Skull Session: Munford's Fit at Left Tackle, Coleman Looks to Provide Leadership, and How Carton Projects

By D.J. Byrnes on July 16, 2018 at 4:59 am
Kendall Sheffield intercepts the July 16 2018 Skull Session

Working for the shareholders on a Monday morning like...

Grind don't stop, indeed.


​Word of the Day: Plunderbund.

 WHY MUNFORD FITS. The ascension of Thayer Munford is one of my favorite storylines entering the 2018 season. It seems like just yesterday recruiting services ranked him as the lowest rated position player of his class.

Now he'll more than likely be the left tackle. His enthusiasm in embracing the role and proving his versatility allowed him to make a seamless switch.

From Tony Gerdeman of The Ozone:

“One time you try left and right handed, you don’t know if a kid is right-hand dominant or left-hand dominant, you switch him,” Studrawa explained. “Sometimes like [Demetrius Knox], you switch him he can do it easily on the left side. Some guys can’t go over to the left side and do that. So that’s just a feel when they start to play and you can tell if they’re awkward or they’re tentative, ‘Oh boy, I don’t know if he can handle that side.’”

What Studrawa liked about Munford’s response was the enthusiasm and the production, and upon seeing both, he felt it was best for Prince to stay on the right side and Munford and Joshua Alabi to remain where they seem to be most comfortable.

“Thayer jumped over there, switched his stance and was really, really good, so that led me to believe that,” he said. “And I know that Alabi is really good on the left side, too, he’s not comfortable on the right side. He’s really good on the left, so you try to get him in a position where they’re the most comfortable and where they fit what we’re doing and where we need them.”

If Munford can replicate the performance of Jamarco Jones, Ohio State will be alright this season. If he can exceed Jones—look out. Anything is possible.

 VETERAN LEADERSHIP IN NOLA. Speaking of favorite storylines, Kurt Coleman entering his ninth year as a former seventh-round selection ranks among the top.

Coleman moved to New Orleans this offseason, which is always a stroke of genius if you can survive the humid summers.

Coleman looks to mentor fellow Buckeye Vonn Bell.


Safeties Vonn Bell and Marcus Williams had 121 tackles combined in the 2017 regular season, making them the leaders in tackles on the New Orleans Saints defense. Safety Kurt Coleman had 51 tackles last season with the Carolina Panthers before signing with New Orleans in free agency. With such respectable performances out of Bell and Williams over the past season, it comes as a surprise that they only have three years of experience between the two of them.

Going into his ninth season, Coleman will look to add veteran leadership to this young secondary.

“I think this team, and especially the defensive back group, if we continue to nail down the details of which we go about our business every single day, I expect us to be the No. 1 group in the NFL. Now, is it going to be a work in progress? Absolutely,” Coleman said during minicamp. “But I believe that with the talent and the preparation that we put in every single day, we have the ability to get there. We'll see once it comes game time, but I believe everything's right here that we need to go out and get it done."

The Browns will smash the Saints in Week 2. But if the Browns fail to win the Super Bowl (lol), I wouldn't mind seeing the Saints take the crown. They just seem to do business the right way, just not as good as the Browns.

 AHOY, FELLOW D.J. ICYMI, Ohio State accepted the commitment of 2019 five-star point guard D.J. Carton of Iowa over the weekend. As you might imagine by the ranking, Carton projects well in Columbus.

From The Des Moines Register:

Some have compared Carton to NBA point guard Mike Conley. But the best comparison is probably to former Villanova star Jalen Brunson — and not just because the 247Sports Composite ranks Carton the No. 21 prospect in 2019 and ranked Brunson the No. 22 prospect in 2015.

Brunson entered college at a similar size to Carton — 6-1, 190 pounds — and we all saw how physically dominant Brunson was during this year's March Madness. Carton out-muscles his high school and AAU point guard competition with relative ease. That dynamic should continue at Ohio State, especially after some time in a college weight program. You probably won't see Carton post up guys as often as Brunson did with Villanova, but Carton will be able to absorb all kinds of contact in the lane.

Uncanny ability to make the smart play
Like Brunson, Carton is able to quickly identify defenses and think two steps ahead of his opponent to set up his teammates. But Brunson wasn't a jaw-dropping athlete. Carton, meanwhile, combines this high-level intelligence with a 39-inch vertical, lightning quickness and some of the best athleticism in the class. 

My favorite part: Michigan coming off a national title appearance and still losing five-star recruits to Ohio State. Chris Hotlmann may be good at his job, folks.

 ZEEEEKE. It seems like it's been a minute since Ezekiel Elliott was in the news for annoying people. Thankfully we're no longer in danger of violating federal law.


The Dallas Cowboys’ running back was at the Amon G. Carter Exhibit Hall signing autographs as part of the National Fantasy Football Convention.

Problem is Elliott arrived much later to the autograph session than was expected, leaving some fans in line for over two hours. Waiting long hours for an autograph, especially for someone as popular as Elliott, isn’t out of the ordinary.

Fans were mostly irked that Elliott would only sign his own merchandise, which included a shirt, which fans could buy for $25.

Zeke seems content sacrificing goodwill for dollar bills. But hey, running backs aren't known for their longevity and Elliott won't ever have it this good once he retires.

 THOSE WMDs. Seattle's mystery soda machine goes missing... Seven publicity stunts that went horribly wrong... The researchers working to make algorithms fair... In a town without water, Coca-Cola is everywhere... How postcards solved the problem of missing rice.

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