Marv has been quoted many times -as have many others- that the biggest jump in performance happens from a players 1st year to their 2nd. With that in mind, what can we anticipate from our 2nd year players?
Lawson; He got enough reps last year after coming back from a pre season operation to get a feel for NFL blocking schemes and the huge difference in talent and skill along OL's. Fully recovered, he should become a mainstay at LDE -if not in sack totals, certainly in containment.
Ragland*; this IS his 1st year, with the exception of understanding how an NFL team functions and partial understanding of how much longer the season is, compared to college. But I expect many 1st year mistakes and trying too hard that he will probably make many crucial blunders. We really don't know..
A. Washington; Obviously concerned about the likelihood of an extended suspension, I felt he performed very well as a rotational DT in year 1 and expect him to make fewer On-Field mistakes, becoming a very reliable player and Kyle's heir-apparent.
C. Jones; nothing much was expected from him last year and he only played a quarter in a meaningless season finale. A big, strappin' lad, we know he has a rocket of an arm but very little else is known about him with such a limited body of work at OSU. I like him, but I don't think he makes the final 53 nor Practice squad. This said, if Dennison's offense is 'tailor-made for Taylor', it could be for Cardale as well.
Dez Lewis; eh.. He has the height and leaping ability we sought when he was drafted. I thought he was too lean last year for the NFL. If he adds more muscle and weight, he could surprise, but I think he's a long shot to stay on the club.
N. O'Leary; I was a little surprised he made it back to the club after waivers, then saw the field a lot. He clearly improved throughout the season, but he had to, to stick. Dennison wants to utilize 12 personnel frequently, so a 2nd TE is being sought hard in camp. I'm hopeful he'll take the huge step.
K. Seymore; I thought he was a great surprise as a rook and expect him to solidify our nickel. Anything less, will be a disappointment, IMO.
J. Williams; well, we NEED him to step up!! I was kind of surprised he made it through his rookie year without being a casualty of a street FA signing for another position. If all the hype about his capabilities shows through this year, I'll be thrilled. Gillislee left big shoes to fill and I don't see any other player who may ease the pain of that loss.
Am I missing someone? With Ragland and Lawson's lost seasons, the jury will be out on this Draft class for a few years yet. With an entirely new coaching staff, no one is beholden to anyone. So how these players adjust to the new schemes and team atmosphere (no pool tables, no Club Rex) will go a long way to determining just what we added last year.
Tear into this.