COLUMBUS, OH – SEPTEMBER 08: Dwayne Haskins #7 of the Ohio State Buckeyes throws a pass in the second quarter of the game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Ohio Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)For a while, Dwayne Haskins looked like the top quarterback on the board. With Kyler Murray’s surge, there is now a situation in which the Buckeye signal caller could wind up tumbling a bit.That is not a unique situation for a quarterback. Because there are only so many teams with a need at the position, there is often a QB once thought of as a potential top pick that goes much later than expected.Perhaps the most famous example is Aaron Rodgers, who fell into the Packers’ laps towards the end of the 2005 NFL Draft’s first round. We saw a similar situation with Teddy Bridgewater a few years ago, and last year, Lamar Jackson lasted until the last pick of the first round, when the Baltimore Ravens traded up to land him.ESPN’s Todd McShay thinks there’s a chance a similar thing happens to Dwayne Haskins in this year’s NFL Draft.He appeared on ESPN’s Get Up!, and while he still has Haskins going to the Giants at No. 6, he acknowledged that there are whispers that the New York franchise aren’t enamored with the Buckeye QB.Instead, he said the team could consider holding out and going for Drew Lock later in the round, if they have similar grades on the two players.As transcribed by Saturday Tradition:“If any of these quarterback are going to fall a little bit, it might be Haskins,” McShay said on Get Up! “It will be interesting to see. I keep hearing the Giants may not be in love with Haskins. I put him there because it’s kind of the only place in the top 10 I felt good about putting him. I do think, ultimately, he’ll wind up going somewhere in that range. But it may be a team moving up. The Giants could just pass on him and wind up taking Drew Lock a little bit later with that 17th pick.[…]“Haskins is the most interesting of the three (quarterbacks),” McShay said. “As you get closer, look at Lock. All of the teams are starting to say 46 games, Lock’s a veteran, been through a lot, the confidence. Haskins is only a one-year starter. I’m getting more and more information from teams that Haskins could wind up falling a little bit further than both Mel [Kiper Jr.] and I have him going at No. 6.”The Cardinals are expected to take Kyler Murray No. 1, and there’s a chance he doesn’t get past the Oakland Raiders at No. 4. From there, the Giants (No. 6), Denver Broncos (No. 10), Miami Dolphins (No. 13), and Washington Redskins (No. 15) could all look at quarterback, but there is definitely no guarantee.Still, Haskins is an impressive prospect, and as of now, looks like a solid bet to be a first rounder.
OSU coach Urban Meyer watches his team during spring practice March 20 at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.Credit: Mark Batke / For The LanternOffense is what Urban Meyer is known for as a football coach.His spread system has helped him win two national championships, and win 83.7 percent of the games he’s been a head coach.But after watching Ohio State’s defense get torched in its final three games — two of them losses, to Michigan State and Clemson in the Big Ten Championship Game and 2014 Discover Orange Bowl, respectively — Meyer has said he is putting more of an emphasis on that side of the ball. He said the defense had to undergo an “overhaul” after last year — and so far, he likes what he’s seen after bringing in co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Chris Ash and defensive line coach Larry Johnson.“It’s going well,” Meyer said Tuesday on how Ash is working with fellow co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Luke Fickell after OSU’s sixth spring practice. “We’re completely revamping the entire back end of how we do our business, and so far it’s been pretty good.”The Buckeyes finished 112th in the country last year in defending the pass, giving up 268 yards per game. That group lost leaders like linebacker Ryan Shazier, cornerback Bradley Roby and safety Christian Bryant to graduation or the NFL Draft, but Meyer likes what he’s seen from their replacements so far in spring ball — particularly junior linebacker Joshua Perry, who is looking to fill Shazier’s shoes.“He’s really, he’s without question one of our top five most improved players,” Meyer said of Perry. “Demeanor’s always been there, work ethic’s been there and the toughness element is something that’s really improved. Love of the game and he’s a wonderful guy to coach.”Offensively, however, OSU has the task of replacing four offensive linemen as well as stud tailback Carlos Hyde, who were all big parts of OSU rushing for 4,321 yards last season.One of the replacements on the offensive line has already been set according to Meyer, who said redshirt-sophomore Pat Elflein has earned a starting spot. Elflein played admirably during the Michigan game last year, as well as the Big Ten Championship Game.As for running back, Meyer said Tuesday that between redshirt-senior Rod Smith, sophomore Ezekiel Elliott, redshirt-sophomores Warren Ball and Bri’onte Dunn, “no one’s really separated themselves yet.”Starting senior quarterback Braxton Miller hasn’t been taking snaps all spring because of a shoulder surgery Feb. 21, but he’s been taking mental repetitions with a camera on his hat and reviewing them with offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman.Not getting the actual reps with Miller on the field is “frustrating,” Herman said Tuesday, while also noting that the team has to replace four starters on the offensive line.Herman isn’t worried too much about that, though.“It’d be a bigger concern if I didn’t believe the talent was there, and if I didn’t believe in (offensive line coach) Ed Warinner,” Herman said. “This group of O-linemen, whether we like to say it or not is much farther ahead than the group of our O-linemen our first spring.”Another player who has improved is sophomore running back Dontre Wilson, who Meyer said “is the starting H at Ohio State,” as he looks to fulfill that hybrid position the offense so desperately needs.“But we’d like that hybrid position is really a key guy if we can do that,” Meyer said.Herman echoed Meyer, saying the reason Wilson’s role was simple last year was because he wasn’t ready for anything more than that.“He couldn’t play receiver last year — he didn’t know what the hell he was doing,” Herman said of Wilson. “Didn’t know how to do it. He was 175 pounds or whatever the heck he was. So him and his ability limited us. And ability doesn’t just include running fast and making guys miss. There’s a lot that goes into and usability in the offense. Has had a great offseason and really took to the position and it still learning.”The Buckeyes are set to take on Navy in their first game of the season Aug. 30 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Kickoff is set for noon.