Skull Session: James Jones Calls Out Marvin Harrison Jr., Seven Buckeyes Come Off the Board in Matt Miller’s Seven-Round Mock Draft and The Brotherhood is Real

By Chase Brown on April 2, 2024 at 5:00 am
Marvin Harrison Jr.
Adam Cairns/USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Skull Session.

Ohio State has its new running backs coach.

Have a good Tuesday.

 INTERESTING TAKE. Cleveland Cavaliers legend James Jones called out Marvin Harrison Jr. last week.

Wait – that’s the wrong James Jones.

The other James Jones spent nine seasons in the league with the Green Bay Packers, Oakland Raiders, New York Giants and San Diego Chargers. In 136 appearances and 72 starts, the 6-foot-1, 208-pound pass-catcher collected 433 receptions for 5,861 yards and 51 touchdowns. Jones also won a Super Bowl with the Packers in 2010.

After his retirement in 2017, Jones became an NFL Network analyst. In 2023, he became a co-host for FOX Sports’ “Speak” and started a career with the Green Bay Packers Radio Network and the Raiders’ “Silver and Black Show.”

Last week, Jones shared his opinion of NFL draft prospects on “The Herd” with Colin Cowherd. Of the prospects he discussed, Jones had some strong opinions about former Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., whom Jones said has lacked a “competitive nature” in the pre-draft process.

“For me, I don’t like this at all. I don’t. The main reason I don’t like it is because I’m a competitor. I understand this man is in a great situation of, ‘Turn the tape on (because) I’m not gonna do anything.’ But there’s been a lot of dudes like that. Calvin Johnson was like that. If we’re keeping it 100, Calvin Johnson was better than you in college, and Calvin Johnson had a pro day. There are a lot of dudes that have your talent, if not better talent, that still did the pro day. Show these scouts that what you see on film ain’t nothing. Watch when y’all see me out here at my pro day.

“I’m cool with you not working out at the combine, but for me, where’s the competitive nature If I had seen Malik Nabers and the way Malik Nabers’ pro day was, I’m calling my agent – even if my pro day had passed or my pro day coming up – like, I’m gonna show these dudes that Malik Nabers ain’t got nothing on me. That’s just the competitor in me. I don’t like these dudes nowadays, man, that are like, ‘I’m not doing nothing.’ I mean, the number one pick in the draft (Caleb Williams) worked out at his pro day. Like, you’re not gonna show nothing? I understand, like I said, you’re a really good receiver and you’re probably gonna be the first receiver off the board, but show us that you got a little competitive nature.”

While I would have loved to see Harrison work out at the combine and Ohio State's pro day because his athleticism would have been off the charts, NFL executives and scouts literally told him he did not need to.

That does not mean he lacks a “competitive nature,” as Jones put it.

He just did what he was told.

Alas, the pre-draft nonsense is out in full force. Not even Harrison, the hardest-working player in the draft class, is immune to it.

 BUCKEYES... EVERYWHERE. Marvin Harrison Jr.’s lack of competitive nature be damned, ESPN’s Matt Miller has the 6-foot-4, 209-pound prospect as the No. 1 wide receiver off the board in his initial seven-round mock draft for 2024. In addition to Harrison, Miller predicted six other Buckeyes will be drafted in April: Mike Hall, Cade Stover, Tommy Eichenberg, Matt Jones, Steele Chambers and Josh Proctor.

Here’s a complete look at his predictions:

Round 1, No. 5 overall  - Marvin Harrison Jr, Los Angeles Chargers

Besides the Bears' selection of Caleb Williams at No. 1, this is the easiest pick in the draft. Harrison is No. 2 overall on my board and is on par with greats like A.J. Green and Larry Fitzgerald as a prospect. He is explosive, has expert-level route-running traits and displays body control few 6-foot-3 receivers possess. And in this spot, Harrison would have All-Pro potential right out of the gate thanks to quarterback Justin Herbert being on the roster. Harrison caught 155 balls for 31 touchdowns in three years at Ohio State and is as polished as they come at wide receiver. With Keenan Allen traded and Mike Williams cut, the door is wide open for a WR1 to enter and dominate.

Round 3, No. 74 overall - Mike Hall, Atlanta Falcons

I wanted to find an earlier fit for Hall after witnessing his incredible pro day workout in Columbus, but things just fell this way. The Falcons could shape him under another undersized defensive tackle in Grady Jarrett.

Round 4, No. 127 overall - Cade Stover, Houston Texans

Round 5, No. 152 overall - Tommy Eichenberg, Washington Commanders

Round 5, No. 160 overall - Matt Jones, Buffalo Bills

Round 6, No. 220 overall - Steele Chambers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Round 7, No. 223 overall - Josh Proctor, Las Vegas Raiders

You know, for a year where Emeka Egbuka, TreVeyon Henderson, Donovan Jackson, Jack Sawyer, JT Tuimoloau, Tyleik Williams, Ty Hamilton, Cody Simon, Denzel Burke, Jordan Hancock and Lathan Ransom all returned for another season at Ohio State, having seven Buckeyes drafted shows how talented the team was in 2023.

That makes me wonder how many Buckeyes will be drafted in 2024. All of those players mentioned above, plus Will Howard, Quinshon Judkins, Josh Simmons, Seth McLaughlin, Josh Fryar, Gee Scott Jr. and Davison Igbinosun – if all live up to their potential.

That’s 18 Buckeyes.


 THE BROTHERHOOD. O Block took center stage on Monday, as Ohio State offensive line coach Justin Frye and several members of his position room – Josh Fryar, Seth McLaughlin, Carson Hinzman, Luke Montgomery, Tegra Tshabola and George Fitzpatrick – participated in individual press conferences after the Buckeyes’ ninth spring practice.

Of all the memorable press conference moments – from Hinzman sharing how it felt to be benched for the Cotton Bowl to Fryar naming his five favorite restaurants – my favorite moment came when McLaughlin discussed “The Brotherhood” and how he is “head over heels” to represent THE World Famous Ohio State Buckeyes.

“I’m absolutely head over heels — just so happy. It’s been super refreshing being here. I love the guys in this locker room, like truly. Every single guy throughout every single position group has been so open and welcoming and just really loving. They know where I came from and I think they have respect for that. I hope that they can see that I can add to this team in a positive way. … Each team has it’s own identity, and I could tell the first day I stepped in here that the guys really do care about each other. We go through a lot of hard stuff together and that brings everybody together. It’s kind of embracing the suck together. The guys do a great job of bringing people in and making us feel like one of their own. It feels like I’ve been here for four years (with) the way they’ve accepted me.”

Yes. Yes. Yes.

The Brotherhood is real.

I love it.

 TRANSFER TALK. Over the past week and a half, I’ve had some readers ask me about Ohio State men’s basketball and whether the program has been linked to players currently in the transfer portal. The answer to that question is yes. The names of those players, to the knowledge of this smooth-brained Skull Session writer, are listed below.

Meechie Johnson

Once upon a time, Johnson was a Buckeye. The Cleveland native graduated early from Garfield Heights and signed with Ohio State during the 2020-21 season. After one-and-a-half years with the program, Johnson transferred to South Carolina, where he averaged 13.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game in two seasons with the Gamecocks. In 2023-24, Johnson averaged 14.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 33 starts, earning second-team All-SEC honors.

Johnson visited Ohio State over the weekend and has one year of eligibility remaining. The No. 34 overall prospect in the portal has also received interest from Arkansas, Kentucky and Texas A&M.

Matt Allocco

Ohio State offered a scholarship to Matt Allocco on Monday. A Columbus native and Hilliard Bradley graduate, Allocco has spent the past four years at Princeton. After the Ivy League canceled its 2020-21 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Allocco was one of the Tigers’ top contributors for the last three seasons. The 6-foot-4, 197-pound guard averaged 9.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists in his career, including 12.7 points, 2.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 2023-24.

Like Johnson, Allocco visited Ohio State last weekend and has one year of eligibility remaining. Kansas, Villanova, Notre Dame and Butler have also recruited the two-time All-Ivy League and one-time All-Ohio player.

Jalen Sullinger

The son of JJ and nephew of Jared, Jalen Sullinger has spent the past three seasons at Kent State. A Columbus native and Thomas Worthington graduate, Sullinger averaged 9.9 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists for the Golden Flashes, winning MAC Sixth Man of the Year for his performances coming off the bench in 2022-23. This past season, the 5-foot-10, 172-pound guard averaged 15.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists as a first-time starter.

Like Allocco, Sullinger has one year of eligibility remaining. Since Sullinger entered the portal, Loyola Chicago, Virginia Tech, and East Carolina have also shown interest in him.

Tony Perkins

Perkins spent the past four seasons at Iowa, where he averaged 9.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 126 appearances and 81 starts. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound guard was a double-digit scorer in each of the last two seasons, averaging 12.3 points in 2022-23 and 14 in 2023-24. He has one year of eligibility remaining and has received interest from over 24 other schools, including Indiana, Louisville, Oklahoma, Oregon and UCLA, among others. 

To be clear, I have no clue where Ohio State stands in the recruitment of each prospect — just that the Buckeyes have been linked to them and/or have made contact with them. Though, with Scotty Middleton and Bowen Hardman in the transfer portal, I am sure Jake Diebler and Co. would love to add Johnson, Allocco, Sullinger or Perkins to the roster in short order and shore up some holes Hardman and Middleton left behind.

 SONG OF THE DAY. “Luxury” - Jon Bellion.

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