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LGHL Ohio State may just have had the strongest middle of the draft in NFL history

Ian Hartitz

Ohio State may just have had the strongest middle of the draft in NFL history
Ian Hartitz
via our friends at Land-Grant Holy Land
Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here


Michael Thomas, Vonn Bell, Adolphus Washington, Braxton Miller and Nick Vannett all earned their Day 2 selections in the NFL draft, but how does their future look now?

Welcome to part two of our analysis on Ohio State's 2016 NFL draftees. If you missed part one, no one freak out, you can read it right here.

No. 47 - WR Michael Thomas to the New Orleans Saints

Michael Thomas had an interesting lead-up to the draft, with some calling @cantguardmike the number one overall wide receiver, and others pointing to Thomas' lack of elite collegiate production as a sign that he wasn't worth a high selection. In the end, the middle of the second round seems about right for Thomas and his NFL ready 6'3, 212 lb frame. With the departure of long-time Saints' wide receiver Marques Colston, Thomas has the chance to step in as Drew Brees immediate go-to red zone threat. With time to learn the playbook and sharpen his route running, look for Thomas to emerge as the Saints number one receiver, as incumbent starters Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead may have speed and ability in the slot, but they just don't possess the same total package as Thomas.

Other Mike Thomas news:

  • In one of my favorite Players' Tribune articles to date, Thomas discusses his upbringing and how his switch from basketball to football has helped make him into the player he is today. Also, Thomas took the liberty of showing off a few of his better career highlights, because #shhhhhh.
  • Poor Kendall Fuller. The Saints' official twitter took an opportunity to show off the play which started a movement:

Those Mike Thomas footsteps though... @Cantguardmike HIGHLIGHTS: https://t.co/lkT15Sukmc #SaintsDraft pic.twitter.com/2hh4TiOMar

— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) April 30, 2016

From New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton:

"He's big, competitive, I love his hands in traffic and I think he has a very unique skillset. He has real strong hands and has some good runs after the catch. You watch him workout and you watch him compete and you see game film after game film and at times it's hard based on what they (Ohio State) do offensively, but I love his size and competitive nature and his makeup is outstanding."

No. 61 - SAF Vonn Bell to the New Orleans Saints

Vonn Bell joins Thomas in New Orleans, and like Thomas, it appears as though this will be a productive fit for all parties involved. Bell doesn't have a starting spot open for him with Kenny Vacarro and Jairus Byrd currently patrolling the Saints' secondary, but with ever-evolving NFL pass offenses, you can never have too many defensive backs on a roster at one time. Look for Bell to find plenty of time as the de facto third safety, in addition to snaps gained as the Saint's potential nickel corner.

Other Bell news:

  • Vonn was apparently alerted that he was going to be drafted before most players. No, the Saints didn't call Bell before the draft or anything, but the fortune cookie Bell got left few questions to be asked.
  • Vonn was so happy he got drafted that even a random Papa Johns deliver guy got a twitter shout out. I'm fairly certain there were additional attendees at Vonn's draft party:

Thank you to @PapaJohns for delivering pizza to my draft party! Appreciate the support! pic.twitter.com/6kF6A3Ey56

— Vonn Bell (@TheVonnBell7) April 30, 2016

From New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton:

"(Discussing the fact that Bell had to send Payton additional videos demonstrating various combine drills) That was important to me...I told him after we drafted him, I said 'Had you not sent me back those videos, you'd still be sitting home eating nachos right now."

No. 80 - DT Adolphus Washington to the Buffalo Bills

Adolphus Washington joins quarterback Cardale Jones in Buffalo, and while the fit may seem troubling for Washington at first glance, the real prize for Washington is his coach and teammates more so than the depth chart. The issue for Washington comes down to the fact that Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams are firmly entrenched as the Bills starting defensive tackles. Every defense rotates its defensive lineman, and good depth is always a must have on either side of the line of scrimmage, but it still must be a bit disappointing for Washington to seemingly be entrenched as a backup for the foreseeable future. However, Washington did have experience playing defensive end at Ohio State, and his pass rushing skills will find him playing time from day one. The only question is its the kind of playing time the former first team All-American expects, but look for defensive wizard and Bills head coach Rex Ryan to find plenty of use for his new toy.

Other Washington news:

  • While Washington's solicitation arrest did seem to lead to a bit of a draft day fall, for Washington to get picked in the 3rd round should still be viewed as a win for Washington in a draft class with so many solid defensive linemen.
  • Washington managed to get 'the homie' 50 Cent to his draft party, which leads to the inevitable 2017 NFL draft combine interview question: would you rather party with a Papa Johns delivery guy or 50 Cent?:

S/O the homie @50cent showed me mad love at my draft party. Appreciate it big homie.

A photo posted by Adolphus Washington (@awashington_92) on May 1, 2016 at 12:49pm PDT

From Buffalo Bills General Manager Doug Whaley:

"(Washington) will compete for a starting spot, (Washington has some pass-rush moves) which is rare for an inside player."

No. 80 - WR Braxton Miller to the Houston Texans

Braxton Miller finds a great home in Houston, where he will get to learn from one of the game's best wide receivers in Deandre Hopkins. However, fans shouldn't have to wait long to see Miller's transformation to a NFL wide receiver first hand, as Miller projects to find a spot as a top four receiver in the Texans' offense as early as this year. Receiving should hopefully be just the tip of the iceberg for Miller in Houston, as possibilities to get the electric playmaker the ball range from punt returning, wild cat quarterback packages, and even some snaps at running back in the Texans' zone heavy offense.

Other Braxton news:

  • The before mentioned Hopkins couldn't be happier with the drafting of Miller and former Notre Dame wide receiver Will Fuller.
  • Miller reunites with ex-Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien. This time I'm sure O'Brien was actually happy to see Miller, unlike the last time the two crossed paths:

The greatest one-yard touchdown run of all time thanks to @BraxtonMiller5 pic.twitter.com/lQHZ6W5TWC

— BuckeyesNews (@BuckeyesNews) May 4, 2016

From Houston Texans Head Coach Bill O'Brien:

"I think we're going to play him in a few different places, but definitely the slot is one of them. There are a lot of different things that he can do for us in the slot, we think he can do things for us on the outside, there's things that he can do for us at the number three spot, special teams, he can help us in that area too. Like I said, very excited to get going with him."

No. 94 - TE Nick Vannett to the Seattle Seahawks

Nick Vannett, maybe the biggest "loser" of the Ohio State offense last year in terms of touches, showed enough ability on film to warrant being the third tight end off the board. The fit in Seattle couldn't be better for the early years of Vannett's NFL career. While starter Jimmy Graham will obviously receive the majority of the targets in the Seahawks offense, Graham is currently recovering from a partellar tendon injury which could result in Vannett receiving more opportunities to catch the ball sooner rather than later. Vannett will have to beat out Luke Wlilson for the number two tight end spot, but seeing as Wilson's contract expires at the end of this season, look for Vannett to potentially seize control as the starting Seahawks tight end within a few years.

Other Vannett news:

  • Vannett may have been selected even higher if his production matched his ability, something that Vannett highlighted himself after the draft.
  • Get used to this Seahawks fans:

@N_Vannett81 catching some passes from @DangeRussWilson today! pic.twitter.com/huYdWgyXf8

— David Stobbe (@David_Seahawks) May 9, 2016

From Seattle Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll:

"We were really surprised that we had the shot at him. We're fired up that we got the best blocking tight end in the draft this year, without question...The other tight ends may want to argue about that but we know what we saw, so we're excited about that."

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