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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Will Former Buckeyes Feel "Patriotic" During The 2013 NFL Draft?

Mock NFL drafts spring up almost on a daily basis.  I peruse them occasionally, but I never put too much stock into any analyst over an another, as there is way too much subterfuge and internal mystery within any NFL organization to let any analyst or fan know how the NFL Draft is going to progress.

With that in mind, I do believe there are certain NFL teams that have displayed tendencies through the years and previous drafts that allow a fan to speculate if a former college player would be a good fit at that NFL team on the next level.  The fit involves the NFL team's head coach, the styles of offense and defense the NFL team runs, and the skill set of the player(s) in question.

Going out on a limb here, I believe it is possible that some soon to be former Buckeyes could wind up playing for the New England Patriots next season.

Below are some points as to how I am coming up with this projection:

1.  New England's offensive scheme has incorporated various aspects of the spread option offense that is so prevalent by many college teams today, among them Ohio State.  The Patriots began incorporating the spread option when Urban Meyer was the head coach at Florida several years ago.

2.  The relationships between New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer, as well as Ohio State defensive line coach Mike Vrabel.  Mike Vrabel flourished under Coach Belichick as a professional player, and Coach Meyer consulted Coach Belichick on retaining Vrabel as an assistant coach after Coach Meyer became the head coach at Ohio State.

3.  Most importantly, the players at Ohio State who are eligible for the NFL Draft, and how they could project into playing for the New England Patriots.

  • DT Johnathan Hankins could project as a nose tackle for New England's 3-4 scheme.  While initially projected as a first round pick, Hankins could be available for New England in the second round.

  •  Coach Belichick incorporates the tight end heavily into the Patriots' offense, a la Coach Meyer at Florida and Ohio State.  TE Jake Stoneburner could be a late pick here.

  • Last, but certainly not least in the eyes and hearts of Buckeye fans, FB turned LB Zach Boren.  A player of Boren's intensity, selflessness, and character could be appealing to Coach Belichick, in the same manner as John Simon.  Boren could be a late pick by the Patriots, rather than losing Boren in a free agency frenzy of undrafted players after the NFL Draft concludes on April 27th.

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