When looking at the 2017 depth chart compared to the 2016 depth chart, there are noticeable holes, but the team is in a much better place now than it was entering the 2016 season after a mass exodus of NFL departures and graduation. Using key departures, spotlighting players at important positions, leadership qualities, and recognizing the depth at each position, we came up with the 10 most important players on the team. They may not be the most heralded players, or even the best players, but they will be vital to this team’s on-field success.
No. 6: Binjimen Victor
Position: Wide Receiver
2016 stats: 4 receptions, 64 yards, 1 TD
Why he’s No. 6: Entering the 2016 season, Urban Meyer told us a true freshman receiver would get some playing time, but no one thought it would be the lanky, 6’4, 195-pound receiver from Pompano Beach, FL.
If you paid any attention to Ohio State last season, you would have quickly noticed that the passing game was an unmitigated disaster — for many reasons. The issues began with uninspired play calling and it trickled down to the field to a quarterback who regressed, an inconsistent offensive line, and a batch of receivers who couldn’t gain separation.
Although he only appeared in five games and only recorded four receptions, he saw ample time in the Fiesta Bowl, and flashed potential whenever he was on the field. Even though he still needs to fill out his 6’4 frame, his size is something that no other Buckeye receiver can replicate. Victor gives J.T. Barrett a big target to mask accuracy issues and win contested jump balls — something that has been missing besides last season’s game against Oklahoma.
As displayed in the spring game, Victor is a legitimate wide receiver, and not just an athlete playing on the perimeter. He runs crisp routes, can beat the defensive back vertical and looks like a player who will break out in Kevin Wilson’s passing attack. In the spring game he was targeted numerous times on fade routes and he’s clearly made significant strides in the weight room, adding some mass to his lanky frame. Although he will likely rotate with Austin Mack at times, expect Victor to get the majority of the snaps at the all-important X wide receiver spot.
If Victor can transform himself into a consistent threat who can create separation, this offense will be borderline unstoppable.