“I think what I bring to the NFL is my adaptability. You put me in any situation, I’ll make the most of it. I’ll make things happen. You put me in at right guard, left guard, left tackle, right tackle, I’ll make the most of it.”
-Former Ohio State OL Isaiah Prince, via Jim McBride, the Boston Globe
In case you missed it, the 2019 NFL Draft is less than a week away. From an Ohio State perspective, defensive end Nick Bosa looks like an all-but lock as a top-five pick, while rumors continue to fly about quarterback Dwayne Haskins’ draft position which should, regardless, still place him as the highest Buckeye quarterback taken since Art Schlichter.
However, 10 former Buckeyes in total have entered the 2019 NFL Draft. Beyond Haskins and Bosa, last season’s favorite trio of wide receivers -- Parris Campbell, Terry McLaurin and Johnnie Dixon -- are all on the board. And if any more offensive weapons needed to be in the fray, running back Mike Weber is also in the mix. Defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones, who anchored the defensive line after Bosa’s season-ending injury against TCU last season, looks to be an early-round pick himself, while defensive back Kendall Sheffield hopes to get picked up and bring his super-speed to the next level.
Rounding out the group of potential draftees are two offensive linemen who have started continuously for the past three seasons: Michael Jordan and Isaiah Prince. Ohio State is losing most of its line due to graduation and the draft, but the biggest loss looks to be Jordan, who moved from right guard to center this past season. Jordan is foregoing his final season of eligibility with the Buckeyes, which makes sense given that he looks to be the fourth-best guard in the draft according to ESPN.
Prince, meanwhile, looks to be a mid-round pick by most projections, and is listed as the 14th “Best Available” offensive tackle in the draft according to ESPN. Given his versatility on the line, Prince could be a potential fit as a backup, and teams like the New England Patriots could turn out to be a good landing spot.
“No adversity will ever break me. When you play quarterback, you have to have tough skin. The biggest thing I’ve learned -- I know it before this process -- is that there are a lot of outside distractions. You just have to keep your focus.”
-Former Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins, via Jarrett Bell, USA Today
Meanwhile, about Dwayne Haskins…
Perhaps more than players at most positions, quarterbacks have to have thick skin. That attribute becomes even more critical with the inevitable approach of the NFL Draft as rumors about teams, players and trades fly at breaknecking pace. Beyond the combine, interviews, scouting report and all the other analysis done on Dwayne Haskins since he declared for the NFL Draft, the former Ohio State quarterback has managed to demonstrate that mental toughness in the last few weeks as rumors around his status began circulating, as they are so inclined to do around the opening of the draft.
Since the draft order was finalized after the Super Bowl, it looked to most like Haskins would go to the New York Giants to eventually (or maybe sooner) replace Eli Manning at the starting spot. Recently, however, rumors have emerged that Haskins might drop as Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray, Missouri’s Drew Lock and Duke’s Daniel Jones have gained clout in the past few weeks, perhaps overtaking Haskins who looked to be the second quarterback off the board.
Critics would say it was crazy Haskins was ever rated that highly. As a one-year starter, they’d argue, Haskins is still unproven, and Ohio State has never really been the type of school to take a quarterback from. Supporters of Haskins would counter with the fact he led the NCAA with more than 4,800 passing yards and 50 touchdowns last season.
Haskins, however, has chosen to ignore all of it. In fact, he’s opted not to attend the draft in Nashville this weekend. Having met with more than a dozen teams, and with numerous scouts attending his workout at Ohio State (and obviously watching his performance at the NFL Scouting Combine), Haskins needn’t (and isn’t) worrying about what will happen later this week.
Lots of these earned weekend!@OhioStateMTEN brings 14th B1G title@OhioStateWGOLF are B1G champs for 18th time@OhioStateMGYM’s Yoder is a national champ@OhioStateMGOLF wins 24th Robert Kepler Intercollegiate— Ohio State Buckeyes (@OhioStAthletics) April 21, 2019
➡️ https://t.co/He7w8aQLnY #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/mM12ZEZBJx
What a weekend to be a Buckeye! As many of the spring sports are starting to wrap up their seasons, a number played in their respective conference tournaments over the weekend. Among the highlights is the 18th Big Ten championship for the women’s golf team and the 14th-consecutive (yep) Big Ten title for the Ohio State men’s tennis team. And rounding out an outstanding career at Ohio State, senior gymnast Alex Yoder took home a national championship on the pommel horse.
Women’s golf earned an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament after winning the Big Ten women’s golf championship at TPC River’s Bend in Maineville over the weekend, despite Saturday matches being cancelled due to weather. The team beat out Illinois, Indiana and Purdue by three strokes to take home the title, while senior Niki Schroeder earned co-medalist honors. Looking ahead, the Buckeyes are scheduled to face off in the NCAA Tournament May 6-8.
On the men’s tennis side, the top-ranked Buckeyes swept Indiana 7-0 Sunday to take home their 14th-straight conference title outright. Even more impressive, Ohio State has gone 44-0 against Big Ten foes in the last four years. With his win over the weekend, junior J.J. Wolf, the top singles player in the nation, capped a 29-0 season. Next up, the Buckeyes are scheduled to play in the Big Ten Tournament in Ann Arbor next weekend before the start of the NCAA Tournament in May.
As for Yoder, this championship was a long time coming. A three-time All-American and two-time Big Ten champion in the pommel horse, a national title was a sweet way to round out an excellent career in Columbus. In terms of what’s next for the senior, Yoder is a hopeful for the U.S. Olympic team.
Congrats to all the Ohio State champs, and best of luck in the NCAAs!