One of the new offseason series that we are going to start at Land-Grant Holy Land, is bringing our readers a weekly spot to find Buckeye-related NFL news from around the web.
“Samuel’s unpredictability paired with his explosive athleticism makes for a devilish playmaker — the type of player that the Panthers have been missing for years.”
The Carolina Panthers let a lot of offensive talent walk away this year during free agency, including former Buckeye receivers Ted Ginn Jr. and Corey ‘Philly’ Brown. Instead, the team focused on rebuilding through the draft with two of the college game’s most coveted talents: Christian McCaffrey and Ohio State’s Curtis Samuel.
Klassen details how these two rookies will have a positive impact on Carolina’s offense, and how Samuel’s dual-position skill set will only exacerbate the team’s schemes and options. While at Ohio State, Samuel lined up in different slots, confusing defenses, putting them in reactive situations where they were unable to contain him.
The Panthers should try and utilize Samuel as much as they can, which means more snaps for the sometimes-receiver and sometimes-rusher. His experience motioning in and out of the backfield, and flipping between positions, will set Carolina up for offensive options they haven’t had in the past.
“The 2014 first-round pick moved into the starting lineup as a rookie, made the Pro Bowl last year and has generally made plays all over the field when he’s been in the lineup.”
Former Ohio State legend Ryan Shazier is looking forward to having a full, healthy season as he heads into the fourth year of his rookie deal. He’s missed 14 total games due to injuries over the past three seasons, but has still been able to menace opposing offenses.
Despite a slew of injuries that have kept him sidelined, Shazier has still amassed 210 total tackles, 7.0 sacks and nine turnovers -- three interceptions coming just from the 2016 season. The Buckeye has found his groove at the next level and will need a solid performance this season and next if he wants to make the big money on his second NFL contract.
Drafted in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft by the Steelers, the team is going to do everything it can to keep the linebacker in Pittsburgh for the foreseeable future. So long as Shazier can stay available for his team, he hasn’t even come close to reaching his potential — which is a pretty scary thought.
“Mangold was cut loose by the New York Jets, and even though he’s 33 and coming off an injury-plagued season, he’s still one of the best centers of this generation.”
Most of the Buckeyes in the NFL have found either a new home or a new contract this offseason, but free agency hasn’t been kind to all former Ohio State stars. In one of the first cuts to be made after the final whistle of the 2016 postseason, the Jets released 11-year veteran Nick Mangold.
The center had been a point of stability for the team over the years, had been voted to the Pro Bowl seven times, and was All-Pro thrice. It wasn’t exactly a surprise that the Jets made the move, clearly going all-in on a rebuilding era and cutting most of their experienced talent.
What was surprising, however, is that Mangold still hasn’t been called up by another team. Spring practices are in the bank, and offseason workouts are complete. With training camp just a few weeks away, this could be the first season since 2005 that the former Buckeye isn’t snapping a ball on Sundays.
There are three Buckeyes still taking snaps up North in the Canadian Football League: Duron Carter, Marcus Hall and DeVier Posey.
Posey was drafted by the Houston Texans in 2012 in the third round, with the No. 68 overall pick. He spent three seasons with the team, but never gained much traction with the offense, recording only 272 yards on 22 receptions (40 targets) and never making it into the endzone.
He was traded after the 2014 season to the New York Jets, but was waived just before the start of the 2015 regular season. Posey had some additional interest, and signed with the Broncos in 2016, but was once again let go before the season kicked off.
Just a month later, Posey signed with the Toronto Argonauts, and has been on the roster ever since. The CFL season opened a few weeks ago, and, as seen in the video above, the wide receiver still has the wheels to make a difference. So far, he’s suited up for seven CFL games, and has already bested his NFL production, claiming 441 yards on 32 receptions and two touchdowns already in 2017.