12 August 2010
On the Bucknuts premium board we are talking about Darryl Baldwin. My response to a comment from Akron Zip got so long that it turned into a blog post:
[QUOTE=AKRON ZIP BUCKEYE;1107294] I respectfully disagree with Duane.
If an athlete is good enough & capable enough to play on the D-line , then leave him there.
Good 2 great D-line are harder to find than good 2 great offensive linemen.
You and I would be in agreement on playing the more athletic guys on defense. I do not see the motor on Baldwin that will make him a great defensive player. The knock on him is he disappears. That goes back to the lack of motor. In his most recent performance in the Big 33 all-star game he continued to showed that tendency. He had a couple of big plays then we forgot he was out there. He came back later with a couple more plays then disappeared again. If lighting a fire under a player was that easy we would not see so many first round DL busts. Lack of motor is the reason players like Erasmus James and Travis Johnson go in the first round then disappear from the game while a player like Jared Allen, who never stops running, goes in the fourth round and is looking at arguably a Hall of Fame career. John Randle went undrafted. Heshould never have been in Canton this weekend. He was small for a defensive tackle but played with such explosion and intensity that he made up for his lack of ideal size. The measurables are where it starts. Motor is where it ends. I see the first with Baldwin. I do not see the later. I think his additional weight has not been a good thing for him as far as playing defense is concerned. He plays straight ahead and is now a stiffer player. Not as athletic as he was at 240 lbs.
On the other hand, Baldwin could be a bloody gorgeous left tackle. He is long and lean, something that is hard to believe with his size. He will be able to add another 20 lbs easily. He has the reach you want in a left tackle. He does not have ideal athleticism for either defensive end or defensive tackle but he would be considered a smooth athlete for offensive tackle. His laid back temperament is not a negative for an offensive lineman and he is a great character kid so he would be very coachable and will always execute his assignment. I think he would pick up pass blocking like a duck takes to water.
Last but not least, it is a need. I repeat, this goes behind Adams lack of production thus far. He is a junior this fall. Miller is a senior. I have not heard a word about Longo for awhile. That is not a good sign. When project players are coming along, you usually hear something. They want that kind of info out there. If we wait until next year to recruit a left tackle we are looking at starting a true freshman at left tackle in 2012. I don't want to hear about any of the incoming players as tackles on either side. They are all guards. The guard to tackle experiment has been a complete failure. It is time to quit on that one. Let me make one more point. We are loaded on the defensive line. Not a single spot would he be missed. Nobody would argue that Baldwin is better than the incoming recruits and the 2012 class, which the Buckeyes are in great shape with, are possibly better.
In the end I agree with Zip that if a big is athletic enough to play on defense you keep him there but in this case I think his athleticism for a defensive lineman is borderline at best, and we need an offensive tackle.
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