The Top 91-104 Returning Players in the Big Ten Comment Count

Seth August 25th, 2017 at 5:29 PM

is the local pidgin for a phenomenon called

Draftageddon 2017: This Was Homer It Was Always Homer Edition

Four_Horsemen_by_MarkWilkinson1

This is Part X. Let’s just get it over with and have some football.

Previously: Picks 1-10 (Hurst, Gary Speight), Picks 11-20 (Peters), Picks 21-28 (Cole), and Picks 29-40 (McCray, Mone) Picks 41-50 (Winovich), Picks 51-60 (Bredeson, Kekoa, Khaleke), Picks 61-70 (Evans, Kinnel, Bunting), Picks 71-80, Picks 81-90 (K.Hill, Solomon, L.Hill)

[Jump here if you want this, shaddup and scroll if you don’t]

WHERE WE’RE AT:

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And I have to take a skill player I guess.

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Seth: Round 22, Pick 3: Demario McCall, H, Ohio State

Off: QB JT Barrett (OSU), RB Chris Evans (UM), RB/SL Demario McCall (OSU), FB/TE Khalid Hill (UM), WR Nick Westbrook (IU), WR Rashad Still (MN), SL Matt VandeBerg (IA), OC Sean Welsh (IA), LT Tariq Cole (RU), LG Ike Boettger (IA), RG Tanner Farmer (NE), RT Brandon Knight (IU)

Def: NT Robert Landers (OSU), DT Kingsley Opara (MD), SDE Nick Bosa (OSU), WDE Jalyn Holmes (OSU), MLB Jack Cichy (UW), WLB Jermaine Carter Jr. (MD), VIPER!!! Khaleke Hudson (UM), S Tyree Kinnel (UM), S Kyle Quiero (NW), CB Denzel Ward, CB Manny Rugamba

The video embedded above is every McCall play last year. It's all with a 40+ lead on teams Ohio State smeared so it's of limited value, and it's all at running back since he didn't move to the slot position he was born to play (17 yards per target!) until fall. But it's important to point out that it's every snap and not a highlight reel.

Ohio State always has a guy like this. The last one was Curtis Samuel. The next one was anointed when the mouthbreather state started doing so over McCall's junior high school reel. He'll play running back, slot, return kicks and punts, and get featured in a Sports Science video about the limits of human ankles.

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Seth: At this point I want to point out how foofy it is that Ohio State played two-hand touch at its spring game.

BiSB: McCall is currently in a battle for the *backup* running back spot, and as of fall camp hadn't practiced at Percyback at all. He did well with his 50-ish touches, but he'll be fighting for touches with Mike Weber, JK Dobbins, Parris Campbell, and KJ Hill at running back and H-back.
Ace: Some years you get Curtis Samuel, some years you get Dontre Wilson — a guy who would know

[At this point we went into a tangent where we learn that Mike Weber and Rodney Smith would have been better picks, and Khalid Hill would rule at the “Y-Off” tight end position in Ohio State’s defense].

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Ace: ROUND 23, PICK 4: Tyler Davis, K/P, Penn State

Maryland@Penn State Football 10/08/16 halHarvey Levine/FOS

Off: QB Trace McSorley (PSU), RB Justin Jackson (NW), RB Lorenzo Harrison (MD), WR Simmie Cobbs (IU), WR Jazz Peavy (UW), SLOT Parris Campbell (OSU), TE Ian Bunting (M), OT Jamarco Jones (OSU), OT/OG Brendan Mahon (PSU), OT/OG Damian Prince (MD), OT/OG Boone Myers (IA), G/C Brian Allen (MSU)    

Def: DE Rashan Gary (M), DE Sam Hubbard (OSU), DT Dre’Mont Jones (OSU), NT Aubrey Solomon (M), LB Mike McCray (M), LB Jerome Baker (OSU), CB Christian Campbell (PSU), S Marcus Allen (PSU), S Jonathan Crawford (IU), S Tony Fields (IU)

ST: K/P Tyler Davis (PSU), KR Parris Campbell (OSU), PR Jazz Peavy (UW)

The former soccer player made 22-of-24 field goals last year after going a perfect 8-for-8 as a sophomore, and he’s a perfect 73-for-73 on extra points. While he doesn’t have ridiculous range, he’s automatic from 40 and in, which is all you can ask out of a #collegekicker. Penn State lists him as a kicker/punter, so even though Blake Gillikin has a stranglehold on PSU’s punting job, Davis will serve as my punter to free up a roster spot.

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Ace: ROUND 24, PICK 1: Brandon Lingen, TE, Minnesota

Previously: 2016 Rnd 19 (Seth)

Off: QB Trace McSorley (PSU), RB Justin Jackson (NW), RB Lorenzo Harrison (MD), WR Simmie Cobbs (IU), WR Jazz Peavy (UW), SLOT Parris Campbell (OSU), TE Ian Bunting (M), TE Brandon Lingen (MN), OT Jamarco Jones (OSU), OT/OG Brendan Mahon (PSU), OT/OG Damian Prince (MD), OT/OG Boone Myers (IA), G/C Brian Allen (MSU)    

Def: DE Rashan Gary (M), DE Sam Hubbard (OSU), DT Dre’Mont Jones (OSU), NT Aubrey Solomon (M), LB Mike McCray (M), LB Jerome Baker (OSU), CB Christian Campbell (PSU), S Marcus Allen (PSU), S Jonathan Crawford (IU), S Tony Fields (IU)
ST: K/P Tyler Davis (PSU), KR Parris Campbell (OSU), PR Jazz Peavy (UW)

Lingen missed all but three games last year because of a foot injury, and he’s had a tough time staying healthy at Minnesota. He got drafted last year in the 19th round, however, after leading the conference in yards per route run and giving the meat of the schedule fits:

Lingen’s 8.7 yards per target were second in the Big Ten for tight ends, just ahead of Jake Butt. Lingen and Butt also had nearly identical catch rates. Butt had about twice the production on twice the volume, but Lingen didn’t really get to crack the lineup until October.

While he missed the opportunity to pad his stats early, the 6'5/250 sophomore made up for it with a four-game stretch of 54, 111, 50, and 105 yards against Nebraska, Michigan, Ohio State, and Iowa. Now, a big chunk of those Michigan yards were stupid luck (still a nice catch from the ground), but Lingen also ran option routes through the hole that contributed to Desmond Morgan’s no good very bad day.

He’s also a solid blocker—he’s a Minnesota TE, after all—which helped him rise to #3 among underclassman tight ends on Mel Kiper’s preseason rankings heading into 2016, one spot ahead of Troy Fumagalli, before the injury hurt his draft stock. Yes, PJ Fleck’s offense is more Meyer than Harbaugh in tight end utilization, but he’s going to have to do something less than a full transition this year, and Lingen is easily their best receiving option with Drew Wolitarsky gone—running back Rodney Smith’s 23 receptions last season lead the team among returners. Lingen is going to get the ball, and he can really stretch the field while also providing solid work in the run game.

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BiSB: Lingen is a fine tight end, if he's healthy. But I don't care if JerryRice Gronkowski Jr. is lining up at TE. Minnesota's QB situation is such that they have little to no chance to replicate the passing productivity of Mitch Leidner.

Ace: Here’s the thing, though: Lingen was pretty productive with Mitch Leidner. When the QB is bad/inexperienced, the TE/binkie tends to benefit.

Seth: I thought about that when I took a long look at Lingen again as a tight end-tight end. But the fact that I had injury trepidation last year before he missed 10 games to multiple injuries was just too much when you guys just jumped all over me for VandeBerg.

BiSB: Last year, PJ Fleck's leading TE receiver had 9 catches. The year before that: 4 catches. The year before that: 10 catches. They did have a lot of catches in PJ's first, apocalyptic year in Kalamazoo. So maybe there's something to your theory. Still, the likelihood of a Maxx reduxx is pretty low.

Seth: Look what it did for Tyler Kroft.

Ace: Find me the wideout on Minnesota who’s going to be Corey Davis. Or even Daniel Braverman. Fleck gives enormous workloads to his playmakers. Lingen is one of his playmakers this year. This isn’t tactical genius. It’s “give the ball to the good players.”

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Seth: ROUND 24, PICK 2: Drew Brown, K/P, Nebraska

Previously: 2016 Rnd 26 (Adam)

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photo of Drew Brown in a punt-like position THIS COUNTS!
[Ryan Soderlin/The World-Herald]

Off: QB JT Barrett (OSU), RB Chris Evans (UM), RB/SL Demario McCall (OSU), FB/TE Khalid Hill (UM), WR Nick Westbrook (IU), WR Rashad Still (MN), SL Matt VandeBerg (IA), OC Sean Welsh (IA), LT Tariq Cole (RU), LG Ike Boettger (IA), RG Tanner Farmer (NE), RT Brandon Knight (IU)

Def: NT Robert Landers (OSU), DT Kingsley Opara (MD), SDE Nick Bosa (OSU), WDE Jalyn Holmes (OSU), MLB Jack Cichy (UW), WLB Jermaine Carter Jr. (MD), VIPER!!! Khaleke Hudson (UM), S Tyree Kinnel (UM), S Kyle Quiero (NW), CB Denzel Ward, CB Manny Rugamba

ST: K Drew Brown (NEB), KR McCall

Years ago I was trying to argue that Jason Hanson was the greatest kicker of all time and therefore deserves to be immortalized in a 20-foot statue on top of a homeless shelter so we can always remember him as a god surrounded by a bunch of bums. So I made a formula.

For each distance level (0-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50+) I calculate a guy's made FGs minus expected (based on league avg) and multiply your made FGs over average by a difficulty factor. At close range you only get about 2% of a point for making your kick and there's a big penalty every times you miss. By 50+ there's no penalty anymore for trying, and you get a full point for every hit. I won't put this formula against Fremeau's FG Efficiency but it feels right: make the ones you should make and make gravy from long distance.

The results are a fair estimate of kicker value. Arizona State's magnificent Zane Gonzalez was +8.84, going 7/9 at 50+ and hitting everything short of that. Emmit Carpenter was 4th in the country at +4.03 and yes he's the best kicker the conference has had in some time. Tyler Davis was 4th in the conference and 33rd overall at +1.20.

Drew Brown was 19th in the country and 2nd in the Big Ten last year, going 12/14 with misses of 48 and 53 yards. The year prior he was 12/14 just on that 40-49 range. He holds the NCAA record for most FGs in a half (five). Also the next-best guy available is Griffin Oakes, who was 71st in the country (+0.13).

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Brian: ROUND 23, PICK 2: Kendall Sheffield, CB, OSU

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Off: QB Wilton Speight (M), RB Akrum Wadley (IA), RB LJ Scott(MSU), TE Troy Fumagalli(UW), WR Malik Turner(ILL), WR Kekoa Crawford(M), WR Janarion Grant(RU), OT Mason Cole(M), OT Nick Gates(Neb), G Michael Deiter(UW), C James Daniels (IA).

Def: NT Stephen Richardson (Minn), DT Mo Hurst(M), DE Anthony Nelson(IA), DE Jesse Aniebonam(MD) OLB Chris Worley(OSU), ILB Josey Jewell(IA), ILB TJ Edwards(UW), CB Lavert Hill(M), CB Grant Haley(PSU), CB Kendall Sheffield(OSU), S Josh Kalu (Neb), S Aaron Williams(Neb)

ST: K Emmitt Carpenter(MN), KR/PR Grant

Sheffield is one of those guys battling for the other OSU corner slot. He's nominally behind Damon Arnette, who was the worst player on last year's OSU defense by some distance. He's also a former five star who bolted from Alabama after one redshirt season, dominated at a JUCO for one year, and is now attempting to get to the NFL as quickly as possible. He's somehow contrived the ability to be one-and-done in football.

I'm betting that he cruises by Arnette and establishes himself the starter. Thereafter he is not just a guy on the Big Ten's #9 YPA defense. Or he could flame out. Whatever.

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Seth: I’m surprised he didn’t go before a Michigan corner. He looked really good in their spring game. Then again: two-hand touch.

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BiSB: ROUND 24, PICK 4: Ryan Santoso, K/P, Minnesota

Previously: 2016 Rnd 20 (Seth)

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Punting is American

Off: QB Brandon Peters (UM), QB Clayton Thorson (NW), RB Saquon Barkley (PSU), RB/WR Ty Johnson (MD), WR DJ Moore (MD), WR K.J. Hill (OSU), TE/WR Mike Gesicki (PSU), G/C Billy Price (OSU); G/T Beau Benzschawel (UW), G/T Ryan Bates (PSU), G/T Ben Bredeson (UM), OT Christian DiLauro (Ill.)

Def: NT Bryan Mone (UM); DT Conor Sheehy (UW), DE Tyquan Lewis (OSU), DE Chase Winovich (UM), LB Tegray Scales (IU), LB Jason Cabinda (PSU) HSP Marcelino Ball (IU), CB Rashard Fant (IU), CB Derrick Tindal (UW), S Godwin Igwebuike (NW), S D’Cota Dixon (UW)

ST: P/K Ryan Santoso (MINN)

Santoso averaged about 41 yards per punt last year, which is pretty good for a first year punter. He spent 2015 as Minnesota's place kicker, where he made 17 of 21 field goals and 31 of 31 extra points. He also has 66 touchbacks on 129 career kickoffs (51%). He's just a well rounded ball-kicky guy who can plausibly fulfill both a kicker and punter roll. This frees up another roster spot, which I (per the strictures of this wonderful exercise that is Draftageddon) shall use on a luxury pick, like...

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Seth: Santoso's stats: 37.7 net (64th nationally, 7th Big Ten), 40.9 Avg (78th nationally, 7th Big Ten), 40% return rate (89th nationally, 11th Big Ten). He was not a good punter. He was a good kicker before a great one took his job. By the way Gillikin was 38.7 net (41st, 2nd), 42.8 avg (41st, 2nd), and 31% return rate (60th, 6th). Basically indistinguishable from Kenny Allen.

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BiSB: ROUND 25, PICK 1: Mike Weber, RB (OSU)

Previously: 2016 Rnd 25 (Seth)

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Off: QB Brandon Peters (UM), QB Clayton Thorson (NW), RB Saquon Barkley (PSU), RB Ty Johnson (MD), RB Mike Weber (OSU), WR DJ Moore (MD), WR K.J. Hill (OSU), TE/WR Mike Gesicki (PSU), G/C Billy Price (OSU); G/T Beau Benzschawel (UW), G/T Ryan Bates (PSU), G/T Ben Bredeson (UM), OT Christian DiLauro (Ill.)

Def: NT Bryan Mone (UM); DT Conor Sheehy (UW), DE Tyquan Lewis (OSU), DE Chase Winovich (UM), LB Tegray Scales (IU), LB Jason Cabinda (PSU) HSP Marcelino Ball (IU), CB Rashard Fant (IU), CB Derrick Tindal (UW), S Godwin Igwebuike (NW), S D’Cota Dixon (UW)

ST: P/K Ryan Santoso (MINN)

Weber averaged 6.02 yards per carry, and is 4th in the league in rushing yards among returning players. He isn't a game-breaking back; only 4 of his carries went for 30 or more yards. But that, combined with the fact that he's the short-yardage back, makes his 6 ypc average even more impressive. Now factor in the fact that he is the unquestioned lead back in an Urban Meyer rushing offense, to the point where it isn't clear who the #2 back is. And this was all as a freshman.

Weber is the same kind of accentuate-the-positive-eliminate-the-negative back that Ohio State seems to churn out; he's got good balance, good vision, good leg churn, and is hard to square up and bring down. And more than anything, he takes what the defense gives and then churns out an extra yard or two at the end. He doesn't have a lot of wiggle, but what he does have is the ability to stretch a play out toward the edge (like on a veer give), and then plant his foot in the turf and get going downhill. For the 97th pick, he's a hell of a steal, and there is almost no chance that he's the 9th-most productive back in the Big Ten this year.

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Ace: Two QBs, three RBs, zero blocky/catchy types is a bold strategy.

BiSB: Weapons everywhere tho

Ace: #1 receiver DJ Moore?

BiSB: Mike Gesicki is Funchess

Ace: That worked out great at Michigan. (I know, extenuating circumstances.)

BiSb: Mike Gesicki has Joe Moorhead, not 800 pounds of assorted scrap metal.

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Brian: ROUND 25, PICK 2: Blake Gillikin, P, Penn State

Off: QB Wilton Speight (M), RB Akrum Wadley (IA), RB LJ Scott(MSU), TE Troy Fumagalli(UW), WR Malik Turner(ILL), WR Kekoa Crawford(M), WR Janarion Grant(RU), OT Mason Cole(M), OT Nick Gates(Neb), G Michael Deiter(UW), C James Daniels (IA).

Def: NT Stephen Richardson (Minn), DT Mo Hurst(M), DE Anthony Nelson(IA), DE Jesse Aniebonam(MD) OLB Chris Worley(OSU), ILB Josey Jewell(IA), ILB TJ Edwards(UW), CB Lavert Hill(M), CB Grant Haley(PSU), CB Kendall Sheffield(OSU), S Josh Kalu (Neb), S Aaron Williams(Neb)

ST: K Emmitt Carpenter(MN), P Blake Gillikin(PSU), KR/PR Grant

Punting is important. Everyone needs a good punter. Punting is winning. These are all true things believed by all college football coaches, and I dare not disagree with them.

Blake Gillikin is the best returning punter in the league, with a 43 yard average as a true freshman. He'll probably add a couple of yards to that average. Meanwhile only about a third of his punts were returned, and the one big one he gave up was not exactly his fault:

Jabrill Peppers, from the one, no gunners, still boots it 59 yards, and then Peppers.

   
Brian: I have no idea what a team with Saquon Barkley is going to do with two more RBs. Maybe they can shine his helmet. Wasted picks.

Brian: Might as well list them at "squire".

Ace: Would’ve been a great spot for Austin Ramesh or taking a chance on TJ Wheatley.

Brian: Oh dude seriously Ramesh is a bad man.

Ace: Wisconsin had a legit one-two fullback punch last year.

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Seth: Round 24, Pick 3: Antoine Winfield (get ready to feel old) Jr., S/CB, Minnesota

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Depending on your screen resolution he’s either pointing at laughing at the positional designation, the “Jr.” or me. [Pioneer Press]

Off: QB JT Barrett (OSU), RB Chris Evans (UM), RB/SL Demario McCall (OSU), FB/TE Khalid Hill (UM), WR Nick Westbrook (IU), WR Rashad Still (MN), SL Matt VandeBerg (IA), OC Sean Welsh (IA), LT Tariq Cole (RU), LG Ike Boettger (IA), RG Tanner Farmer (NE), RT Brandon Knight (IU)

Def: NT Robert Landers (OSU), DT Kingsley Opara (MD), SDE Nick Bosa (OSU), WDE Jalyn Holmes (OSU), MLB Jack Cichy (UW), WLB Jermaine Carter Jr. (MD), VIPER!!! Khaleke Hudson (UM), S Tyree Kinnel (UM), S Kyle Quiero (NW), CB Denzel Ward, CB Manny Rugamba, CB/S Antoine Winfield Jr. (MN)

K/P: Drew Brown, KR McCall

Count your gray hairs: the massively annoying Buckeye who became the greatest-ever Viking cornerback has already dropped an apple, and this didn't get far. Despite starting just 9 games Antoine Winfield Jr. was named to PFF's true freshman all-American team last year, notching 52 tackles (missing just five) and a pick-six while playing nickel and safety. This year Minnesota plans to use him as an HSP:   

“I’m not saying he’s a true Sam (strong-side linebacker), but he’s going to be playing that type of position in those types of schemes because he’s the best athlete on the defensive side of the ball,” Fleck told the Pioneer Press last month.

That's more Peppers 2015 (covers a slot) than Peppers 2016 (follows the TE like a true 4-3 SAM), by the way. Gopherhole—who's seen some dang good DBs lately—was effusive in a DBs preview that was hard on everyone else but Peppersian on Winfield:

The best trait you can have as a defensive back is hip fluidity. It allows the player to redirect as the wide receiver breaks off the route at the stem. Winfield Jr. adjusts and gets his hands in the passing lane because he is in perfect position. There aren’t many players you can stick in the box, at single-high safety, or at traditional cornerback. Winfield Jr. is going to be placed all over the field to blitz, tackle, and make plays on the ball. His footwork and fundamentals are incredibly impressive and P.J. Fleck couldn’t stop gushing over Winfield Jr. during spring ball. It is clear he sees the special talent in Winfield Jr.'s game. He’s a playmaker and will be utilized in unique ways this season.

So why did he drop this far? He was one of the 10 players suspended in Title IX action that ended with Tracy Claeys following most of the accused out the door. Winfield was suspended for the bowl game and the school originally recommended a 1-year suspension. He was reinstated in spring, survived two appeals, and Fleck pulled a major recruiting job to reverse what looked like a sure transfer.

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Seth: (Try not to get depressed when you see Isaac Nauta on that PFF all-true freshman list.)

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Ace: FULL HOMER ALERT:

Ace: ROUND 25, PICK 4: Devin Bush Jr., ILB, Michigan

Ace: ROUND 26, PICK 1: David Long, CB, Michigan

image[Bryan Fuller]

Off: QB Trace McSorley (PSU), RB Justin Jackson (NW), RB Lorenzo Harrison (MD), WR Simmie Cobbs (IU), WR Jazz Peavy (UW), SLOT Parris Campbell (OSU), TE Ian Bunting (M), TE Brandon Lingen (MN), OT Jamarco Jones (OSU), OT/OG Brendan Mahon (PSU), OT/OG Damian Prince (MD), OT/OG Boone Myers (IA), G/C Brian Allen (MSU)    

Def: DE Rashan Gary (M), DE Sam Hubbard (OSU), DT Dre’Mont Jones (OSU), NT Aubrey Solomon (M), ILB Mike McCray (M), ILB Devin Bush Jr. (M), OLB Jerome Baker (OSU), CB Christian Campbell (PSU), CB David Long (M), S Marcus Allen (PSU), S Jonathan Crawford (IU), S Tony Fields (IU) 

ST: K/P Tyler Davis (PSU), KR Parris Campbell (OSU), PR Jazz Peavy (UW)

Alright, enough preamble. These picks are as much about my belief in Don Brown as anything else. I could’ve gone with one of Minnesota’s more proven linebackers (Jonathan Celestin or Blake Cashman), but as Brian mentioned above, Devin Bush looks poised for a huge season as the heat-seeking missile in Brown’s aggression-solves-everything defense. He should be productive at a minimum; he could also be a big-time playmaker on the strength of his own talent instead of as a perfect system fit.

Meanwhile, it’s been assumed around here that Lavert Hill is the team’s #1 corner, and I’m not convinced. It was David Long, not Hill, who was the more polished prospect out of high school; then he dealt with injuries last year and missed out on some potential spring hype when he chose to spend time with his family instead of going to Italy. While I didn’t watch Long play live in high school, I did see plenty of Hill, and while the latter has great potential his inconsistency worried me; Long has better size and the superior recruiting profile.

It’s obviously a crapshoot with Big Ten corners this year; I looked at Northwestern’s Montre Hartage and wasn’t too impressed by his ability to pluck gift interceptions out of the air, and Damon Arnette was the (relative) weak link in Ohio State’s secondary last year. With limited options, I’ll go with the most talented guy remaining.

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SPECIAL BREAKOUT DID WE JUST DRAFT WAY TOO MANY MICHIGAN PLAYERS SECTION

Brian: Sweet jesus.

Ace: Long live Don Brown, man. Also Montre Hartage is not good.

Seth: He isn’t.

BiSB: I considered Bush

Brian: I mean, he is a lock for 15 TFLs.

Ace: So the guy who drafted Lavert Hill is going “sweet jesus” about David Long, then? I’m… just checking.

Brian: Drake Harris is taking Long's spot. As we speak

Ace: I’ll believe that when I see it. Possibly not even then.

BiSB: He's tall. You know who else is tall? RICHARD SHERMAN. Q.E.D.

Brian: It's more the fact that we have now taken 11 Michigan defensive players. Michigan has one returning starter.

Ace: Yeah, I didn’t realize we’d gone quite that far. At the same time, it’s tough to question most of the individual picks. I know you called out Hudson as a reach but that dude is probably putting up crazy numbers too.

Brian: Hudson, Solomon, and Mone are reaches.

Ace: I maintain Solomon isn’t a terrible reach because Mone is also on that list. I didn’t see any Jake Replogles hiding in the basement this year.

Seth: Wait...which Hudson is a reach? Because if I just read some Khaleke doubt I'm gonna wrap that up and preserve it.

Brian: Khaleke Hudson is a reach when guys like Worley are on the board. I'm king of the bandwagon but one's an established senior and the other guy is a sophomore with zero starts.

Ace: I’d agree on Worley if OSU didn’t bizarrely move their spacebacker to MIKE. I have no idea how that’s going to work out. Hudson seemed like a solid pick to me in a year when there aren’t a lot of great OLBs. Especially given what Brown got out of that spot at BC.

BiSB: We've seen Mone play football against college athletes. We've seen Solomon maul 240 pound high school centers. The latter is fun. The former is more informative.

Ace: That’s legitimately one of the best highlight reels I’ve ever seen. There’s information there. Plus, you know, all the all-star stuff.

BiSB: No argument.

Ace: I’m also just really skeptical at this point that Mone can get through a season in shape and healthy.

Alex: Has he played a full season yet?

Ace: Nope. closest he came was appearing in ten games last year. And he didn’t look 100% for a fair chunk of that.

Alex: Not great bob. Next man up in the "planet-sized, run-stuffing gentlemen" category is dwumfour, right? To my understanding solomon could play nose but maybe better as 3T for 2017?

Ace: Potentially. I didn’t worry too much about that designation since Dre’Mont Jones is a really damn good run defender who can anchor.

BiSB: So, about that "let's wait to see Aubrey Solomon against college players" thing...

Ace:

Alex: Two freak-of-nature defensive linemen in single-digit numbers are better than one.

Ace: Do I now have wildly unrealistic expectations based on one rep yes absolutely. It legitimately looks like the poor damn walk-on’s nameplate says “MARTYR”:

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David: I was wondering who that was...apparently, he's a freshman WR

Ace: was

BiSB: "Why did you give me a red Star Trek uniform?"

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Seth: Round 25, Pick 2: Rodney Smith, RB, Minnesota

Off: QB JT Barrett (OSU), RB Chris Evans (UM), RB Rodney Smith (MN), FB/TE Khalid Hill (UM), WR Nick Westbrook (IU), WR Rashad Still (MN), SL/WR Matt VandeBerg (IA), SL/RB Demario McCall (OSU), OC Sean Welsh (IA), LT Tariq Cole (RU), LG Ike Boettger (IA), RG Tanner Farmer (NE), RT Brandon Knight (IU)

Def: NT Robert Landers (OSU), DT Kingsley Opara (MD), SDE Nick Bosa (OSU), WDE Jalyn Holmes (OSU), MLB Jack Cichy (UW), WLB Jermaine Carter Jr. (MD), VIPER!!! Khaleke Hudson (UM), S Tyree Kinnel (UM), S Kyle Quiero (NW), CB Denzel Ward, CB Manny Rugamba, CB/S Antoine Winfield Jr. (MN)

K/P: Drew Brown, KR/PR: Demario McCall (OSU)

Take one guess which Big Ten running back PFF thought was the biggest dick to ankles in the country? Bzzzt WRONG!:

No, Rodney Smith is not Saquon Barkley, but don't feel too bad if you get them mixed up (even Penn State staffers can't always tell the difference.)

More comparable is Weber, a fine back who gets the same 6 YPC that any decent back would get in that offense. But I will fight you if you think he's a better back than Smith, whose buddies give him less help than Justin Jackson's or LJ Scott's.

With Shannon Brooks dinged for 2 games and Minnesota leaning heavily on the run game we got to see a full season (240 carries) of Smith as feature back. The result was 4.8 YPC, 16 TDs, 1158 yards behind the country's 104th OL. Several coaching staffs have praised his solid pass- and run-blocking. Smith also has sure hands: he caught 23 passes on 26 targets, with a higher YPT and success rate than Akrum Wadley, plus a Hart-like one fumble in 436 career touches.

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Ace: And with his third running back selection, Seth has found a feature back. Karan Higdon spook you or something?

Seth: If Higdon ends up better than all of these guys I will be tickled. Really I was looking at backup DL and 3-4 OLBs and decided Smith is the best player on the board by far.

Ace: Fair. I might’ve gone with another DT since Tracy Sprinkle coming back could cut into Landers’ time but I get the BPA approach.

Seth: Sprinkle is a 3-tech; it's Dre'Mont Jones he affects more than Landers, who splits time with Hill.

Ace: Hill’s pretty good, too. I’m just saying maybe third RB wasn’t the optimal play for an ideal lineup.

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Brian: ROUND 26, PICK 3: Mike Onwenu, G, Michigan

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[Erich Upchurch]

Off: QB Wilton Speight (M), RB Akrum Wadley (IA), RB LJ Scott(MSU), TE Troy Fumagalli(UW), WR Malik Turner(ILL), WR Kekoa Crawford(M), WR Janarion Grant(RU), OT Mason Cole(M), OT Nick Gates(Neb), G Michael Deiter(UW), G Mike Onwenu(M), C James Daniels (IA).   

Def: NT Stephen Richardson (Minn), DT Mo Hurst(M), DE Anthony Nelson(IA), DE Jesse Aniebonam(MD) OLB Chris Worley(OSU), ILB Josey Jewell(IA), ILB TJ Edwards(UW), CB Lavert Hill(M), CB Grant Haley(PSU), CB Kendall Sheffield(OSU), S Josh Kalu (Neb), S Aaron Williams(Neb)

ST: K Emmitt Carpenter(MN), P Blake Gillikin(PSU), KR/PR Grant

Look, man, it was either this or gamble on Michael Jordan, who was -12 last year as a true freshman, Or I guess continue scouring for whichever Purdue or Northwestern or Maryland guard was marginally acceptable last year and project their incremental improvement will make them tolerable. Athlon's available All Big Ten interior linemen are Kirk Barron, Connor McGovern, and Tommy Doles. QED.

Instead I choose density. I choose a man who people think weighs 250 pounds when he weighs north of 2500. I choose a man with literally no physical equal across these United States. I choose life. I choose motherfucking grapes. GET SOME.

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Smoothitron:

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Seth: That pick probably won't be great this year but it'll look pretty sweet in the "previously" section of Draftageddon 2019.

For the record, Maryland's one really good guard quit football with a year of eligibility remaining to preserve his brain, and Purdue's viking warrior graduated. Pickings are slim down here.

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BiSB: ROUND 26, PICK 4: Austin Ramesh, FB (Wisconsin)

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Off: QB Brandon Peters (UM), QB Clayton Thorson (NW), RB Saquon Barkley (PSU), RB Mike Weber (OSU), RB/WR Ty Johnson (MD) FB Austin Ramesh (UW), WR DJ Moore (MD), WR K.J. Hill (OSU), TE/WR Mike Gesicki (PSU), G/C Billy Price (OSU); G/T Beau Benzschawel (UW), G/T Ryan Bates (PSU), G/T Ben Bredeson (UM), OT Christian DiLauro (Ill.)   

Def: NT Bryan Mone (UM); DT Conor Sheehy (UW), DE Tyquan Lewis (OSU), DE Chase Winovich (UM), LB Tegray Scales (IU), LB Jason Cabinda (PSU) HSP Marcelino Ball (IU), CB Rashard Fant (IU), CB Derrick Tindal (UW), S Godwin Igwebuike (NW), S D’Cota Dixon (UW)

ST: P/K Ryan Santoso (MINN)

Having been (understandably) derided for lacking a blocky-catchy type, I now have the blockiest of all the blocky-catchy types. Ramesh only had 17 carries and 3 receptions all year (at a respectable 4.1 yards per touch), but he spent the rest of the time mauling people in or about the face. How many fullbacks squared up Taco Charlton last year? Only one comes to mind. I would have taken him earlier, but I actually thought he was already off the board. He's just a squat box of assorted car parts. He's Cory Schlesinger without the neck roll.

The only downside is that it leaves me without three true traditional linebackers. And while Seth already set the precedent that three linebackers are overrated, if I ever needed to put a third thumper on the field, Ramesh was a linebacker coming out of high school, and could almost certainly Mark Moundros in a pinch.

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Seth: Mmmmm yessss feed me all your Khaleke doubt. All of it I want it all.

BiSB: Also, I looked at the remaining linebackers, and I came away unimpressed. Michigan State has some guys, but their purported best guy, Chris Frey, looked like Just A Guy to me. I even scouted Purdue - PURDUE - for their young linebackers like Markus Bailey, and I didn't come away feeling good about them. Or anything. No one should have to watch that much Purdue in a condensed time.

Seth: I kind of liked one of Purdue's other linebackers but he hasn't done enough yet to warrant a pick. Ace likes MSU's spacebacker (star they call it) Andrew Dowell.

The conference was so stocked with 4-3 defensive ends that we ignored a couple of 3-4 OLBs whom I thought belonged ahead of Aniebonam. Wisconsin's Garret Dooley had more TFLs than Vince Biegel despite being his backup for all but two games, which were Michigan and Ohio State, and inherits the Biegel/Watt/Schobert spot.

Minnesota walk-on Blake Cashman had something like 11 TFLs after breaking through midway through the season. A number of those came against Purdue etc. but

BiSB: We drafted 20 Wolverines and 2 Spartans. So much #disrespekt.

Ace: Were there really any major candidates, even? I guess Frey. Dowell. uh…

BiSB: Demetrius Cooper? Assuming he stops spitting on law enforcement officers over Noodles & Co. and starts playing better?

Ace: That latter part is probably the bigger reason why he went undrafted.

BiSB: Justin Layne is athletically promising, but sushi raw.

Ace: And will be surrounded by flames and chaos

BiSB: And they don't even know if he's a corner or a receiver.

Ace: Not sure they have a choice but to put him at corner now.

Seth: Their defensive tackles are alright. And they are another team with a living breathing fullback.

BiSB: Linebacker will be their best position group, but the odds of that DL keeping them clean are not great.

Ace: and their LBs aren’t even that great.

Seth: They seem to produce a decent tight end every year and this year the Tyler Kroft Effect should be very strong.

BiSB: They're already saying two true freshman TE's will play. They're gonna miss Josiah Price. He may have gotten 80 targets this year.

Seth: Jesus. Is Felton Davis still around or did he commit bank fraud in some eastern Asian country where they throw such people in a giant hole or something?

BiSB: He's still around. But he had 6 catches against Illinois, 3 catches against Furman, and 3 the entire rest of the season.

Seth: Okay we’re done here.

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HOW THINGS END:

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BY SCHOOL AND WOW ARE WE HOMERS:

  1. Michigan (20 players): DT Maurice Hurst (2nd, Brian), DE Rashan Gary (5th, Ace), QB Wilton Speight (7th, Brian), QB Brandon Peters (an obligatory 16th, BiSB), OT Mason Cole (26th, Brian), LB Mike McCray (36th, Ace), NT Brian Mone (40th, BiSB), DE Chase Winovich (48th, BiSB), OG Ben Bredeson (57th, BiSB), WR Kekoa Crawford (58th, Brian), VIPER!!! Khaleke Hudson (59th, Seth), RB Chris Evans (67th, Seth), TE Ian Bunting (69th, Ace), S Tyree Kinnel (70th, Seth), FB Khalid Hill (83rd, Seth), NT Aubrey Solomon (84th, Ace), CB Lavert Hill (90th, Brian), LB Devin Bush Jr. (100th, Ace), CB David Long (101st, Ace), OG Mike Onwenu (103rd, Brian)
  2. Ohio State (17 players): DE Nick Bosa (3rd, Seth), QB JT Barrett (6th, Seth), DE Tyquan Lewis (8th, BiSB), CB Denzel Ward (11th, Seth), DT Dre’Mont Jones (13th, Ace), OC Billy Price (17th, BiSB), DE Sam Hubbard (20th, Ace), LB Jerome Baker (21st, Ace), OT Jamarco Jones (28th, Ace), NT Bob Landers (51st, Seth), DE Jalyn Holmes (54th, Seth), LB Chris Worley (74th, Brian), H Parris Campbell (76th, Ace), H KJ Hill (81st, BiSB), H Demario McCall (91st, Seth), CB Kendell Sheffield (95th, Brian), RB Mike Weber (97th, BiSB)
  3. Penn State (11 players): RB Saquon Barkley (1st, BiSB), QB Trace McSorley (4th, Ace), “TE” Mike Gesicki (25th, BiSB), S Marcus Allen (29th, Ace), OT Ryan Bates (41st, BiSB), LB Jason Cabinda (49th, BiSB), Brendan Mahon (53rd, Ace), CB Christian Campbell (62nd), CB Grant Haley (63rd, Brian), K Tyler Davis (92nd, Ace), P Blake Gilikin (98th, Brian)
  4. Wisconsin (10 players): LB Jack Cichy (14th, Seth), TE Troy Fumagalli (15th, Brian), OG Beau Benzschawel (33rd, BiSB), OC Michael Dieter (34th, Brian), LB TJ Edwards (39th, Brian), WR Jazz Peavy (44th, Ace), S D’Cota Dixon (65th, BiSB), DT/DE Conor Sheehy (72nd, BiSB), CB Derrick Tindal (80th, BiSB), FB Austin Ramesh (104th, BiSB)
  5. Iowa (9 players): RB Akrum Wadley (18th, Brian), G/C Sean Welsh (22nd, Seth), LB Josey Jewell 23rd, Brian), OT Ike Boettger (35th, Seth), DE Anthony Nelson (42nd, Brian), CB Manny Rugamba (43rd, Seth), OC James Daniels (47th, Brian), OT Boone Myers (77th, Ace), SL/WR Matt VandeBerg (86th, Seth)
  6. Indiana (8 players): LB Tegray Scales (9th, BiSB), WR Simmie Cobbs (12th, Ace), WR Nick Westbrook (30th, Seth), CB Rashard Fant (32nd, BiSB), SS Jonathan Crawford (52nd, Ace), OT Brandon Knight (78th, Seth), FS Tony Fields (85th, Ace), HSP Marcelino Ball (88th, BiSB)
  7. Maryland (7 players): DT Kingsley Opara (19th, Seth), OT Damian Prince (45th, Ace), WR DJ Moore (56th, BiSB), RB Ty Johnson (64h, BiSB), DE Jessie Aniebonam (66th, Brian), RB Lorenzo Harrison (68th, Ace), LB Jermaine Carter (75th, Seth)
  8. Minnesota (7 players): DT Stephen Richardson (10th, Brian), WR Rashad Still (38th, Seth), PK Emmit Carptenter (71st, Brian), TE Brandon Lingen (93rd, Ace), P Ryan Santoso (96th, BiSB), CB/S Antoine Winfield Jr. (99th, Seth), RB Rodney Smith (102nd, Seth)
  9. Nebraska (5 players): OG Tanner Farmer (46th, Seth), S Joshua Kalu (50th, Brian), S Aaron Williams (82nd, Brian), OT Nick Gates (87th, Brian), K Drew Brown (94th, Seth)
  10. Northwestern (4 players): S Godwin Igwebuike (24th, BiSB), RB Justin Jackson (60th, Ace), S Kyle Queiro (61st, Seth), QB Clayton Thorson (73rd, BiSB)
  11. Michigan State (2 players): OG Brian Allen (37th, Ace), RB LJ Scott (55th, Brian)
  12. Rutgers (2 player): OT Tariq Cole (27th, Seth), SL Janarion Grant (79th, Brian)
  13. Illinois (2 players): WR Malik Turner (31st, Brian), OT Christian DiLauro (89th, BiSB)
  14. Purdue Nobody wants your players, Purdue.

Comments

NJblue2

August 25th, 2017 at 7:11 PM ^

I'm surprised Blessuan Austin (CB) from Rutgers hasn't been taken. He's gotten a little bit of hype from BTN and I thought he was pretty solid last year.

m1jjb00

August 25th, 2017 at 9:13 PM ^

Damon Webb S OSU

DaeSean Hamilton WR PSU

Tommy Doles OL NW

I would have added Chris Jones CB NEB, but aftwerwards found out that he has a meiscus injury and will be out for several months, perhaps the whole year.

 

Michigan4Life

August 25th, 2017 at 9:43 PM ^

is in line to follow OSU DBs getting drafted in the NFL after next season along with Denzel Ward though NFL scouts considered Ward the better prospect at the moment.

DaeSean Hamilton is in line to replace Chris Goodwin. He was a highly hyped recruit who failed to live up to the expectation but if he can live up to it, PSU may not miss the absence of Goodwin.

Seth

August 27th, 2017 at 8:09 PM ^

Damon Webb was the weak point in the OSU secondary. OSU players get on draft boards sometimes just because they won the job. In his case he hasn't fully.

Hamilton has never done much outside of the slot. He is a poor man's Roy Roundtree. Blacknall has more upside but can't stay on the field. In Spring everyone was just talking about the new guy. I think we all looked at the PSU receiver situation because they throw the ball a lot but none of these guys are Godwin.

Tommy Doles is bad. Not that anyone wanted to touch northwestern's offensive line anyway but the minute you scout that guy you can see it. He looks like Kalis trying to play tackle.