Teleconference Bullets: Ryan Day Wasn't Surprised Damon Arnette Was A First-Rounder, Thinks NFL Teams Missed On K.J. Hill

By Colin Hass-Hill on April 26, 2020 at 11:47 am
Ryan Day

Seven rounds, 10 players selected.

Another successful draft for Ryan Day's Ohio State program. A day after the 2020 NFL Draft wrapped up, he hopped onto a 30-minute teleconference with local beat reporters to discuss J.K. Dobbins, Chase Young, K.J. Hill, Damon Arnette and more.

Here's a bullet-point rundown of what Day said:

  • On whether or not he was surprised Arnette went No. 19 overall: "I was more surprised that leading up to it that people had projected him in the second round." He says the Raiders are "getting a mature guy who competed at a high level," and he showcased toughness by playing with a cast.
  • On Arnette: "He's definitely a first-round talent."
  • He says both Arnette and Terry McLaurin are testimony that staying at Ohio State for a fifth season can be beneficial. He says Ohio State is "very proud" of what those two did. The goal, he says, is to arrive at the NFL ready for that level, and Arnette will do so.
  • On how the pandemic will impact Ohio State's player development: "I think that not having spring ball and then, based on how much we lose this summer, it will have an effect because I think one of our big areas we're proud of in our development is what goes on in the weight room and strength and conditioning with coach Mick (Marotti)."  
  • He says "he'd like to think" the NFL draft success is a testament to what Ohio State does well. "If we can keep enhancing that, the future goes to be good."
  • Day says a lot of recruiting sites base their rankings off of how many offers players have: "We don't base anything off of what stars you have." He says Mark Pantoni watches the film, then position coaches, coordinators and eventually Day watch it. "At the end of the day, rankings don't mean anything once you get here."
  • "Branden Bowen, I think, played very, very well this season." He says Bowen is an "NFL-quality talent." He says when Bowen gets his opportunity, "he's going to make it count."
  • He says several teams asked to see film of Jeff Okudah's one-on-ones in practice against Ohio State's own wide receivers.
  • On defensive backs getting selected in the NFL draft: "Certainly the blueprint is there."
  • On the importance of developing NFL quarterbacks: "I think that that's huge. When I first got here, it wasn't something that had really been done before. Really took it on myself as a challenge." 
  • He says the goal of every position group should be to become DBU, QBU, RBU, etc.
  • Day says now more than ever the college quarterback situation has "a lot at play" because of how many players transfer. 
  • He says the goal is to strike the right balance of young, talented players who'll only be at the school for three years and fifth-year veterans who offer maturity and experience.
  • C.J. Saunders still does not have an answer from the NCAA about a sixth-year waiver.
  • On J.K. Dobbins slipping in the draft: "He's got his opportunity. He's going to make it work." He says the most important thing is finding his right fit and he found it with the Baltimore Ravens, who he called a "great organization."
  • On J.K. Dobbins: "I think his career's going to go great."
  • On K.J. Hill slipping: "That one, I don't understand." He says all Hill does is "get open" and "make plays." He continues: "I think a lot of guys missed on him."
  • He says the goal with Justin Fields has always been to win the Heisman Trophy and become a first-round NFL draft pick. "We'll kind of attack that stuff as we get closer to next December or January."
  • Day says some great coaches have said the best receivers are those who get open and catch the ball despite their speed. "I've never seen anybody cover K.J. Hill on a consistent basis. I think it'll be the same thing when he gets in the NFL."
  • He says not having a full offseason of training could hurt NFL rookies somewhat, but having preseason games will be beneficial.
  • On his feelings as Hill slid: "Probably the same way everybody else was. Just a little confused, and yeah, probably a little frustrated."
  • "The amount of money over the years that's been poured into the program is off-the-charts, and the student-athletes benefit."
  • Day says a combination of everything Ohio State offers benefits the five-star prospects looking to maximize their careers.
  • He says so many college coaches tell recruits they're going to come in and play right away. "What we do is we try to be as honest as we can." He says they try to find the right culture fit and choose Ohio State "for all the right reasons," not just getting to the NFL. 
  • "The good thing for Kerry (Coombs) is he's only been gone for a couple years." He says without having the spring, it won't be quite as easy to do what Coombs wants to do with the defense. "It certainly is harder to install when you're not practicing." He says with the other defensive assistants returning, the players have ample familiarity. 
  • On Ohio State's players working out: "We just challenge our guys that it's all about our discipline."
  • On if how they handle Fields will change since he'll be talked about as a draft pick: "No, it won't change at all." He says Fields has had crazy hype around him since he picked up a football.
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