Skull Session: A Look at How Good Ohio State Will Be in 2023, Four Buckeyes Could Be Top NFL Draft Prospects in 2024 and Paris Johnson Jr. Given Back

Almost 250 years ago, on July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. After much fighting between the American Patriot forces and the British, the 13 colonies officially won their independence on September 13, 1783.

Suck it, King George III.

Let’s have a good Fourth of July, shall we?

HOW GOOD WILL OHIO STATE BE? Ohio State will be good in 2023, but how good will the Buckeyes be? In a recent episode of The late kick, CBS Sports’ Josh Pate seemed to answer that question as fall camp approaches, as does Ohio State’s season opener with Indiana on Sept. 2, which is just 60 days away.

“The first question on their mind is, ‘Did we trade offensive tackle as much as we needed to?’ … They went through the spring with three rotation players and none of them stood out much, so they went and got Josh Simmons as a San Diego State transfer. I can’t stress enough the importance of him staying healthy and coach He has 799 snaps over the last two years at right tackle.He has to come through — it’s not optional.

“Question number two is, ‘Can their defense win their games early?’ I think they might. When you think about Ohio State and the team profile, you don’t think about the defense winning games, but you also don’t think about them being as shaky at tackle or quarterback in years past as they are right now. That’s why it’s a complementary game. They brought in Jim Knowles. This is his second year as defensive coordinator. They saw overall improvement… but in their two losses, the Michigan game and the Georgia game, they allowed an average of 43.5 points and 8.9 yards per game, so a Buckeye fan would look at that and say it doesn’t matter what our stats are, it’s what we do in the big moments, which is a fair assumption and a fair assumption.

“Question number three is, ‘Do you have a quarterback, a real QB1?’ Sometimes they lie to you when they say if you have two quarterbacks you have none, but other times that ends up being exactly the case. You have Kyle McCord and Devin Brown. It doesn’t seem like either ​​them have grabbed the job by the scruff of the neck in late spring, even if Ohio State didn’t have to [Notre Dame transfer and Alabama quarterback] Tyler Buchner, CJ Stroud, Justin Fields and Dwayne Haskins were all first-round picks. Got a first round draft pick? Do they have to have one for Ohio State to win this year?”

Offensive line. Defense. Quarterback.

According to Pate, those are the three areas that will make or break Ohio State’s season. I don’t imagine many readers will disagree with that sentiment, as it is similar to what has been discussed on our message boards, comment sections and social media since the Buckeyes lost to Michigan and Georgia and since CJ Stroud, Paris Johnson Jr., Dawand Jones and Luke Wypler declared for the NFL draft.

No matter how talented the team is with its potential 2024 draft picks and young stars like Sonny Styles, Kye Stokes, CJ Hicks and Carnell Tate this fall, the fate of Ohio State’s 2023 season hinges on how Ryan Day and his staff answer offensive line questions , defense and quarterback in August. For the sake of Buckeye Nation, let’s hope their answers are correct.

THE CREAM OF THE CREAM. Speaking of 2024 draft picks, Ohio State will have several names called by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and other representatives next April. However, ESPN analyst Matt Miller believes a handful of Buckeyes could stand out among their Ohio State counterparts and perhaps the entire draft class.

In a latest article for the worldwide leader in sports, Miller discussed the top prospects at each position in the 2024 draft class. He had four Buckeyes in practice, including running back TreVeyon Henderson, wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka and safety Lathan Ransom.

Running Back – Wisconsin’s Braelon Allen vs. TreVeyon Henderson

There is no slam-dunk RB1 heading into the season, but the Big Ten has two of the favorites to carry that title. Allen, who is coming off back-to-back 1,200-yard seasons, has power at 6-foot-2 and 235 pounds that shows up in the trenches. Henderson has elite speed — he’s run a sub-11-second 100-meter dash — and weighs a hefty 214 pounds at 5-foot-10.

However, Henderson will have competition in his own backfield, with Miyan Williams sharing touches. Allen, meanwhile, will be the focal point of new coach Luke Fickell’s offense in Madison.

“Allen just looks like a sure thing,” said one NFC scout who covers the Midwest. “He’ll need to shore up his receiving skills for some teams, but he’s a legitimate first-round talent.”

My early pick for best RB: Allen

With alums like Montee Ball, James White, Melvin Gordon and Jonathan Taylor in the NFL, it stands to reason that Braelon Allen will be a successful ball carrier at the next level, so I have no problem with Miller selecting him as the No. 1 running back in the 2024 class. Still, and I’ll scream this from the mountaintops — or, more accurately, in the Skull Session — until proven otherwise, the 2021 version of Henderson — 1,560 yards, 19 touchdowns Henderson — is the one we should be seeing in 2023. If that In that case, Henderson will be the first to run back from the board.

Wide Receiver – Marvin Harrison Jr. vs. Emeka Egbuka

Ohio State not only offers the nation’s best wide receiver duo, but also the nation’s top two wide receivers overall. Egbuka and Harrison could make it five OSU wideouts drafted in Round 1 over a three-year span. Egbuka has played in the shadow of greats like Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson and Jaxon Smith-Njigba, but showed in last year’s College Football Playoff when Harrison was injured that he is capable of being a WR1. His route running stands out and he is among the best deep threats in the class.

Harrison, however, is different. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound superstar caught 14 touchdowns on 77 passes last year while looking like a mix between Randy Moss and AJ Green. He shows great body control and reliable hands.

How good is Harrison? One NFL GM said, “We haven’t had a wide receiver drafted first overall since Keyshawn [Johnson]but Harrison could push it — even in a draft with Caleb Williams.” Harrison is the presumptive WR1 and could easily go wire-to-wire in that slot.

My early pick for best WR: Harrison

Need more proof that Ohio State is Wide Receiver U? Look no further than this debate over who will be the WR1 in the 2024 class, with two Buckeyes worthy of that title. While Harrison is the clear choice to be the first pass-catcher taken (and will be one of the first players selected, regardless of position), Egbuka is a unique “consolation prize” for the next team to select a wide receiver early in the first round.

Safety – USC’s Caleb Bullock vs. Lathan Ransom

Bullock is the most talked about safety for next year, given his 6-foot-3, 180-pound frame and five interceptions in 2022.

“Bullock has that over-the-top range and really makes plays on the ball … those INTs aren’t just flowing his way,” one NFC scout said.

However, Bullock will be tested by Ransom. At 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds, he has the size and strength to hang with tight ends and monitor the middle of the field. He also grabbed an interception and had 74 tackles last season, and he looked good against Georgia (9 tackles) in the College Football Playoff. Both are talented, but Bullock is among the most talked about players in the country right now among scouts and agents, so he has the edge.

My early pick for top S: Bullock

I was surprised to see Miller include Ransom in a debate about the No. 1 safety in the 2024 class because of how he performed in Ohio State’s losses to Michigan and Georgia in 2023. Still, Ransom was a Jim Thorpe Award semifinalist and received honorable mention All-Big Ten recognition for his efforts last season – 13 appearances that came after he suffered a broken ankle in the Buckeyes’ Rose Bowl win over Utah.

PARIS JOHNSON JR. GIVING BACK. Paris Johnson Jr. has only been in Arizona for two months, but that hasn’t stopped the former Ohio State offensive tackle from doing work that benefits the Phoenix and Scottsdale communities.

Johnson represented the Cardinals, who took him with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft, and The Paris Johnson Jr. Foundation at the Swire Coca-Cola Summer Water Drive this weekend. According to the Cardinals’ Twitter account, the event helped distribute over 8,000 water bottles for the benefit UMOM New Day Centre residents.

Founded in 1964, UMOM “is an innovative provider of shelter, housing and services for people experiencing homelessness,” according to its website. Each night they provide safe shelter and supportive services to nearly 700 people experiencing homelessness – 155 families and 130 single women. They also offer over 550 affordable housing throughout the valley.

My sister lives in Scottsdale and recently sent me a screenshot of the upcoming weather that showed seven straight days of 110+ degree heat. I don’t care if it’s a “dry heat” that’s hot, hot, hot. That makes the work of Johnson and UMOM even more important. Cheers to them for doing it.

Oh, BROTHER. Folks, we may never see EA Sports College Football hit the shelves—not if the College Football Players Association and EA Sports continue to squabble over the video game in court. According to several reports, including one from Darren Rovell of Action Sports NetworkThe CFPA plans to boycott the upcoming game in an effort to increase compensation for its member players.

Look, I absolutely love college players receiving compensation for their name, image and likeness in the EA Sports College Football game. However, as Bill Carter of Sports Business Journal wrote, college football fans couldn’t name more than an average of 4.3 players from X, Y or Z FBS programs. This leads me to believe that the CFPA has overestimated the reach and influence of its players, at least in this regard.

While the CFPA’s move is well-intentioned, it will only delay the game’s release and therefore compensation for its athletes. Hopefully the CFPA and EA Sports can work out a deal that works for both parties. Until then, though, I’m still fed up that we’ll see EA Sports College Football make its planned summer 2024 release window.

SONG OF THE DAY. “Born in The USA” by Bruce Springsteen.

GET TO THE POINT. Maine woman kills bear that chased her dog and ends with stitches…Federal judge throws out a lawsuit brought by chess star over allegations of cheating… Change their tune? Pennsylvania lawmakers consider replaces the state’s official song… Michael Vick wishes he would have listened to a person about dog fighting… Damian Lillard and the realities of loyalty… The Dave Matthews Guide to live and die.

Leave a Comment