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What is the most talented position group at Ohio State?

Ohio State is one of the most talented teams in the country, but what is the best position group?

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

After Sports Illustrated broke the news on Braxton's position switch, they wrote:

The 6'2", 215-pound Miller will give Ohio State an added weapon to a receiving corps that is already one of the most talented groups on the Buckeyes' roster, led by Marshall and junior Mike Thomas.

So that got me thinking -- what is Ohio State's most talented position group, anyway?

Second, how do you measure that? Would you look at total accumulated talent or an average of the talent on the roster? Or would you look at game stats over high school recruiting rankings? If you look at game stats, how would standardize data across position groups?

To keep things consistent, I decided to use 247 Composite scores of the two-deep from this depth chart projection at Cleveland.com. I had to make a few modifications, though. First, Marcelys Jones, a projected second-stringer at center, transferred to Kentucky this off-season, so I subbed in Kyle Trout. Jalin Marshall practiced at outside receiver instead of H-Back this spring (possibly as a Devin Smith-replacing field vertical route runner?), so I moved him as the fifth wide receiver, with Braxton replacing him at H-Back. I also decided to separate H-Backs from other wide receivers since they have both receiving and rushing responsibilities.

Position Average
HB 0.9759
Running back 0.9694
Cornerback 0.9655
Safety 0.9502
Defensive Tackle 0.9427
Defensive End 0.941
Tight end 0.9357
Linebacker 0.9264
Wide Reciever 0.9261
Offensive line 0.91306
Quarterback 0.9026
Offense 0.9371
Defense 0.9452

Some notes

  • Least talented two-deep on the team? None other than a group of quarterbacks who won the national championship and set multiple Big Ten conference records for total offense last season. This is due to Braxton (a consensus five-star) moving to H-back and Cardale being rated a three-star.
  • So how about that offensive backfield? H-Back and running back are the two most talented position groups with Braxton, Dontre Wilson, Ezekiel Elliott, and Curtis Samuel leading the way here. Wide receiver is the third-worst position group on the team, but that's due to several starters, including Corey Smith and Michael Thomas, being relatively less-recruited.
  • The defensive two-deep is slightly more talented than the offense, with the three least-talented position groups all being on offense (but that's balanced by the two best position groups also being on offense). Of course, the two worst groups include the quarterbacks that we discussed above and the offensive line, which was ranked second overall in adjusted line yards last season (but 74th in adjusted sack rate!).
  • Again, these are projected starters and their backups. Who knows if these will actually be the starters or if some freshmen will come in and steal a job or two.