Depth Chart Projection: A Post-NFL Draft Departure Look at Ohio State's 2017 Lineup

By Eric Seger on January 19, 2017 at 8:35 am
A 2017 Ohio State depth chart projection after the deadline to declare for the NFL Draft has come and gone.

As has already been stated previously and will many more times before the NFL Draft, Ohio State is set to have more players turn pro early than any other program in college football. That is the case for the second straight season.

Six players from Urban Meyer's 2016 team — Malik Hooker, Gareon Conley, Marshon Lattimore, Raekwon McMillan, Curtis Samuel and Noah Brown left eligibility on the table and declared for the draft before Monday's deadline. Combined with the nine guys that left early after the 2015 season and it is clear Ohio State is exporting talent to the next level at an alarming rate.

There is more attrition to the roster too in the form of graduation and transfers. Reserve offensive linemen Evan Lisle and Kyle Trout both moved on and Torrance Gibson is hoping for a fresh start at Cincinnati under new head coach Luke Fickell. Ohio State endured staff attrition too, with Ed Warinner heading to Minnesota and Tim Beck to Texas. Ryan Day is the new quarterbacks coach while Kevin Wilson is in place as Meyer's offensive coordinator and tight ends coach.

Some key pieces to the Ohio State operation elected to stay in school as well from the last time we took a stab at projecting the depth chart. Defensive end Tyquan Lewis is back, as is quarterback J.T. Barrett, tight end Marcus Baugh and left tackle Jamarco Jones.


Lewis's return surprised some, considering he already graduated and started for the last two seasons. His decision wasn't nearly as shocking as Brown's choice to leave Ohio State after his redshirt sophomore season, though he might have his horrific leg injury in mind in addition to the fact the Buckeyes have new offensive minds at the controls.

Ohio State's defense is set to rep a bunch of the same faces it did in 2016, though arguably the most important one is gone with McMillan turning pro. That wasn't a shock, however.

Nine players enrolled at Ohio State for spring semester and a good bit of them are sure to be counted on in the defensive backfield with three of four starters gone. Here is an updated projection of the two-deep.

Offense Defense
LT   74 JAMARCO JONES 6-5 310 SR   DE   6 SAM HUBBARD 6-5 266 JR
    77 KEVIN FEDER 6-9 305 SO   OR   11 JALYN HOLMES 6-5 274 SR
LG   73 MICHAEL JORDAN 6-7 310 SO   DT   86 DRE'MONT JONES 6-3 280 SO
    78 DEMETRIUS KNOX 6-4 308 JR   OR   93 TRACY SPRINKLE 6-3 293 JR
C   54 BILLY PRICE 6-3 315 SR   DT   77 MICHAEL HILL 6-3 305 SR
    79 BRADY TAYLOR 6-5 300 JR       67 ROBERT LANDERS 6-1 285 SO
RG   66 MALCOLM PRIDGEON 6-7 315 JR   DE   59 TYQUAN LEWIS 6-4 266 SR
    69 MATT BURRELL 6-4 305 SO       97 NICK BOSA 6-4 265 SO
RT   57 ISAIAH PRINCE 6-7 310 JR   SLB   35 CHRIS WORLEY 6-2 228 SR
    76 BRANDEN BOWEN 6-7 315 SO       39 MALIK HARRISON 6-3 228 SO
TE   85 MARCUS BAUGH 6-5 258 SR   MLB   33 DANTE BOOKER 6-2 236 JR
    88 A.J. ALEXANDER 6-2 254 SO       38 JUSTIN HILLIARD 6-1 230 FR
WR   21 PARRIS CAMPBELL 6-1 208 JR   WLB   17 JEROME BAKER 6-1 225 JR
    11 AUSTIN MACK 6-2 215 SO       14 KEANDRE JONES 6-2 218 FR
QB   16 J.T. BARRETT 6-2 225 SR   CB   12 DENZEL WARD 5-10 185 JR
    10 JOE BURROW 6-3 218 SO       28 JOSHUA NORWOOD 5-10 185 SO
OR   7 DWAYNE HASKINS 6-3 220 FR   OR   15 WAYNE DAVIS 5-10 185 FR
RB   25 MIKE WEBER 5-10 212 SO                
    26 ANTONIO WILLIAMS 5-11 210 FR   SAF   34 ERICK SMITH 6-0 203 SR
                    23 JAHSEN WINT 5-10 190 FR
H-B   30 DEMARIO McCALL 5-9 182 SO   SAF   7 DAMON WEBB 5-10 195 SR
OR   14 K.J. HILL 6-0 200 SO       4 JORDAN FULLER 6-2 205 FR
WR   83 TERRY McLAURIN 6-0 204 JR   CB   3 DAMON ARNETTE 6-0 195 SO
    9 BINJIMEN VICTOR 6-4 185 SO       29 RODJAY BURNS 6-0 180 SO
Special Teams
K   92 SEAN NUERNBERGER 6-1 227 SR   H   91 DRUE CHRISMAN 6-3 200 FR
P   91 DRUE CHRISMAN 6-3 200 FR   PR   30 DEMARIO McCALL 5-9 182 SO
                OR   14 K.J. HILL 6-0 200 SO
KO   92 SEAN NUERNBERGER 6-1 227 SR                
LS   49 LIAM McCULLOUGH 6-2 228 SO   KR   2 PARRIS CAMPBELL 6-1 208 JR
                OR   14 K.J. HILL 6-0 200 SO

Wide receiver and the open spot on the offensive line are the most difficult to project. Who will step in for Noah Brown? Will it be Binjimen Victor, Austin Mack, or a combination of the two? How much does James Clark still figure into the staff's mind at receiver? Zach Smith show last season he likes to rotate players if he has them but will anyone step forward and demand to be on the field more than the others? And what about K.J. Hill — will he need to play on the outside or will he make his mark at H-back?

Up front, one of the guard spots is wide open after Price moved to center. Jones, Prince and Jordan are all back too though among them it looks like Prince is the only one that could be pushed for a job. That is due to the return of Malcolm Pridgeon, who would have figured into the plans in 2016 had he not suffered a knee injury in training camp.

Things changed slightly on defense, partly because Eric Glover-Williams is moving to wide receiver. Jahsen Wint, Jordan Fuller, Erick Smith and the incoming freshmen will all vie for playing time at safety alongside Damon Webb but Smith gets the edge due to his seniority.

With three starting spots up for grabs on the back end, spring practice is going to be crucial for Kerry Coombs and Greg Schiano for their evaluations heading into training camp. But there aren't any members of the 2017 recruiting class included on the depth chart because we haven't seen them work out at Ohio State nor heard what the coaching staff thinks of them. The nine that enrolled early they are presented an opportunity to see their names blip into the conversation with workouts and the start of spring practice.

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