The tight end position at Ohio State hasn’t been utilized in a way that makes it easy for NFL scouts to assess talent. Over the past few draft classes, the Buckeyes have had Jeff Heuerman and Nick Vannett representing that position group in the NFL, but that probably hasn’t done much to bolster confidence. Marcus Baugh is hoping to change the narrative surrounding Buckeye tight ends.
It’s no surprise that Urban Meyer likes his tight ends to be dominant pass blockers. It’s part of the reason that players like Heuerman and Vannett got drafted in the first place. But, without significant in-game experience with route running and receiving, those blocking skills haven’t translated to offensive weapons in the NFL.
Baugh finished his Ohio State career ranked as the No. 9 tight end in receptions (55) and No. 7 in tight end touchdowns (8) in program history. Those minimal stats being among the Top 10 in the school record book pretty much says it all. The Buckeye played in 52 games (starting 29) during his four years in Columbus, but he really started to shine in 2017.
His senior campaign included being one of only two players to catch a pass in every game in 2017. Going back even further, Baugh caught a pass in 23 of his last 24 games as a Buckeye. He finished his senior season with a career-high 28 receptions for 303 yards and five touchdowns. He also claimed the game-winning TD against Penn State (going 16 yards to take the lead with 1:48 left to play) and the game-tying score against Michigan.
Here’s what the pros are saying in his NFL Combine Scouting Report:
STRENGTHS: Able to post up defenders and hold them off to pry a better throwing window open. Has some open field talent with the ball in his hand after the catch. Able to leap over tacklers who try and go low. Long strides will start to create distance from coverage as route progresses. Has the necessary footwork to get himself into position to wall off his assignment. Unfurls his long arms into defender’s chest and can create space between them. Has the athletic ability and agility to get into proper positioning to mirror as a screen blocker.
WEAKNESSES: Gawky and awkward in his movement. Has extremely awkward gait as a runner and is able to be re-routed. Slow to gather weight and change direction. Safeties read his routes. Takes too long getting to his breaks and making himself available to quarterback. Struggles to catch it cleanly and tape is filled with drops and double catches. Hands need to be catch-ready more quickly. Posted double-digit drop rate over last two seasons. Lacks play strength and tenacity as run blocker. Unable to sustain blocks. Can be overcome in pass protection.
- Height: 6-3 4/8”
- Weight: 247 lbs
- Hand size: 10”
- Arm length: 33 4/8”
- Wingspan: 80 1/8”
40-yard dash: 4.81 seconds
Marcus Baugh’s 40 yard dash ‼️ #PathToTheDraft pic.twitter.com/rFcbjahu6d— Julio Cruz (@JCSTRPES) March 3, 2018
Broad jump: 117 inches
20-yard shuttle: 4.51 seconds
60-yard shuttle: 12.06 seconds
3-cone drill: 7.28 seconds
The Buckeye tight end is expected to be a late-round pick or even head into spring as an undrafted free agent, but with playing time at Ohio State under his belt, should still end up on some team’s roster throughout the summer. If his potential is appreciated at the next level, he might earn a spot on a practice squad his rookie season to at least keep him training — even if he doesn’t end up making a final 53-man roster.