the same intensity from beginning to end to wear his opponent down. Bosa will just need to adopt that same high-motor focus and mentality, and he has shown that he will in college, so why not the NFL?
6 RBs taken in the 1st round during the last 5 drafts
- 2011: Mark Ingram (28th overall pick)
- 2012: Trent Richardson (3rd), Doug Martin (31st), and David Wilson (32nd)
- 2013: None
- 2014: None
- 2015: Todd Gurley (10th) and Melvin Gordon (15th)
So... 3 "impact" players in Ingram, Martin, and Gurley; 2 are no longer on a NFL roster in Richardson and Wilson; 1 injury-stricken rookie in Gordon.
CAN you get an RB with world class speed, elite athleticism, excellent vision, outstanding blocking at all levels and the hands of a wide receiver in a late round?
No, you can't, but with how often NFL teams are moving to a RBBC approach, you can be really successful without one. How many workhorse running backs do you really see in the NFL anymore? AD, Todd Gurley, Doug Martin, Devonta Freeman and...???
It just doesn't seem like a necessity anymore when you have really successful teams like the Patriots (Blount, Lewis, Bolden), Bengals (Hill and Gio), Steelers (Bell and Williams), Chiefs (Charles, West, Ware), Cardinals (C. Johnson, Ellington, D. Johnson) and Broncos (Anderson and Hillman). So instead of investing a 1st rounder on a "do-it-all" star RB at a position that is historically known for short careers, they can just find multiple running backs that can come in during specific situations.
I think the 2007-2008 secondary as a unit was underrated nationally. You had the Thorpe Award winner in Malcolm Jenkins, but I feel like the other 3 starters are usually an afterthought for most people: Kurt Coleman, Chimdi Chekwa, and Donald Washington.
That was probably the most dominating Buckeye secondary that I've seen in my time as a fan.
Damn... I knew IMG was talent-rich, but it honestly didn't hit me until seen all 13 of those guys compiled together. Really simplifies why Harbaugh is so hardheaded about having a camp there.
Hopefully Urban can maintain the St. Thomas Aquinas pipeline and solidify an IMG one.
The forum title makes it seem like Kurelic was comparing Josh Myers' playing style to Orlando Pace and Korey Stringer. Instead, I think the author is moreso saying that Myers is one of the top 3 O-lineman he has ever seen come out of Ohio along with Pace and Stringer. Still very high praise, but not giving him a near impossible task of replicating those two's careers.
Visiting Rams' forums, it seems like a popular view that Laurinaitis has lost a few steps the last two seasons, and his his contract is no longer a good value. IIRC, Laurinaitis was being paid like a top-5 LB, but his production has steadily been dipping. Plus, some of their fans were less than happy with Lil Animal's ability to get off blocks (i.e. usually one OL or TE that blocked him was enough to nullify his impact).
Ehh... I wouldn't be so sure about that right now. Stanford actually hasn't even offered Dylan McCaffrey because they're going all-in to get Davis Mills, who is apparently David Shaw's top target at QB. If Mills decides to spurn Stanford, then I can see Shaw offering McCaffrey and getting him to flip.
Although, a part of me thinks there's a chance Stanford hasn't offered because Dylan has told them he doesn't want to follow in dad's and big bro's footsteps.
As a Giants fan, I would selfishly love for Zeke to come up to NYC. If Tom Coughlin were still the coach, I wouldn't put it past him to push hard to Zeke in the draft. Coughlin loved players that he believed could contribute immediately regardless of their ceiling, and RBs that aren't after too block like Zeke. Since Coughlin isn't there anymore, I'm guessing that Zeke would be too big of a reach at #10 for GM Jerry Reese and new HC Ben McAdoo. They'll most likely DB like Hargreaves or Jalen Ramsey (an O-lineman would be nice too).
So for Zeke's career sake, I hope he gets drafted by a team with a established OL like Pittsburgh, Dallas, Seattle, and Kansas City (as insurance for Jamaal Charles).
Hard to say... If I could choose whoever I wanted, then based on team needs hands-down I'd choose Adolphus Washington. I'm guessing that DT depth is going to be an issue next season with only Tracy Sprinkle, Michael Hill, and Donovan Munger next year at that position group. It was the main reason I was so bummed that Ohio State couldn't lockdown Rashard Lawrence, we could really use a big space-eater like him next year/the near future.
Since, I'm limited to just the early entrants, I'd probably go with Joey Bosa for pretty much the same reason. It doesn't completely solve the DT depth, but it would give the LJSr./Fickell some flexibility with DL rotations since Bosa can play inside based on match-ups... especially since Hubbard and Lewis have shown that they can hold down the DE spots without issue.
Sorry guys, not to be a Debbie downer, but I'm just extremely worried about interior DL (some for 2016, even moreso for 2017). I'm not super familiar with OSU's 2017 targets, but I'm really hoping we land a big fish (figuratively and literally) at DT.
Or... maybe I'm just worried for no reason, and a guy like Malik Barrow comes out of nowhere to ball out at DT for the next 2-3 years.
LB is not a position of concern
As long as Luke Fickell is in charge of the LBs, I'll never be concerned about that group. Time and time again, Fickell has taken low-rated/3* guys and made them in to All-American/All-B1G players: AJ Hawk, James Laurinaitis, Ryan Shazier, Darron Lee...
DTs though, I am a little worried about... I believe in LJSr., but it is hard to coach up DTs if you don't have any to begin with...
**** Samuel moves to starting RB***
I thought Curtis Samuel was a lock to take over Braxton's position as the HB/WR/Pivot position with Bri'onte Dunn and Mike Weber competing for Zeke's vacated spot.
I counted 13 seniors...
HB/WR: Braxton Miller
TE: Nick Vannett
LT: Taylor Decker
C: Jacoby Boren
RT: Chase Farris
DT: Adolphus Washington
DT: Tommy Schutt
LB: Joshua Perry
LS: Bruce Haynes
K: Jack Willoughby
WR: Jeff Greene
DT: Joel Hale
LB: Camren Williams
...but I don't remember is Jeff Greene and Bruce Haynes were on scholarship or not.
It would have been a sight to see:
1 - Evan Turner ; Aaron Craft
2 - William Buford ; Lenzelle Smith Jr.
3 - Jon Diebler ; DeShaun Thomas
4- David Lighty ; Evan Ravenel
5 - Jared Sullinger ; Dallas Lauderdale
Diebler/Lighty/Buford were unstoppable from 3-land that year (50%, 43% and 44% 3P% respectively), and Lighty was a lockdown defender. Plus, freshman phenom Jared Sullinger... smh, no way the Bucks wouldn't have won it all that year.
I understand why everyone is saying Rashan Gary, but I honestly think he makes a moderate impact. Not because of lack in talent, but because Michigan is returning both their starting DTs in RsSr. Ryan Glasgow (non-DUI one) and RsSr. Chris Wormley.
Although, I can also see Wormley sliding over to DE to replace early draftee DE Willie Henry, which would open up a spot for Gary.
In 2012 and 2013, what exactly was wrong with the defensive units that Fickell was led (LBs and DLs)? From my point of view, all of Ohio State's defensive struggle those two years were from a poorly coached secondary that played way too soft. Those units were led by Everett Withers, who was the one fired instead of Fickell.
No problem, I had been obsessively following the Senior Bowl practices anyway, and figured people wanted to see all the Braxton hype in one place.