"If [Michael] Thomas is there? He could turn into the Browns' best pick of a Buckeye since Paul Warfield in 1964."
That's pretty high praise from Lesmerises on Thomas, who is absolutely a talented wideout. He mentions that the odds of Thomas being there aren't very good, but if he is, he would be a great fit in Cleveland. The Browns need help at receiver, especially if they hope to resurrect the career of Robert Griffin III, who came over from Washington during the offseason. Lesmerises said that Thomas' father told him at the draft that his son was a perfectionist, and that sounds like the type of person the Browns need in their organization, when you consider what a mess it can be at times.
There has also been talks of Ezekiel Elliott being picked as high as No. 4, and as low as No. 13. The Browns fall in between there at No. 8, and perhaps the two Buckeyes could both wind up staying in Ohio, and moving north to Cleveland. The odds of that happening are low, but who knows. It would be pretty neat to see a pair of great Buckeyes continue their football careers together, and it would be even sweeter if they were able to bring the city a winning product. Aside from Elliott, Thomas is a complete receiver that any team will be lucky to have. Being a receiver picked in the early rounds nowadays also definitely says something about your game.
"It's something I've been dreaming of and working towards all my life. You never expect to be in this moment."
Eli Apple, like many prospects on Thursday and throughout the weekend, will be making his lifelong dreams come true when he hears his name called during the 2016 NFL Draft. Braziller documents that Apple has watched every NFL Draft for the past 10 years, making sure he took time to make his schedule work. Braziller also notes that Apple refers to himself as a "football nerd," and used to love to be able to tell people stats. But he also had it in him where he wanted to be able to produce some himself, and he's certainly done that in his time at Ohio State.
Now, Apple is going to experience something that only a handful of football players ever do, and that's hearing their name called by the commissioner. After years of sleeping with a football, studying stats, going to camps, countless hours of watching film (which, apparently he was huge on starting in high school), and listing out his goals for his mom, his time is finally here. Braziller says that NFL Network analyst Charles Davis has Apple going as high as No. 13 to the Dolphins, or falling to the Panthers at the end of the first round. That would be pretty neat for Apple if he did, as he would likely make an immediate impact, filling in for the recently departed Josh Norman. But no matter how it shakes out, Apple will have fulfilled his dreams.
"What happens to teams the year after they lose double-digit draft classes? Ohio State is about to find out."
There's undoubtedly a prideful aspect to having so many players considered great draft picks, with the potential of breaking numerous draft records. But after the 2016 NFL Draft has been completed this weekend, the reality will really set in for fans across Buckeye nation that those guys won't be suiting up and playing in Ohio Stadium on Saturdays anymore. Bill Landis points out some interesting figures to explore how teams in similar situations have fared since losing an abundance of talent to the NFL.
Landis says there have been 10 instances of a school losing at least 10 players to the draft. Those teams went a combined 115-16 (.878) the year with their NFL-caliber players. The year after, their winning percentage (expectedly) dropped, with a record of 100-29 (.775). When you consider the amount of talent that is actually being lost, that's not terrible. But it also makes sense why those teams didn't have an extreme drop off. You'd have to imagine the schools able to produce that much talent are already powerhouses, and are capable of quick reloads. Some of the teams similar to Ohio State have been former USC, Florida State, Oklahoma, and Miami teams just to name some. From recruiting classes and spring ball, we should expect Ohio State to keep that winning percentage up, if not increase it in the 2016 season.