The Houston Texans have been making some very Ohio State friendly moves after the NFL Draft ended.
With the signings of Johnnie Dixon and Malcolm Pridgeon, the duo bring the scarlet and gray alliance to H-Town. While both players starred at OSU, they both have very different skill sets. Let’s look a three reasons why you should be excited about the Texans bringing Malcolm Pridgeon into the fold.
1. A mainstay on the OSU O-line
There hasn’t been too many shakeups on the Buckeye front line over the past couple years. That’s especially true when it comes to Pridgeon. In the 2017 and 2018 seasons, the Central Islip, N.Y., product has been a mainstay. He started in every game the last two seasons; and in 2018, led the squad in snaps with 1,170. Pridgeon was also part of an O-line that helped Dwayne Haskins become the most prolific passing quarterback in Ohio State history.
Ohio State’s offensive protection was very good last season, and surrendered the third fewest sacks in the Big Ten. While Pridgeon didn’t do it all himself, he played a substantial role in making sure that Haskins didn’t wind up on the ground.
2. Success on every level
No matter where he’s been, Malcolm has had success. After his high school career at Central Islip (N.Y.), he went on to become a top junior college prospect. Playing at Nassau Community College, he was considered by 247sports as the No. 4 JUCO recruit in the 2016 class. To get that ranking, he had to become a two-time All-Northeast Football Conference athlete and a first-team NJCAA All-American.
Pridgeon has gradually improved his game at each level. The same kind of work ethic will be needed with the Texans, and it’ll probably need to happen faster than his JUCO and OSU days.
3. Big game experience
I buy big stock in guys who perform well in big games. Malcolm has done just that at Ohio State. He’s been the starter in a Cotton Bowl, a Rose Bowl, and two Big Ten Championship games. Spoiler: In all four of those games, OSU won. In the regular season, he’s held his own against the “vaunted” Michigan defense, and didn’t lose to the team up north during his time in the scarlet and gray.
The fact that Haskins balled out against Michigan and Northwestern last season proved not only how great his draft stock was, but was a testament to how well the O-line protects the QB. All of that is hard to come by when the lights are shined brightest, but Pridgeon showed in front of national television audiences that he can play with the best of them.
Any concerns about Pridgeon?
Even though he was redshirted at Ohio State in 2016 because of an injury in fall camp, I don’t believe injury potential is a concern for Pridgeon. If there is a concern, I think it’s in Ohio State being too loaded on the offensive line. When the whole O-line is full of blue-chip prospects, everyone looks good. However, in the NFL, everybody playing on Sunday is either a blue-chip recruit or a freak athlete. We’ll see how good Pridgeon is once he sees snaps against the Texans defense.