THE OHIO STATE BRAND: I don't see how the past three days could have went any better for the Buckeye program as a whole. The bulk of the draftees were early entry players and there can be a negative side to that, where they end up looking like mercenaries, but that did not happen. The class of these players and their families put Ohio State in a great light, and that can only benefit a program that was at rock bottom five years ago.
JOSH PERRY CAN HANG WITH JOEY BOSA: I actually think the Chargers 3-4 defensive scheme fits Perry way better than it does Bosa, but Joey is so good that it really doesn't matter which scheme he's put in. For Perry, scheme definitely matters, and I love his versatility in the 3-4 look. Was really hoping the Steelers could grab Josh, but San Diego will be a great fit for him. Perry is the highest character player around, and has the work ethic and intelligence to be a multi-year starter for the Chargers.
REX RYAN AND CARDALE JONES: As with Perry, with the marginal guys it's so much about fitting the style you're asked to play. The Buffalo offense is considered one of the less sophisticated in the league, as opposed to New England where quick thinking and going through reads trumps raw ability. I think Jones has a chance at succeeding in an offense designed primarily to fit the skill set of Tyrod Taylor, and with Taylor being so young there won't be the need to rush him in there. I don't see Jones having a chance at succeeding next year, so the Bills will need a veteran backup behind Taylor, and then they can bring Cardale along slowly.
TYVIS POWELL AND JALIN MARSHALL: Have not spoken with Tyvis yet, so I'm not certain on his motivation for leaving, but Marshall thought he was ready for the NFL. I was told that Powell was ready to get on with his life, and felt he was the player he would be next year at this time. He was healthy and in great shape, so he took his shot knowing that the chances of being drafted were 50-50. If he was ready to begin the next phase of his life then the decision is understandable. I like Jalin Marshall so much as a player and person that it hurts to see him make a decision that could negatively impact the rest of his life. There was nobody that felt he was making the right choice in leaving other than the player himself, and he paid the price of that poor decision. I think any reasonable person would think coming back for another year, possibly two more, would put him in the middle of the draft eventually.
LOTS OF GREAT DECISIONS WERE MADE: Aside from the two listed above, there is no doubt that Joey Bosa, Zeke Elliott, Mike Thomas, Eli Apple, Vonn Bell, Darron Lee and Cardale Jones all made correct choices to leave early. With Jones it was obviously a year too late, but still better than waiting another year and falling further. Pat Elflein was probably going to be a 4-5th round pick, so coming back to play center is smart. He could be next year's Ryan Kelly and take a big leap forward. Two other players made great decisions a year ago to return to Ohio State, and both Taylor Decker and Adolphus Washington jumped up several rounds from where they would have been taken last year.
THE INFORMATION GATHERING PROCESS: Spoke to a parent of an Ohio State player that left early this year, about the process involved in making the decision to leave or stay. I was also directly involved in the process a year ago with another player's family that also left early. The information is so accurate today, as opposed to even five years ago when it was a total crapshoot, that these players are able to make an informed decision. Of course, having the information and following it are two different things, but the process is better today. I doubt there was one respected person telling either Powell or Marshall they were going to be high, or even mid-round choices. In the end, both players did what they wanted to do, but I don't feel either was misled by bad information or snookered by a corrupt agent.