Bucknotes - 4/30

It was indeed a terrific NFL draft for the Buckeyes. In his latest version of Bucknotes, Dave Biddle takes one last look back at the draft and more.

With 14 players selected in last weekend's NFL Draft, Ohio State shattered the record for most players drafted since the draft was cut to seven rounds in 1994. Miami formally held the record with 11.

The Buckeyes had 12 players taken in the first five rounds alone. The overall number would of course have been 15 if Maurice Clarett was allowed to be part of the draft.

In a March column, I projected where OSU's players would be taken. Let's revisit those predictions.


Selected in the first round (18th overall) by the New Orleans Saints.

Bucknuts projection: First round

Analysis: Great pick by the Saints here. Smith was the first DE off the board and it was a bit surprising he didn't go in the top 15. Smith joins former Buckeyes LeCharles Bentley, Cie Grant and Kevin Houser in the Big Easy and will be a starter from the get go.


Selected in the first round (28th overall) by the Carolina Panthers.

Bucknuts projection: First round

Analysis: Good situation for Gamble. He gets to go to the NFC champions, but won't be rushed into action. He is likely to begin the season as the nickel back, unless he can't beat out Artrell Hawkins.


Selected in the first round (29th overall) by the Atlanta Falcons.

Bucknuts projection: Late first round

Analysis: Another great situation. Jenkins gets to play with one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL in Mike Vick and he won't have the pressure of being the No. 1 receiver. The Falcons inked Peerless Price to a huge contact last year. Most had Jenkins pegged for the second round, but 6-5 receivers with good hands that run 4.4 40s rarely last that long. It was good to see "Mr. Clutch" finally get his just due... we can't call him the most underrated Buckeye of all time anymore.


Selected in the third round (68th overall) by the Indianapolis Colts.

Bucknuts projection: Fourth round

Analysis: This is going to sound like a broken record, but yet another great situation for a former Buckeye. Like Jenkins, Hartsock gets to play with one of the top QBs in football in Peyton Manning. He also gets to stay close to home and play with former OSU safety Mike Doss. It was a bit surprising that the Colts took Hartsock considering they used a first round pick on Dallas Clark last year, but Tony Dungy likes using two TE sets and came away from the combine very impressed with Governor Hartsock.


Selected in the third round (74th overall) by the Buffalo Bills.

Bucknuts projection: Late second round

Analysis: Yep, another great fit. The blue-collar Anderson goes to a blue-collar team like the Bills. He will have a chance to start right away and will definitely be in the rotation on the D-line. I thought he might sneak into the second round if there was a run on defensive tackles, but third round is very good for Anderson.


Selected in the third round (87th overall) by the Green Bay Packers.

Bucknuts projection: Sixth round

Analysis: This was the first pick that made me almost fall out of my chair (not counting the Bengals taking Chris Perry in the first round). Yes, Sander is a great punter, but the third round? Probably a reach by the Packers for a guy that only started one full year in college.

This just goes to show that size matters, even for punters. Sander has NFL size, while the shorter Andy Groom was only an undrafted free agent two years ago. The last Buckeye punter to go this high? Tom Tupa to the Phoenix Cardinals in 1988. But he could also play quarterback.


Selected in the third round (88th overall) by the Minnesota Vikings.

Bucknuts projection: Fourth round

Analysis: Good fit for Scott and the Vikings. They needed another pass-rushing DE and that's exactly what Scott will give them. He played both DE and DT at Ohio State, but will strictly play on the outside in the NFL.


Selected in the fourth round (100th overall) to the Arizona Cardinals.

Bucknuts projection: Fourth round

Analysis: Stepanovich is 2-0 in Sun Devil Stadium and now gets to make that his full-time home. Usually, this would not be a good team to go to, but with Dennis Green taking over, the Cardinals won't be down for too much longer. Stepanovich was hoping to go late on day one, but will get a chance to step in as a starter - either at center or guard - right away as a rookie. It's a good fit for him.


Selected in the fourth round (111th overall) by the Tampa Bay Bucs.

Bucknuts projection: Fourth round

Analysis: Another good situation here. Allen gets to go to a winning team and will get a chance to play right away. John Lynch left Tampa as a free agent this year, opening up a spot in the secondary.


Selected in the fifth round (148th overall) by the Chicago Bears.

Bucknuts projection: Sixth or seventh round

Analysis: Throughout his career at OSU, we kept hearing that Krenzel would never make it in the NFL. Well, the Bears blew that theory out of the water by using a relatively early pick on Krenzel. No, he is not guaranteed to make the active roster, but the odds are definitely in his favor. Behind second-year starter Rex Grossman, the Bears have just one other quarterback under contract: Jonathan Quinn. Krenzel should make the team as a third-stringer at worst and will end up holding a clipboard - not a stethoscope - for the next few years.


Selected in the fifth round (163rd overall) by the Carolina Panthers.

Bucknuts projection: Seventh round (In fairness, that was made before Carter busted a 4.3 at his personal pro day in early April.)

Analysis: Good to see Carter rewarded for all his hard work. No one had worse luck during their college career than this guy and now he gets to go to a good team with a very good chance of making the team as a backup behind Steve Smith and Mushin Muhammad.


Selected in the fifth round (165th overall) by the Tennessee Titans.

Bucknuts projection: Sixth round

Analysis: Reynolds will team with former Buckeyes Eddie George (maybe) and Donnie Nickey and should make the active roster based on his special teams skills alone. The Kentucky native also gets to stay close to home.


Selected in the seventh round (209th overall) by the San Diego Chargers.

Bucknuts projection: Third round

Analysis: Not sure what I was thinking with that prediction… Olivea and Sander were the ones I had no clue on. After the Senior Bowl, it was reported that Olivea's stock was on the rise. As it turns out, it was on the rise from undrafted free agent, to seventh round pick.


Selected in the seventh round (227th overall) by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Bucknuts projection: Fifth round

After Clarke cut his weight all the way down to 328 pounds, I thought he might go earlier, but as it turns out he was lucky to be drafted at all. Like Olivea, practice squad is likely in his future.

* Well, there you have it. It was quite a couple of days for the former Buckeyes. It just adds to their legacy: won a national championship; broke the draft record. Very impressive. And this is a record that might never be broke. Fourteen players drafted? Yeah, that might stand for a while.

Also, it should be noted that Scott McMullen was signed by the Eagles. If he doesn't stick there, look for No. 15 with the Columbus Destroyers next year. Chris Spielman has already offered him a job if the NFL doesn't work out.

And in case you're wondering, I had Clarett as an early second round pick. We'll see where he goes in the supplemental draft, if he's allowed to go that route.


Pat Tillman, the Army Ranger that was killed in action in Afghanistan last week, will go down as one of the most intriguing stories in NFL history. How many guys would give up a million dollar contract to go fight for their country? Not many, but that's exactly what Tillman did. He was inspired by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists attacks and left his job with the Cardinals following the 2001 season.

Ohio State played against Tillman in the 1997 Rose Bowl. Yes, that was him: the hard-hitting linebacker with the long hair for Arizona State. He was later a seventh-round pick by the Cardinals and was converted to safety. He quickly became a starter and will always be remembered as an American hero. The NFL is considering dedicating the 2004 season to Tillman.


If Todd Boeckman is redshirted this fall as expected, he will be entering his second of three freshman seasons. Boeckman came to OSU last year as a grayshirt and was able to practice with the team in preseason camp and during bowl preparations.

This year, in order to get two years between he and Justin Zwick and Troy Smith, Boeckman will probably redshirt. He had a good spring and could challenge for the backup job, but all things being equal, Boeckman will redshirt. If he doesn't, the grayshirt year would have been a waste. All it would have meant was that he missed out on a number of practices during the season.

Finally, in 2005, Boeckman will serve the last of his freshman seasons. Looking way ahead, he is in line to be the starter in 2007 and '08.


The Big Ten has arguably the best group of football coaches in the country.

Tressel has five overall national championships and one in just three years at OSU.

Not a big Lloyd Carr fan here, but you can't argue with his results.

Other top coaches in the conference include: Barry Alvarez (where was Wisconsin's program before he got there?), Kirk Ferentz (NFL bound eventually, but has done a great job at Iowa), Joe Tiller (Terrific job on both sides of the ball at Purdue) and Glen Mason (Winning bowl games at Minnesota two years in a row? That's a foreign concept in Minneapolis, but Mason has been able to pull it off).

Joe Paterno is obviously near the end (I bet this is his last year) but he is a living legend.

The jury is still out on the other coaches in the conference, but overall, it's an impressive group.


Tressel and Spielman each said that Ohio State's current crop of linebackers is the best group ever at the school. You won't get any argument here, but that was a bold statement.

The projected starters are: A.J. Hawk, Anthony Schlegel and Bobby Carpenter. The top backups are: John Kerr, Thomas Matthews and Mike D'Andrea. When your backups could be starters at pretty much any school in the conference, you know you're in good shape.


During the NFL draft, I saw the same "Simon Fraser" pass across the screen. "What the heck? Fraser didn't come out early," was my first thought.

Of course, it wasn't defensive end Simon Fraser from OSU, it was referring to Simon Fraser University in Canada. An offensive lineman named Obby Khan was from SFU.


Definitely the most pleasant surprise of the spring was the play of tailback Tony Pittman. He should still be in high school, but of course graduated early so he could go through spring ball at OSU.

Pittman doesn't come close to passing John Cooper's "Look Test." He has very skinny legs and his upper-body isn't very big either. However, none of that matters. Pittman has a quick burst, good vision and runs hard. He plays bigger than he looks, but still has the speed. He's a slasher and will definitely contribute as a true freshman this fall.

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