With Ohio State off this weekend, Ohio had a chance to focus on its pro football teams, and the Browns and Bengals certainly delivered plenty of storylines to get us through. Some thoughts on the men in stripes…
OK, so it wasn’t all bad. And it isn’t all bad. But it sure felt bad. And a day later it really hasn’t started feeling better.
The Bengals did some good things Sunday against the Panthers. They also did some bad things. The latter could have been erased with one kick by Mike Nugent, but the home-state hero didn’t come through.
The result was a 37-all final score that left the Bengals in first place in the AFC North but lots of questions about the rest of the season.
The way the Browns whipped the fading Steelers made the result all the more meaningful, leaving the division lead feeling more precarious, but the tie was not really the top story in Cincinnati.
Joey Burrow is on track to buck one trend but Ohio State fans will be happier to see him turn another of its head in the future.
Burrow, a four-star prospect from Athens, verbally committed Tuesday and is set to become (in February) the first Southeast Ohio signee since Drew Basil of Chillicothe in 2010 and the 10th Buckeye recruit from the region going back to Buster Howe in the class of 1988.
Ohio State had six players chosen in the 2014 NFL Draft, including a pair of first-rounders after only having a total of one first-rounder in the previous four drafts combined.
The draft marks the end of the line for the 2009 recruiting class, which became the second Ohio State recruiting class since 1999 to produce zero first-round picks, joining the ’08 class. Both of those were rated top five classes by Scout.com. The ’09 class, which was ranked No. 1 in the nation, can brag of more overall draft picks (six — Reid Fragel, Carlos Hyde, Corey Linsley, Jack Mewhort, Jonathan Newsome and John Simon) than the ’08 class (Mike Adams, DeVier Posey, Terrelle Pryor), which was ranked No. 4.
Newsome, a four-star recruit from Cleveland Glenville, transferred to Ball State and as near as I can tell is only the second player to sign with Ohio State since 1987, transfer out and still get drafted. Brandon Underwood is the other. Underwood signed in 2004 and finished his career as a Cincinnati Bearcat. That is out of 75 players.
The 2010 and ’11 classes are already assured of avoiding the fate of the two groups that immediately preceded them as they were represented respectively this year by Bradley Roby and Ryan Shazier.
The second weekend in May was no ordinary one as the NFL draft brought nearly nonstop news beginning Thursday night.
The biggest news in Ohio was, of course, the Browns’ decision to draft Johnny Manziel in the first round on Thursday night. Manziel is a lightning rod who has excited the fanbase, but he probably won’t be handed the starting job by new head coach Mike Pettine. The Texas tornado will arrive in town to find a potential hometown hero in Cleveland’s own Brian Hoyer, who energized the fanbase himself for a few briefs weeks last season before blowing out his knee. What does the former Cleveland St. Ignatius Wildcat have to say? “Bring it on.”Continue reading Weekend in review: Talkin’ draft, draft draft→