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tBBC Ohio State’s 2016 NFL Draft Class proves Recruiting and Development are both paramount

Discussion in 'News' started by Joe Dexter, Apr 30, 2016.

  1. Joe Dexter

    Joe Dexter Guest

    Ohio State’s 2016 NFL Draft Class proves Recruiting and Development are both paramount
    Joe Dexter
    via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
    Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here


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    The Ohio State defense has been recognized as one of the more talented groups in the country this season. It’s also been criticized at time for the amount of big plays they’ve given up throughout the first half of the season.

    This week, the staff at The Buckeye Battle Cry ponders in our weekly roundtable if Ohio State the intricacies of building such a talented program that blossoms into NFL talent.

    Question: What does this draft class say about Urban Meyer and the Ohio State staff’s ability to develop players compared to recruit them?


    Ken Kohl
    On Twitter @KenKohl1

    Of the 13 players leaving (hopefully) for the NFL, as college recruits:three were 5*, six were 4* and 4 were 3*. Let me state that that with an average “star rating” of almost 4 – Urban is a pretty good recruiter of talent, regardless of position. However, I think this is a testimony to player development under Urban.

    The 5* players were Vonn Bell, Adolphus Washington and Braxton Miller. I’d say that Vonn produced at a level I would expect for a highly rated recruit. A-Wash was a solid position performer. Not spectacular, but solid. Braxton was spectacular until his injury. After that he was an afterthought. Overall, the 5* recruits produced at expectation.

    The 4* players were Ezekiel Elliott, Joey Bosa, Joshua Perry, Jalin Marshall, Taylor Decker and Eli Apple.This list is loaded with regionally and nationally recognized players. I’ll just say that this group met/exceeded performance expectations.

    The 3* players were Tyvis Powell, Michael Thomas, Darron Lee and Cardale Jones. Tyvis and Darron were consistently among the top defensive play makers the past two seasons. Michael developed into an intriguing, reliable offensive play maker. Jury is still out on Cardale. When properly tutored in the championship run, he was very effective. When he wasn’t, he was benched. For a bunch of “average” recruits, three of them developed very well and at lest two of them will earn big paychecks in the NFL.

    I think that Urban starts with a pretty high level of talent. He improves this by top notch nutrition/physical training support staff and very effective position coaches; Johnson, Warinner, Smith, Fickell, Coombs… This is topped off by creating and communicating an expectation to the players they need to bring their best effort to everything they do. This “need to succeed” mindset served the players well in Columbus and is a selling point to their future employers.

    Charles Kuehn:
    On Twitter @Charles_BBC

    This is definitely an impressive draft class and that is almost always a result of both good recruiting and good player development. If we judge a coach’s recruiting based on the star ranking of the recruits they bring in, a rather dubious practice due to nature of trying to uniformly and properly evaluate all high school recruits, then Meyer is clearly one of the best in the country based on his classes ranking at the top of the country annually. However being a highly rated recruit does not guarantee that a player gets drafted in one of the early rounds or even drafted at all. Looking at the 2015 NFL draft, the first round had 8 players who started out as five star recruits, 7 four star recruits, 16 three star recruits, and 1 two star recruit. This certainly shows that player development is more important that recruiting rankings coming out of high school. Thus, it is a major testament to Meyer and his staff’s player development that so many OSU players are expected to go in the first round of the draft.

    Of course, we can also tie the player development back to recruiting in that Meyer and his staff identified players that were not only talented but ones who could improve from the system in place at OSU. In the end, it is hard to say whether this year’s draft class is more a result of recruiting or player development as the two are related.

    Scott Halasz
    On Twitter@OhioStateScott
    I think Taylor Decker is the perfect example of how he developed the seniors. He was not very polished as a freshman but he has gotten so much better. He went from someone I thought could be benched to someone who could start week 1 in the NFL.

    I’m undecided on the underclassmen however, except for a couple. Jalin Marshall is not ready and there are a couple more. But the fact that they could be drafted based on potential speaks to the overall quality of the program as well as Meyer’s ability to recruit.

    Michael Smith
    On Twitter @CWGBuckeyes35

    I honestly think it speaks more to Meyers recruiting than anything else. When you look at the draft class nearly all of the players are either 4 or 5 star recruits. The player who developed the most under Meyer has been Tyler Decker. Decker wasn’t all that good when Meyer came to town now Decker is poised to be a 1st round draft pick.

    JC Collingsworth
    On Twitter @Jcollingsworth3

    Urban Meyer is one of the top-everything in College Football today. In most discussions around the nation the top tier names mentioned are Meyer & Saban. Other names follow … but these are the two mentioned first.

    There are reasons for this. The consistency in top recruitment and development speaks volumes – resulting in the top-echelon pay that they receive. That’s why I am confused about the Harbaugh solution up at TTUN … he is far from a proven commodity.

    Evidence of development under the Meyer rule is Michael Thomas, Darron Lee, and Cardale Jones. Each of these players were 3-star recruits and shined brilliantly in their careers at The Ohio State University.

    It takes a Village … nice saying with so much truth to it. In the instance of recruiting and development at The Ohio State University it clearly deserves a nudge to mention the wondrous talent around Coach Meyer that assists in the successes that has come out of The Shoe. The Coaching Staff, Johnson, Smith, Coombs & Fickell to mention a few are deserving of notice. The Ohio State University too deserves credit. They allow and finance the whole shebang. They bring in the talent by allowing one of College Football’s reigning superior minds to call Columbus home.

    Meyer’s appetite for exhibiting might on the grandest scale in the vision of a group of young men is exceptional and worthy of complete respect. His skills and positivity summoned a trust in some of Tressel’s recruits having them realize their full potential and turned three-star recruits into important members in both the construction of his program and winning the first ever College Football Playoff National Championship when many throughout the Land thought they did not even belong.

    But no matter the contributions of his staff … ultimately it is always about the one in charge. Because if all fell apart and the recruitment well dried up then Urban would be sent packing. His word his final – and thus far throughout his career he has proven why he is one of the best – perhaps in the history of College Football.

    So in conclusion – I am clearly biased. I think Urban would be as successful even if he were at Appalachian State.

    I had to toss that in for all of our TTUN spies wondering what is happening on the sunny side of the street.

    Brandon Zimmerman
    On Twitter @bzimmerman9

    When looking at this recruiting class, it’d be pretty easy to just chalk it up to Urban Meyer’s ability to recruit. The fact is, if you recruit enough top-ranked prospects you will ultimately wind up with numerous players drafted. But I think this is lazy and a disservice to the wonderful coaching staff Meyer has had over the last couple of years. Sure, getting top players year in and year out helps but there are many teams around the country who get top players and do not develop them into first round draft picks. In this draft, Meyer and his staff developed anywhere from five to seven first round draft picks. That is simply amazing.

    To take a better look at the development, let’s look at the Top-5 recruiting rankings from the last couple of years.

    2012 CLASS

    RANKING SCHOOL POSSIBLE 1st ROUNDERS (2016)
    1 Alabama 1 (Class did have 2015 1st rounders)
    2 Texas 0
    3 Florida State 0 (Class did have 2015 1st rounders)
    4 Florida 0 (Class did have a 2015 1st rounder)
    5 Ohio State 2 (Spence excluded)



    2013 CLASS

    RANKING SCHOOL POSSIBLE 1st ROUNDERS (2016)
    1 Alabama 2
    2 Ohio State 5
    3 Florida 1
    4 Michigan 0
    5 Notre Dame 2



    I realize this is just a brief snapshot of two years but it shows that simply getting top-ranked players on to campus is not a guarantee to producing top-level NFL talent. A school like Florida is a good measuring stick for Ohio State because they finished very similar in both classes to Ohio State. While they are looking at two first-rounder draft picks in these two classes, Ohio State is looking at possibly seven first round picks. The ability to not only bring in top level talent but to also develop them into NFL caliber players is what separates the Urban Meyers and Nick Sabans of the world from the James Franklins of the world.

    Joe Dexter
    On Twitter @BuckeyeRadio

    My biggest takeaway in the correlation of Ohio State’s talent and development in this draft class is just how much it shows that Urban Meyer has learned to trust his assistant coaches and allow them to have a major impact on these players.

    For every Joey Bosa, who is expected to be a star, there is a coach like Larry Johnson — who became the biggest football mentor he’s had to this point. That relationship helped blossom a player into the true talent that everyone expected see. More importantly, it propelled him into being one of the greatest defensive players in school history.

    For every Darron Lee, who one coach is willing to go to bat for, there is a coach like Luke Fickell. Head coach Urban Meyer didn’t buy into the benefit of offering the former New Albany quarterback a scholarship. Yet, he trusted in his defensive coordinator and his due diligence. He understood that his staff is talented enough to develop the three-star commit into a top 15 pick in the NFL Draft.

    These coaches trust in each other to put the best on the talent.

    Going about it different ways is imperative in order to tap into building the best players in the country. This draft class is a pure example of why teams and college programs can never leave any stone unturned.

    And what happens when coaches go all in on players they believe in.

    The post Ohio State’s 2016 NFL Draft Class proves Recruiting and Development are both paramount appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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