The Oakland Raiders signed themselves a tight end, as they picked up Ohio State’s Marcus Baugh as an undrafted free agent. So, if you are a fan of the Raiders, why should you be excited that they signed Baugh? We’ve got you covered:
1. An increase in production each year
Baugh saw action in 59 games wearing the scarlet and gray. After playing in 12 games (and only getting two receiving yards) during the Buckeyes title run of 2014, he ended his senior season with 304 yards, 28 receptions and five touchdowns, his personal season-best in all three categories.
He got more of the workload starting in his junior season, a year in which he started in all 13 of Ohio State’s games. When J.T. Barrett got him the ball, it was worth a good chunk of yardage; Baugh had an average of 11.1 yards per catch in his final two seasons.
He’ll have to adapt to the NFL, but if he gets enough time to do that, then he’ll have a real shot at hauling in catches at the TE position on Sundays.
2. Clutch catches in tight games
With the increased workload also came increased responsibilities. In two games this past season, he played a critical part in getting Ohio State back into winning position.
Against Penn State, he only caught two passes, but one of them was monumental in helping the Buckeyes overcome the large early deficit at home. Baugh created space in the final minutes to catch what would prove to be the game-winning touchdown against the Nittany Lions.
JT BARRETT to MARCUS BAUGH! #OSUvsPSU— SportsTime Ohio (@SportsTimeOhio) October 28, 2017
Ohio State takes the lead late against Penn State on @CFBONFOX. pic.twitter.com/ahXMDuQTat
His other biggest catch of the season came against Michigan. With the Buckeyes trailing, 14-7, Baugh slipped behind the Wolverines’ defense for a 25-yard TD reception. The score would even things up, as two of college football’s biggest rivals went into halftime tied.
Back in 2016, Baugh had his best receiving day for Ohio State in a losing effort. He pulled in five catches for 55 yards on the road against Penn State. However, that’s the game where PSU blocked a late field goal—and returned it for the go-ahead touchdown.
Like many of the starters for Ohio State, Baugh never really faltered in the big moments.
3. Can hang onto catches in traffic
Whenever he was targeted, Baugh did everything he could to haul in the football for yardage. He ran into defenders right after the pigskin hit his hands—and still managed to hold onto possession. Listed at 6-foot-5, 250 pounds, Baugh can hold his own when catching and running with the ball.
In this clip from the 2016 game against Rutgers, the Riverside, California native goes across the field for the catch with a defender right on him. He makes the reception, and then wrestles his way through two more defenders into the end zone.
Marcus Baugh 16 yard touchdown catch, Buckeyes lead 23-0 with 2:11 to go in the 1st half. #OSUvsRU pic.twitter.com/gedd7ZlRA0— Lantern TV (@LanternTV) October 1, 2016
Cardale Jones hurdled a guy when the Buckeyes made their first trip to College Park, Maryland to face the then-newly minted Big Ten member Maryland.
Marcus Baugh carried on the tradition of just jumping over people—which happened to also include another Maryland man. However, we’ll show another occasion of where Marcus took flight. Against Bowling Green in 2016, a Falcon defender went for the hit on Baugh, only to end up looking like a fool.
Having the dexterity to hop over opponents certainly elevates his cool-factor. Exciting plays get the people goin’, and when Baugh jumped over defenders, the people got goin’ in a big way.
5. Recognition on and off the field
Like many of the seniors in this OSU class, they all leave their college days with awards, rings, gold pants, and a degree.
The last two seasons were honorable mention All-Big Ten for the TE, with both the media and coaches agreeing. His trophy case also got jammed pack with rings, as a National Championship, Sugar Bowl, Fiesta Bowl and Cotton Bowl were picked up for bowl season wins; and two Big Ten championship rings got added after the Bucks rolled past Wisconsin in 2014 and 2017.
Above all that is the piece of paper that Baugh earned in December. With a degree in Criminology, Baugh left Ohio State as a graduate. Not everyone can say that.
Any concerns about Baugh?
One of things that should excite you about Baugh may also be a concern. The recent history of successful Buckeye TEs puts pressure on Baugh to be at the same level by the time he joins his new team. Nick Vannett was drafted in the third round in 2016; and before that, Jeff Heuerman was also a third-round selection in 2015.
Blocking will be an important skill set for a TE to have when they get to the NFL. For Baugh, two of his weaknesses in his NFL.com draft profile is that he’s “unable to sustain blocks” and “lacks play strength and tenacity as run blocker.” He’ll have to work on both if he wants to find himself on the main roster as the seasons starts.
However, by being a mainstay as a Buckeye starter, he knows what it takes to perform at a high level.