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.”
There were six Ohio State players drafted, starting with Bradley Roby and Ryan Shazier. None of them will be continuing their football careers in Ohio, though, even though I and many others thought the Bengals would have done well to snag Carlos Hyde in the second round. They chose Jeremy Hill of LSU instead, citing concerns about scheme and level of competition among reasons for taking the Tiger instead of the Buckeyes. As I mentioned on Twitter, I’m not sure scheme is a great way to differentiate between the two. Despite how they line up, the Buckeyes remain a power-based offense, one built around Hyde as much as star quarterback Braxton Miller last season.
Hyde ended up in San Francisco while former teammate Jack Mewhort also went in the second round (Indianapolis) and Mewhort’s fellow offensive lineman Corey Linsley followed in the fifth (Green Bay). Safety Christian Bryant became the sixth and final Buckeye drafted when the St. Louis Rams nabbed him in the seventh round.
Ohio State’s six total picks bucked a recent trend, as did having two first-rounders and four players picked in rounds 1-3 (neither of which had happened since 2009).
Of course the Bengals made news for more than who they did not pick. In the fifth round they also made some headlines by picking former Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, a move I endorsed in February even when McCarron was being projected as someone who could go two or three rounds earlier.