Braxton Miller impressive in Ohio State opener

September 8th, 2015 | Written by Rob Staton

Braxton Miller can make a name for himself as a WR/RB

A few thoughts on last night’s game…

— Braxton Miller might be the most intriguing prospect on a loaded roster. This was his first game at receiver after converting from quarterback. Urban Meyer had him do a bit of everything — not dissimilar to the way he used Percy Harvin at Florida. He ran for 62 yards and a touchdown and added 78 yards receiving and another score. He looks smaller than the listed 6-2 and 215lbs but he’s sturdy and looks like a solid 4.4 runner. There’s a bit of Golden Tate to his play. He could develop into a genuine X-factor for the Buckeyes and propel his stock as an all-round playmaker. He could be a big-time riser. Look at the fluidity with which he pulls off the spin move below. It’s sharp, smooth and explosive. His first catch of the night was a difficult low grab off the turf and he had no trouble running routes.

— Note the block by Ezekiel Elliott in the video above. He had an 80-yard touchdown run and 42 yards on his other ten carries. I’m not convinced by his listed size either (6-1, 225lbs) and whether he’s quite as good as some will have you believe — again I’m not sure. He’s not a freak of nature like Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon had incredible production to go with an infectious work rate and personality. Elliott isn’t a unique athlete with incredible size or speed — but he’s a very good compliment of both. It was interesting to see Ohio State come out throwing rather than using the run-game. Elliott didn’t feature as much as you’d expect in this game but he still had an impact.

— Receiver Michael Thomas pulled Kendall Fuller’s pants down on one touchdown reception (see below). A simple stop-and-go move had Fuller biting and stumbling. Thomas broke free for an impressive score. Fuller is talented and could easily go in round one — with this play Thomas showed he has early-round-pick potential and the ability to get open against the best in college football. Don’t sleep on Thomas on this star-studded roster. He’s a legit NFL prospect with size (6-3).

— Cardale Jones started and had some really good moments and a few head scratching ones too. He played well under pressure, made some difficult throws and it’s not even a question that he has the best arm talent of any quarterback in college football right now. He runs the ball surprisingly well for a man of his size. He also made one or two mental mistakes and still has some maturing to do. Holding his finger to his lips at the Virginia Tech fans from the sideline after a late touchdown by relief-quarterback J.T. Barrett isn’t going to cut it. His challenge isn’t to convince NFL teams he can play at the next level. It’s convincing them he’ll be a man about it when he gets there.

— Cornerback Eli Apple had a couple of nice break-ups but was juked out of his shoes by the Virginia Tech full back during a long catch-and-run (leading to a touchdown). It was an ugly whiffed tackle to spoil an otherwise excellent night. First round pick.

— Other likely first round players also excelled. Linebacker Darron Lee had a big start to the game with some early pressure and never let up. Taylor Decker had a holding call but otherwise locked onto his targets, sealed the edge and helped make some big gains on the quarterback-keepers. Joey Bosa didn’t feature as he’s serving a team-imposed one-game suspension.

— Ohio State trailed at half time but came out flying to start the second half and just kicked up through the gears. It’s hard to imagine any team stopping them in the Big-10 and they have every shot at an unbeaten season and a second successive National Title. It’ll be interesting to see if any team can ever tempt Urban Meyer to take a shot at the NFL.

38 Responses to “Braxton Miller impressive in Ohio State opener”

  1. Volume12 says:

    Braxton Miller might just be the best athlete in CFB. He was spectular last night to say the least. Next Percy Harvin with size?

    Love me some Michael Thomas. That stop and go was a thing of beauty. I’d like to see Thomas win some red-line throws more often. But this dude is unstopable up the seam or over the middle of the field.

  2. Volume12 says:

    Rob, what do you think of ND WR Will Fuller? Is he too redundant to P-rich?

  3. Ross says:

    What grade would Zeke Elliot get right now? I mean, he’s clearly a great college player, but I see some mixed opinions on him as an NFL prospect. Rob isn’t as enthusiastic about him as some of the other draft folks out there. Is he producing because of the system or a combination of instincts and technique? Is he worth an early pick in the draft without top level athleticism?

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think right now you’d say a grade of rounds 1/2 with the chance to rise.

    • icb says:

      Personally, not impressed with Elliot. He will put up some gaudy numbers this year with OSU having a cupcake schedule until the last 2 games and even then… What he did last season in the playoffs was truly special, but I’m not as high on him as pretty much everybody else I know. It will be interesting to see what happens with his draft stock.

      Also not impressed with Cardale. Best arm talent in CFB?? I Don’t know if I could agree with that. He’s a freak of nature and definitely has the strongest arm in college football. I’m pretty sure he could throw it end zone to end zone. But there are a lot of things I’m just not enamored with (yet). He looks like a super sized slow Cam Newton to me.

      I AM impressed with Braxton. Wow. Incredible athlete. Fun to watch him play the game.

      Also impressed with Corey Davis. WR Western Michigan.

      • CharlietheUnicorn says:

        Braxton, superb athlete. This is the guy to keep your eyes on when it comes to Seahawks picks in the draft. He might not be the perfect WR yet, but with a little polish, he could bring a nice mixture of speed, size and elusiveness. If he keeps this up for the whole CFB season, he will be a 1st round pick for sure.

        I could count at least 5 teams that would love this type of play maker… Saints, Patriots, Panthers, Colts among others….. Seattle might already have “that” guy on the roster (Tyler No-E Lockett), but I wouldn’t be too sad if they grabbed him in the draft.

      • Rob Staton says:

        “Also not impressed with Cardale. Best arm talent in CFB?? I Don’t know if I could agree with that. He’s a freak of nature and definitely has the strongest arm in college football.”

        Arm talent = strength

  4. Volume12 says:

    Peter, did you notice Rutgers WR Leonte Carroo go off?

  5. Trevor says:

    Rob

    I know it is early and the Chancellor thing will likely get worked out but if not and they decide to move on is there a Strong Safety in CFB in the Chancellor mould? A thumper with good range?

    I was hoping last draft they would take Tarrt who the 49rs took or the kid from Central Florida in the mid rounds as an eventual replacement for Kam but it seems now this is a position that may require a pick even if Deion Bailey plays well.

    • Rob Staton says:

      There’s nobody I’ve seen like Kam.

      One guy to monitor is Eric Striker at Oklahoma. 6-1, 223lbs linebacker. Very athletic and a playmaker. Could convert to safety.

      • Trevor says:

        Thanks! I will check in out. A smaller converted 220-240 pound LB might be the only option.

        Kam is like Beast Mode and Earl. Unique players that are incredibly had to find and copy.

        • peter says:

          To be fair to jam in not sure many people saw him when he was playing a made up position in college. I love kam but he’s going to be a hard player to scout for his replacement

        • Volume12 says:

          Eric Striker is one of my favorite players in this draft. Talk about being unique. Just has this intensity about him, and flys around making big plays as Rob said. He’s also a terrific speed rusher.

          Anothet guy I llike, but doesn’t have the size is W. Virgina’s S Karl Joesph. Showed good range the other night and might just be the hardest hitter in CFB. He does over-pursue at times, but man what a presence he is. His form tackling is spot on. ‘Eyes through the thighs.’

  6. Trevor says:

    Really the Hawks have a very unique roster now that I think about it.

    -Wilson
    -Graham
    -Lynch
    -Earl
    -Kam
    -Sherm

    All are very unique for their potions.

  7. Donald says:

    Hi Rob.

    We keep looking for a replacement for Lynch when he retires, and CM is now gone to the Cowboys. Next year we really need to address this. Who are some of the better RB’s that we should keep an eye on?

    • icb says:

      RBs to watch this season for 2016 draft.

      No particular order:

      Devontae Booker-Utah
      Alex Collins- Arkansas
      Ezekiel Elliot-Ohio state
      Kareem Hunt-Toledo
      derrick Henry-Alabama
      Corey Clement-Wisconsin
      Kenneth Dixon-La Tech
      James Connor-pitt. out for season.
      DJ Foster -Arizona St.
      Look for Arkansas and Alabama Backup rbs as well. Jonathon Williams-out for season, and Kenyan Drake.

      You won’t replace Lynch-well ever- but you definitely aren’t doing it in the 2016 draft.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Collins at Arkansas… There are other names but the class in 2017 vastly superior.

      • Volume12 says:

        What about W. Kentucky HB Leon Allen? I know he’s a knucklehead, but he seems like a nice option later on if Seattle were to select 2 backs.

  8. CA says:

    Regardless you have to beef up the run game in ’16 draft and you can do that in ways other than drafting a RB (which can be done in R2). I see 1-2 RB taken in R1 and the Hawks can live with going OL R1(OT) and RB R2. They can be patient but DB can go R3 or 4.

    • Volume12 says:

      Very true. But if Tennessee CB Cam Sutton is there, he might be to appealing. His press technique is the best I’ve seen in CFB and he’s a big time contributor on STs.

      I think Henry is a bona-fide 1st rounder. Zeke is next. And then the others theoretically should start coming off the board later in round 2.

  9. CharlietheUnicorn says:

    I have been taking a sneak peak at the 2016 Seniors OL that will be available in the draft. A name popped up during my research and I’m wondering how he would fit with Seattle. The guys name is C/OG Evan Boehm with Missouri. He is 6’3″320 lbs. He is a team captain and has a wrestling background. Rob Rang claims He is surprisingly light on his feet and shows impressive power, leverage and technique.

    This screams a Tom Cable kind of guy to me. What do you guys think? Has anyone seen him on tape or know the type of blocking scheme they run at Missouri and his possible fit in Seattle.

    The quick take is…. draft this guy!

    • Volume12 says:

      Yeah he’s a good one. Has a weird shaped body. I think he got hurt on Saturday. The guy I really like at Mizzou is Connor McGovern. Kid is a freak!

      • Madmark says:

        I got to agree with Connor McGovern he could work out as a RT(maybe) but he’s definitely a Stud RG. I’m going to watch Joe Dahl LT from WSU. He doesn’t have the size for LT in the NFL but he has the right size for a C. He also already calls the protection plays for WSU OL now. We could get him at end of 4th or beginning of the 5th round as projected at this time.

        • Volume12 says:

          Yeah Dahl is a guy that should wok his way into the top 100.

          Another guy that is very similar to Dahl is K-St OL Cody Whitehair. Looks like a guy that can play multiple spots.

  10. Volume12 says:

    This guy is impressive. Is there something in the water down in Gainsville? They throw these hybrid D-lineman into the draft year after year. Has that size Seattle seems to like. David King, DeMarcus Dobbs, Greg Scruggs, etc.

    Florida DL Jonathan Bullard-6’3, 283 lbs. Good length, but checkout this kids burst and strength.

    http://draftbreakdown.com/video/jonathan-bullard-vs-new-mexico-state-2015/

  11. Ed says:

    Yep, the B button spin by Miller was incredible. OSU has some talent.

    Jones QB
    Thomas WR
    Miller WR
    Elliott RB
    Elfein RG
    Bosa DL
    Apple CB

    Hawks will never find another Lynch, just like Hawks will never find another Bam Bam. Stop trying to find the player that shows some of those characteristics and just get the best player at that spot. To replace Lynch, the Hawks need to improve the line. To replace Bam Bam, need to keep the line a priority (I think Pinkins could work next year).

  12. Trevor says:

    I just watched some tape of Sua Cravens out of USC LB/Safety.

    He looks exactly like the type of unique defender our staff looks for. He is kind of a hybrid but at 6-1 and 225lbs with long arms he looks like a prime candidate to replace Kam at SS.

    He has good range, covers well, hits like a tank and is a play maker. He might not be there when we pick but if we resign Okung and Lynch is coming back in 2016 then I think he would be a great pick in the 1st round for us.

    What do you guys think. Is there something I am missing watching him?

  13. Trevor says:

    My focus list Hawks 2016 draft. Players who might be available the end of round #1 with any luck.

    I think the pick will depend on if we resign Okung, if Kam comes back or is traded and if Lynch plays another season.

    Sua Cravens USC (Strong Safety)
    Shawn Oakman (DT) Baylor
    Shon Coleman (OL) Auburn
    Alex Collins (Rb)Arkansas
    Michael Thomas (WR) Ohio St

    • Madmark says:

      I’m all in for a Jake Conklin LT from Michigan St. . This guy I believe could take Okung place for the future.

    • CharlietheUnicorn says:

      Oakman is incredibly intriguing, but I think he will be gone long before the 25th pick in the draft.. out of Seattle’s reach (hopefully). A very unique size and speed combo.