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Does J.T. Barrett have a future in the NFL?

The redshirt senior is looking to improve his draft stock this season. 

J.T. Barrett 
Jamie Sabau

It wasn’t so long ago that analysts and fans alike were praising J.T. Barrett as Ohio State’s next big thing at quarterback.

Filling in as a redshirt freshman for an injured Braxton Miller in 2014, Barrett – outside of his forgettable second start against Virginia Tech – tore through opposing defenses.

He scored major wins on the road over Penn State, Minnesota and Michigan State, finishing fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting.

Had the Texas native not suffered a broken ankle versus Michigan that season, this entire article likely doesn’t get written.

After Barrett was sidelined, Cardale Jones stepped i–

Eh, you know where this is going.

Cardale was hot and led OSU to a national championship victory. Tom Herman left and then Cardale was not.

He eventually was benched midway through the Buckeyes 2015 campaign for Barrett, who was solid for the remainder of the year.

And that’s how the rest of his career has been.

Solid.

Even as the stand-alone starter last season, Barrett was inconsistent and again saw his efficiency slip.

Sure, he didn’t get much help from his ineffective offense, not to mention OSU’s abysmal play-calling, but there were too many throws left on the field.

Having said all that, Barrett is still one of the winningest and productive quarterbacks the Buckeyes have ever had.

No. 16 has earned Big Ten Quarterback of the Year honors twice in the past three years and essentially guided OSU to two College Football Playoff appearances. He’s 26–4 as a starter, 10 victories away from tying Art Schlichter (1978–81) for the most wins in school history.

And with 100 career touchdowns to his name, Barrett is now just 22 touchdown passes shy of Drew Brees’ mark for most in a career in Big Ten history

Here’s a snapshot of Barrett’s career stats:

J.T. Barrett Career Statistics

Season Attempts Completions Completion % Yards Yards per attempt Touchdowns Interceptions QB rating
Season Attempts Completions Completion % Yards Yards per attempt Touchdowns Interceptions QB rating
2014 314 203 64.6 2,834 9 34 10 169.82
2015 147 93 63.3 992 6.7 11 4 139.2
2016 379 233 61.5 2,555 6.7 24 7 135.31

Barrett has a chance to cap off his historic career with what could be his best season to date thanks to a pair of new coaches, per Land of 10.

“Ohio State’s new offensive coordinator, Kevin Wilson, helped transform Sam Bradford into the No. 1 overall pick of the 2010 draft, and Nate Sudfeld into a sixth-round selection a year ago. Meanwhile, new quarterbacks coach Ryan Day arrived in Columbus after having spent three years as an assistant with the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers.”

Regardless of what is accomplished on the field in 2017, there’s one question that continues to be asked of Barrett.

Does he have a future in the NFL?

First, let’s take a look at what some draft pundits and analysts have said about it.

"I don’t see him as a starter. You just don’t see the arm strength, the accuracy hasn’t been there... You never want to rule anyone out, but I would say right now based off what I’ve seen, he looks more like a late-round kind of project than anything else."

-Matt Miller, Bleacher Report

"His temperament, his acumen, his ability to assess, his intangibles are off the charts. I think he's a little bit bigger than Russell Wilson, but I think he'll have a lot of that Russell Wilson feel about him."

-George Whitfield, quarterback guru

“In reality, Barrett has been a roller coaster since his redshirt freshman season under Tom Herman, and with a legitimate offensive coordinator back in the booth, Barrett could and should have a season reminiscent of his 2014 campaign.”

-Christopher Jason, LGHL

It’s safe to say that Barrett has a considerable amount riding on his final go as a Buckeye. He’ll either stand pat at as a noodle-armed leader that peaked years ago, or Barrett will disprove his critics and show he’s worth the price of admission on draft day.

I like his odds of rebounding in a big way this season.

On top of Wilson and Day’s overhaul of the offense, OSU welcomes back four returning starters on the offensive line. That includes Billy Price, a favorite to take home the Rimington Award as one of the nation's best centers.

After a year of nonstop criticism, the receiving corps appears to be back on track again with potential breakout stars Binjimen Victor and Terry McLaurin leading the way.

And with 1,000-yard rusher Mike Weber, J.K. Dobbins and Demario McCall heading up the backfield, expect the Buckeyes to put up big-time points in 2017.

It’s no accident that Joe Thomas Barrett IV is here.

OSU’s revamped offense isn’t the same without him under center. He’s been one of the faces of college football – literally – for awhile now and it’s because of his innate leadership qualities and quarterbacking ability.

The script is set for Barrett to really open some eyes this season.

Hopefully the NFL is watching.