Billy Price

Latest On Ohio State C Billy Price

Good news for Ohio State center Billy Price. Price tells SiriusXM that he has regained full range of motion after suffering a partially torn pectoral muscle (via PFT).

[RELATED: Draft Notes: Giants, Eagles, Lamar Jackson]

Price hurt himself while doing the bench press at the combine in February. As one of the draft’s top offensive linemen, he was widely projected as a first-round pick prior to the injury. The torn pec is a definite setback, but based on the latest info, it sounds as though he could still be a top 32 pick. The belief is that Price will be ready in time for training camp, so any team drafting him will not have to worry about Price being behind the 8-ball.

There are rumblings of a potential late-round run on interior offensive linemen, which could involve Price, Arkansas center/guard Frank Ragnow, Iowa center James Daniels, and Georgia guard Isaiah Wynn. The Eagles, who count tackle among their top needs but aren’t hard up for a guard or center, could score a decent haul for their pick at No. 32 if that happens.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Draft Rumors: Bengals, Ragnow, Browns

It increasingly sounds like Arkansas center/guard Frank Ragnow has a good chance to be drafted in Round 1, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com hears. The Bengals got a last minute meeting in with Ragnow and it’s possible that they could consider him with the No. 21 overall pick. Pelissero wonders if we could be in for a run on interior linemen towards the back of the first round, with guys like Ragnow, Iowa center James Daniels, Georgia guard Isaiah Wynn and Ohio State center Billy Price (despite his partially torn pec) coming off of the board sooner than expected.

Those guys are just safe. They’re steady. The bust factor is very low on those guys,” an AFC executive said. “Maybe they’re not the sexiest picks, but worst-case scenario, you’re going to end up with a solid player who can step in and contribute pretty early.”

Here’s the latest NFL Draft buzz:

  • Most people believe the Browns are zeroed in on a quarterback, but GM John Dorsey isn’t publicly ruling out Penn State running back Saquon Barkley at No. 1 overall (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). Of course, draft season is full of smokescreens, so we shouldn’t necessarily take Dorsey’s comments at face value. In all likelihood, the Browns will be selecting their QB of the future with the top pick while considering other players at No. 4.
  • Draft visits are officially over, but the Seahawks are still doing their homework. On Thursday night, they’ll dine with Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea, Rapoport tweets. The Seahawks pick at No. 18, so they may have to trade up if they want him. It will be interesting to see if they go in that direction since they have opted to trade down in recent drafts.

NFC East Notes: Dez, Giants, Redskins, Eagles

Dez Bryant wants to sign with the Giants after being released by the division-rival Cowboys last week, but a current New York wideout isn’t on board with that idea. In a now-deleted Instagram story, Giants receiver Brandon Marshall said there was “no room” for Bryant on Big Blue’s roster, as Jaclyn Hendricks of the New York Post writes. Marshall, for his part, bombed during his first campaign in New York, as an ankle injury limited him to just five games and 18 receptions. Viewed as a possible cap casualty heading into the offseason, Marshall has surprisingly stuck on the Giants’ roster to this point. New York could still release Marshall at any point, however, and doing so would save the club in excess of $5MM in cap space.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • The Redskins were busy hosting draft prospects over the past two days, as Georgia running back Sony Michel, Ohio State center Billy Price, and Washington defensive lineman Vita Vea all visited the nation’s capital on Tuesday/Wednesday, according to John Keim of ESPN.com (all Twitter links). Michel would join a running back depth chart that already includes Chris Thompson, Samaje Perine, and Rob Kelley, while Price could start at either guard or center in lieu of Arie Kouandjio or Chase Roullier, respectively. Vea, meanwhile, would help fill a gap at defensive tackle that the Redskins have already attempted to fill this offseason by showing interest in free agents such as Johnathan Hankins and Bennie Logan.
  • Southern Methodist wideout Courtland Sutton met with the Cowboys on Wednesday, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Dallas has a gaping need at receiver after cutting Bryant, as their roster is currently littered by second- and third-tier pass-catchers. Allen Hurns, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, Deonte Thompson, and Ryan Switzer front the Cowboys’ WR depth chart, but Sutton — who is viewed as either a first- or second-round selection — could give Dallas a potential No. 1 wideout. The 6’4″, 215-pound Sutton posted at least 1,000 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns in each of the past two seasons.
  • The Eagles hosted running backs Derrius Guice (LSU) and Rashaad Penny (San Diego State) on Tuesday, reports Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Guice is widely considered 2018’s second-best running back prospect behind Penn State’s Saquon Barkley, and there’s no guarantee he’ll still be on the board when Philadelphia picks at the end of round one. While the Eagles lost LeGarrette Blount to the Lions during the free agent period, they still have Jay Ajayi, Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood, and Donnel Pumphrey on their roster.

NFL Draft Rumors: Cowboys, Key, Bills

Wednesday marks the final day for NFL draft visits, and we have some notable ones to pass along. Here’s the latest NFL Draft news:

  • LSU linebacker/defensive end Arden Key worked out with the Cowboys on Tuesday and met with the Saints on Wednesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
  • Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans is visiting the Bills and Texas tackle Connor Williams is visiting the Packers, Rapoport tweets.
  • The Patriots are hosting Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley on a pre-draft visit, a source tells Rapoport (on Twitter). The Patriots aren’t known for taking receivers in the first round, but Ridley could be an exception as they look to rebuild that group. Ridley also visited the Bears on Tuesday.
  • Maryland wide receiver D.J. Moore seems to be a firm first round prospect, according to Rapoport (on Twitter). For a while, Moore appeared to be a fringe first/second round type, so his stock is improving as the draft draws near. Moore met with the Bills, who pick No. 12 and 22, on Wednesday.
  • Ohio State center Billy Price will meet with the Seahawks, Alex Marvez of SiriusXM tweets. Price is recovering from a torn pectoral muscle he suffered during the bench press at the combine. The good news is that Price is expected to be ready in time for training camp.

Draft Notes: Key, Jackson, Kirk, Price, Patriots

Former LSU defensive end and top draft prospect Arden Key has told teams that he has been sober for more than a year, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler writes.

This is big news from a player who has been speculated to have off-the-field concerns. Key is supposedly being up front with the teams about his issues, which included taking a leave of absence from the Tigers for four months beginning in February 2017 for personal reasons. He will not disclose the reasoning for that absence with the media — which is his right — but is reportedly laying it all out in front of teams.

Rated as one of the top prospects before the start of the 2017 season, Key is now viewed mostly as a potential late-first-round pick, but more likely to go off the board on second day of the draft.

Noted pass rush coach Chuck Smith is a big fan of Key, saying he is a threat to challenge for double-digit sacks the moment he enters the league. His honesty with teams and ability to stay sober for more than a year could put teams more at ease about taking a shot on the talented pass rusher.

Here’s more surrounding the draft:

  • Texas A&M wide receiver Christian Kirk visited with the Steelers on Friday, Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes. Kirk has also visited with the Seahawks and Panthers, a pair of teams in need of a receiver. The Steelers seem set at the position with Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster but have not been shy about adding to a loaded receiver position in the past.
  • Former Cardinals head coach and quarterback guru Bruce Arians is a big fan of Louisville product Lamar Jackson, Bob McManaman of AZ Central writes. “I think Lamar puts the time in. He’s going to get better, and he just brings that unique ability to break the game open with his legs. Because he does it. He sits in there and flips it up the field,” Arians said. “He’s been in a pro-style offense. He’s more of a scrambler with designed runs. I don’t think I’d design runs for him. I would just let him, a la Russell Wilson, take what’s there, and whoosh, take off running.” The Cardinals could have interest in Jackson at the No. 15 spot in the upcoming draft.
  • In a panel piece on ESPN, a host of writers tabbed left tackle as the position the team should focus on in the first round if everything were to fall perfectly. With the team owning the 23rd and 31st picks, New England could potentially address the position by taking Notre Dame’s Mike McGlinchey late in the first round. The tackle is rated by many pundits as the best at the position this year.
  • Ohio State center/guard Billy Price had his NFL Combine medical recheck on Friday, Darren Wolfson of KSTP 5 News reports (Twitter link). He notes the potential first-round pick is expected to receive full clearance soon.

NFC North Rumors: Packers, Ebron, Vikings

Bryan Bulaga has now seen two of his past five seasons either wiped out or largely nullified by severe injuries, and the Packers‘ starting right tackle is now entering the seasons of his contract where a cap-casualty cut is not incredibly prohibitive. Yet, the ninth-year blocker is expected to return for the fourth season of said deal.

Whenever players are injured it’s tough as personnel guys who are not 100 percent sure of when they’re coming back,” Green Bay GM Brian Gutekunst said, via Michael Cohen of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “But I know that he’s been working exceptionally hard. We’ve got a lot of faith that he’s going to come back sooner rather than later, and obviously when Bryan is in there, Bryan is a good player.”

Mike McCarthy also wants Bulaga to be part of the 2018 Packers, indicating he’s heard the 29-year-old edge protector is on schedule following an ACL tear. It would only save the Packers $4.2MM to release Bulaga while tagging them with a $3.2MM dead-money penalty. That savings figure spikes to nearly $7MM in 2019, so Bulaga staying healthy will likely be paramount to him seeing the final year of that contract.

Here’s the more out of Green Bay as well as some of the Packers’ top rivals.

  • Jahri Evans remains in the picture, to some degree, for a second season with the Packers. Although, the former perennial All-Pro is going to turn 35 next season. “Jahri is definitely part of the conversation,” McCarthy said. “I don’t know exactly where he is as far as what his goals are, but we’re open (to him returning.” On the strength of his pass-blocking, Evans graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 30 guard last season. While his 71.7 grade was slightly down from his Seahawks season, Evans showed in 14 games he’s still a viable NFL starter. He didn’t sign with the Packers initially until late April of last year, so the door may still be open on that front.
  • The Lions dangled Eric Ebron up until the deadline for his fifth-year option to vest before ultimately releasing him. Bob Quinn elaborated about why the former first-round pick ended up as a free agent instead of netting the Lions a draft pick in a deal. “I guess the general response that I got was, ‘The number’s too big,'” Quinn said, via Kyle Meinke of MLive.com, of Ebron’s then-$8.25MM cap figure attached to the 2018 option. “The salary that came along with the fifth-year option was something that we weighed, you know, really up until the last minute, to be honest. It was just one of those things that we knew was coming down the pike, we obviously had some trade conversations with a few teams that didn’t work out.” Ebron ended up with the Colts on a two-year, $13MM pact.
  • Not receiving any compensation for Ebron, the Lions are targeting picks via trades prior to this draft. Detroit holds just six picks. “That’s something that’ll definitely be in the talks I’d say, a week or two leading up to the draft — try to get more picks,” Quinn said, via Meinke. The Lions have a basic draft allotment, holding all their own picks save for the sixth-rounder they surrendered for Greg Robinson last year.
  • With Joe Berger and Jeremiah Sirles now out of the picture, the Vikings‘ top remaining need is on their offensive line, Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes. Although the team signed swing blocker Tom Compton, draft help is likely en route. Rick Spielman recently attended Billy Price‘s pro day at Ohio State, and Goessling notes the team could be on the lookout for another veteran. The Vikings still have $19MM-plus in cap space.

Extra Points: Draft, Nelson, Price, Cap

A quick look around the NFL:

  • Some teams consider guard Quenton Nelson to be top overall player in this year’s draft, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. He’s not int he mix to go No. 1 overall, but his tape has impressed scouts around the league. Nelson is widely expected to be a top ten pick, particularly after a strong showing in Indianapolis.
  • Ohio State center Billy Price is expected to be sidelined for four months after undergoing successful surgery on his “incomplete pec tear,” a source tells ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Price should be ready for the start of training camp, so it’s possible that he could still be a first-round pick.
  • The NFL set the 2018 salary cap at $177.2MM, and while that number fell short of the high end of recent projections, the league and the NFL players association have agreed to place more money in the NFL’s player performance pool, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. The player performance pool, which does not affect the salary cap, is designed to divert extra money to low-paid players who contribute on a regular basis. Last year, the pool amounted to $3.995MM per team, but that figure will increase to $4.415MM per club in 2017, as Ben Volin of the Boston Globe tweets.

Ohio State OL Billy Price Suffers Injury

Ohio State offensive lineman Billy Price suffered a partially torn pec while doing the bench press on Thursday, sources tell TomPelissero and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The good news is that the MRI results are in and a doctor tells Price that surgery is not required (Twitter link via Conor Orr of NFL.com). Price says he will seek a second medical opinion but, as of right now, he believes that he will not miss any time in 2018. Billy Price (Vertical)

I’m not worried about this at all. This is something where I’m gonna come back stronger,” Price said of his “incomplete” tear. “You’re gonna really have to put a bullet between us Ohio State guys’ eyes to put us down. So I’m looking to get back out there and whatever team ends up selecting me, we’re going to be 100 percent going into it.”

Price is one of the draft’s top offensive lineman and widely viewed as a first or second-round prospect. Depending on the news he receives from this point, he could still be in range for the top 64 picks.

Weeks ago, Lance Zierlein of NFL.com wrote that Price was expected to “crush the bench press at the Combine.” Unfortunately, what was meant to be a statement event for Price turned awry. Still, with accolades including the Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year award in 2017 plus All-Big Ten and/or All-American honors in each year from 2015-17, his future looks bright.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ohio State OL Billy Price Believed To Have Torn Pec

Ohio State offensive line prospect Billy Price is believed to have suffered a torn pectoral while bench pressing during the scouting combine today, reports Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com (Twitter link).Billy Price (Vertical)

Price is considered one of the best interior line prospects available in the 2017 draft, and was expected to be selected in the first round. His stock doesn’t necessarily have to slip, especially since a torn pectoral’s recovery time is typically five-to-six months, meaning Price could still be ready for the start of the regular season in September. But it would be surprising if Price didn’t experience a slight drop, possibly into Day 2.

Price, who started 55 games for the Buckeyes, has “freaky strength and explosiveness,” per Lance Zierlein of NFL.com. He was named as the Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2017, and earned All-Big Ten and/or All-American honors in each year from 2015-17.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Contracts, Kaepernick, Manziel

The peak of the NBA’s free agent season and the eye-popping contracts it generated had more of an impact than usual on the NFL this year, thanks in large part to Richard Sherman‘s recent comments that, if NFL players are to begin receiving the same share of their league’s revenue as NBA players receive — and/or see more guaranteed money in their deals — they are going to need to be prepared to go on strike. The NFL Players Association has publicly sided with Sherman (via Twitter), but scribes like Ben Volin of the Boston Globe are not so sure.

Volin says the problem with NFL players going on strike is that their career span is much shorter than their NBA and MLB counterparts, and half of the players who are currently in the league will not be when the current collective bargaining agreement expires in the spring of 2021. That reality means that NFL players will justifiably want to maximize their earnings before their careers are over and do not really care what happens to their successors.

Likewise, Volin does not believe the focus should be on more guaranteed money, though other writers like Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk believe teams should consider offering fully guaranteed contracts immediately. Volin believes that, if contracts become guaranteed, owners would simply adjust by giving players shorter deals and less money up front. Instead, Volin says the solution to NFL players’ “problem” is twofold. He says the union should 1) work to remove the franchise tag, which prevents players from realizing their true value and can keep them under their original club’s control through their prime seasons; and 2) fix the rookie contract system, which has eliminated the NFL’s “middle class” by allowing teams to replace serviceable veterans with much cheaper rookies. Indeed, the league has been trending younger and younger, and fewer players are getting a second contract.

This is a discussion that will only pick up steam the closer we get to 2021, but in the meantime, let’s take a look at a few more links from around the league:

  • It was not that long ago that running backs were viewed as dime-a-dozen assets in a pass-heavy league, but players like Le’Veon Bell, Ezekiel Elliott, and David Johnson have helped to change that perception. Johnson himself has noticed as much, and he believes Bell’s next contract — the Steelers star will likely play out 2017 on his franchise tender, but another strong season could make for an interesting free agency case in 2018 — will have a ripple effect on the league’s top rushers. Johnson said, “We’re making the running back position more relevant, much more important. I feel like you need a running back to have a successful team. Hopefully starting with [Bell] getting the contract he deserves, hopefully that can jump start the running backs being more important in this league” (Twitter link via Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News).
  • Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk observes that two of the world’s most notable unemployed men, Johnny Manziel and Colin Kaepernick, are represented by the same firm, Select Sports Group (though they are represented by different agents within the firm). Florio says that fact could create a conflict of interest, as both players are vying for the same quarterback jobs. Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal disagrees, as she points out that it is common for NFL agents to specialize in representing players at a certain position (Twitter link). Florio also says that, if Manziel gets an NFL job before Kaepernick — we learned yesterday Manziel has had conversations with several clubs, though it is unclear if they were serious conversations — it will intensify the claims that Kaepernick is being blackballed by the league. That proposition, too, seems suspect, as Kaepernick has not displayed much interest in continuing his football career, his visit to the Seahawks notwithstanding.
  • Lance Zierlien of NFL.com takes a look at 10 collegiate offensive linemen who could make a splash in the NFL in 2018. His list includes Ohio State’s Billy Price, who, like Vikings rookie and Ohio State product Pat Elflein, will switch from guard to center this year.