Home » Sports » Football » Undrafted former Ohio State players find new destinations in free agency

Undrafted former Ohio State players find new destinations in free agency

Then-senior offensive lineman Darryl Baldwin (76) prepares for the snap during the Big Ten Championship Game against Wisconsin on Dec. 6 in Indianapolis. OSU won, 59-0. Credit / Lantern file photo

Then-redshirt senior offensive lineman Darryl Baldwin (76) prepares for the snap during the Big Ten Championship Game against Wisconsin on Dec. 6 in Indianapolis. OSU won, 59-0.
Credit / Lantern file photo

While three of the eight former Ohio State players entered in the 2015 NFL draft did not hear their names called this weekend, the opportunity to achieve their professional dreams is not dead.

Two of the three undrafted players agreed to a deal with a NFL team shortly after the draft commenced on Saturday.

Offensive lineman Darryl Baldwin agreed to a deal with the Baltimore Ravens, Baldwin confirmed to The Lantern on Saturday.

Baldwin started all 14 games at right tackle for the Buckeyes during their national championship run. The redshirt senior was named an All-Big Ten honorable mention by the coaches and media in 2014.

He arrived in Columbus in 2010 as a defensive end, eventually redshirting in his first year. Baldwin received sporadic playing time as a defensive end throughout the 2011 campaign. In the spring of 2012, he was moved to the other side of the trenches, becoming an offensive tackle.

In 2012, he was on the field in all 12 games for the Scarlet and Gray but predominantly on special teams. He received minimal time elsewhere, as he was stuck behind former All-American offensive tackle Jack Mewhort on the depth chart.

Baldwin found himself behind Mewhort again in 2013. He continued to see the field on special teams, but as a junior, he did receive more snaps from scrimmage as an offensive lineman.

After Mewhort departed to the Indianapolis Colts prior to the 2014 season, Baldwin finally got an opportunity as the starting right tackle.

For Baldwin — and the rest of the OSU offensive line — the 2014 season got off to a rocky start. As a unit, the starting five allowed seven sacks in the Buckeyes’ second game of the year, a loss to Virginia Tech on Sept. 6 at Ohio Stadium. But as the year progressed, Baldwin and the rest of the unit improved drastically. By season’s end, many credited their improvement as a major reason why OSU was able to capture the national championship.

Curtis Grant also agreed to a deal as an undrafted free agent Saturday, as he is heading to the San Diego Chargers, according to the Chargers’ official website.

As a senior in 2014, Grant started all 15 games for the Scarlet and Gray. He finished the season with 69 tackles, five of which were for a loss, a sack and an interception.

Grant saw the field in all four of his seasons at OSU, receiving more and more playing time each passing year. He primarily played on special teams as a freshman in 2011, recovering a key blocked punt in the Buckeyes’ 33-29 upset over Wisconsin.

During the 2012 campaign, Grant began to see more consistent reps at the linebacker spot. The 6-foot-2 Richmond, Va., product played in eight games, starting in three, and recorded eight tackles overall.

He was in the starting lineup on a more consistent basis as a junior in 2013, cracking the top of the depth chart in 12 of OSU’s 14 games. As a result of more time on the field, his production soared. Grant racked up 52 tackles and 2.5 sacks.

One more undrafted former Buckeye — defensive lineman Steve Miller — was still unsigned as of Saturday evening.

Five members of OSU’s national championship team — wide receivers Devin Smith and Evan Spencer, tight end Jeff Heuerman, defensive lineman Michael Bennett and cornerback Doran Grant — were selected in the draft.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.