Teams get an ‘A’ for Ohio State draft picks, Marshon Lattimore makes friends in New Orleans and more
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Today is Friday, April 28, and it’s time to Wake Up Sloopy.
Ohio State players make the grade in NFL draft
It was a pretty wild night for Ohio State Thursday at the 2017 NFL Draft. Gareon Conley, recently accused of sexual assault (but not arrested or charged), was selected 24th overall after teams spent the past two days scrambling to look into the case. As the draft grew near, it seemed as though teams felt the accusation didn’t have merit, and Conley even passed a lie detector test. Still, it was a bit of a surprise to hear Oakland call his name in the first round. Players have fallen further for less controversial matters.
Ohio State products Marshon Lattimore and Malik Hooker were taken before Conley but had to wait longer than expected to hear their names called. However, their new teams couldn’t be happier about it. Conley went 11th to the New Orleans Saints and Hooker was taken by the Indianapolis Colts at No. 15. It sounds as though neither team expected those players to be there at those points (and with good reason).
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 28, 2017
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 28, 2017
It’s no surprise, then, that those picks got rave reviews from draft analysts. On Thursday night, Sports Illustrated’s Chris Burke gave both the Saints and Colts “A” grades for their selections.
Here’s what he had to say about Lattimore:
Teams chasing defensive players have to be giddy at the offense-heavy top 10. Without having to move up the board at all, the Saints managed to land the top prospect at a position of extreme need. Lattimore could have landed in the top five (as many predicted he would, with Tennessee) and no one would have batted an eye. He’s a physical cornerback who can live on an island but who also will step up and help against the run. The Saints try to fix their secondary seemingly every season. This might finally get them there.
And here’s his analysis on Hooker:
Again, with teams crawling over themselves to land offensive weapons in the early picks, there were defensive players available mid-Round 1 that no one thought would be there: Reuben Foster, Jonathan Allen and, of course, Hooker. The Ohio State safety should slot right in as the Colts’ free safety, which prevents Indianapolis from having to piece together that spot—Darius Butler was a possible CB-to-S mover. Hooker’s past health issues probably didn’t hurt him as much in Round 1 as his lack of physicality did (and the huge run on skill positions). The Colts don’t need him to be a thumper, just to keep doing what he did for Ohio State vs. the pass.
As for Conley, Burke gave the grade an incomplete because of the lack of a public resolution to this point in regard to the accusation against him but said that if everything works out, Conley appears to be a great value in that spot.
DBU? Well … it depends on where you ask
Is Ohio State the best program in terms of production at defensive backs? Thursday night was a good night to make that case, at least.
Ohio State is the first school to have three first-round cornerback selections in a two-year span. Also, no team since Miami (Fla.) in 2002 has had three defensive backs taken in the first round of the same draft. On top of that, the Buckeyes also have a long and proud history at the position.
As such, Buckeyes fans claim the school is DBU — Defensive Back University — and the players and coaches back them up on that. They’ve run into some opposition on that claim, however, most recently from LSU. The Tigers have recently produced standout defensive backs such as Tyrann Mathieu, Patrick Peterson and Morris Claiborne, all of whom have won the Thorpe (best defensive back) or Bednarik (best defender) awards more recently than an Ohio State player has. Additionally, LSU’s Jamal Adams was the first defensive back chosen in this year’s draft when he went sixth to the New York Jets.
So naturally a conflict was brewing when Saints writers asked Lattimore which team he felt held the upper hand.
— Jacques Doucet (@JacquesDoucet) April 28, 2017
You can probably imagine how that went over in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. (Though what was Lattimore supposed to say? “Actually, my team is bad”?)
Take some time to scroll through the replies of that tweet, but here’s a quick sampling of the sentiment, which I’m sure fans will regret come September (or Friday morning, depending on how reasonable they are).
@JacquesDoucet Lattimore already my least favorite saint of all time
— aVatiger (@TheaVaTiger) April 28, 2017
— Elliott Dunham (@ElliottDunham82) April 28, 2017
@JacquesDoucet Can we cut him NOW?
— JJ Kavanaugh (@Coach_Kav) April 28, 2017
Already making friends!
Check out Ohio State’s spring game highlights
You’ve probably already seen Ohio State’s spring game, considering more than 80,000 fans packed into Ohio Stadium and countless more watched on the Big Ten Network.
Still, it’s worth checking out the highlight packages that the Ohio State video team produces. This one is no exception.
• How Jim Harbaugh (almost) won the hearts of Ohio State fans in Rome.
• Will a Nebraska player get drafted this year?
• Michigan recruits have friends.
• Former Penn State hockey goalie cited for peeing on people.