Ohio State continued its dominance of the 2016 NFL draft, as tight end Nick Vannett became the 10th Buckeye to be selected. Overall, Vannett is the 94th player picked, after his name was called by the Seahawks.
This selection sets a new record, as the Buckeyes are the first program to have 10 selections in the opening trio of rounds of the draft.
The Westerville, Ohio, native was used sparingly in the OSU offense throughout his tenure, producing 55 receptions for 585 yards and six touchdowns. After redshirting his freshman year, Vannett played throughout his remaining four years, totaling 53 games played.
Although the production numbers were low compared to the rest of the offensive starters for OSU, many NFL scouts valued the 6-foot-6, 260-pound tight end for his athleticism.
During the 2014 championship run for the Scarlet and Gray, Vannett enjoyed his highest level of production, hauling in five touchdowns, as well as appearing in a career-high 15 games.
It is worth noting that the predecessor to Vannett, former OSU tight end Jeff Heuerman, produced similar numbers (52 receptions, 792 yards, seven touchdowns) to those of Vannett and was selected by the Denver Broncos last year in the third round.
Although his athleticism gives Vannett immense upside, there has been some concern over how effective he can be as a blocker, a skill tight ends in the spread offense aren’t called upon regularly to employ.
With his large frame and proven strength for the position, the Seahawks will focus on developing Vannett as an establish blocker, while also benefiting from his versatility as a pass-catcher.
With Jimmy Graham the primary tight end in Seattle, it seems as though it will take time before Vannett sees consistent playing time.