The Ohio State Buckeyes just had an incredible group of NFL prospects get drafted. Looking forward, where could their stating quarterback J.T. Barrett get drafted?
Like many of you, I like to think about and discuss hypotheticals in sports. One situation in which I could do this all day with is sports drafts. It is not every day a draft class like Ohio State has the success they did in the 2016 NFL Draft. However, multiple Buckeyes has continued to be drafted yearly.
We just saw former Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones get drafted by the Buffalo Bills and the next signal caller from Ohio State that will be getting that honor is J.T. Barrett. Assuming Barrett leaves Ohio State following this season, when would he hear his name being called?
Well, there is room to improve in a number of areas, but right now Barrett could go anywhere from the late third round to the middle of the fifth. Ohio State University and their fan base want to see the school’s football players get selected as early as possible.
For Barrett to be a first or second round selection, improvements must be made. Otherwise, his current projection would stand. Barrett did not get every starting rep in live game action last season.
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His play from that was solid but it was clear that rattled him at times. Barrett is the guy again at Ohio State and he needs to take charge and regain the confidence he had when he was a freshman.
Barrettt would have had similar stats last season like he did in 2014 if he played regularly. That said, for the time Barrett did play, his stats were not too far off in terms of projections for a season.
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Ohio State lost a number of key players on the offensive side of the ball, including members of the offensive line – most notably left tackle Taylor Decker. The players who will have bigger roles this upcoming season must continue Ohio State’s high level of play.
Should that happen, Barrett has to be a top three to five favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. Barrett was hesitant throwing the ball more often than we had liked in 2014, despite still having a similar completion percentage.
Barrett must overcome his issues passing. Doing that with new starters surrounding him will be difficult, but he has the talent to improve. There is no excuse to not expect and see improvements in his passing game.
Surrounding talent goes a long way in determining how successful the quarterback and the team will do. Taking a step back as a passer though does not help matters either. There is no question Barrett’s ability to make plays downfield is special. Yet, topping that ability in legs with his arm is what is going to elevate his draft stock this fall.
If Barrett lights it up in the passing game for Ohio State and then runs when appropriate, his stat line at the end of the season easily should be better than his 2014 year. When push comes to shove, a number of things still has to go right for him to improve as a quarterback. Some of them he can control while others not as much.
The question should not be if Barrett improves, but instead how much? Barrett has all the tools, but if he does not improve enough this fall, then it would be wise for him to go play his senior year for Ohio State and continue to improve his game. Otherwise, Barrett will not have as good as a draft projection as he hopes.