The Former Buckeye accrued more than 30 sacks during his three-year career, including 16.5 last season, and garnered enough hype over the course of the season that he eventually finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting.
But now one of the few offensive linemen to slow the college football star down is also getting some much deserved recognition.
In fact, Penn State’s Yetur Gross-Matos — a projected first-round pick in his own right — calls Michigan’s Jon Runyan Jr. the best he’s ever faced.
Penn State’s Yetur Gross-Matos says Michigan’s Jon Runyan Jr. was the best tackle he went against.— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) February 27, 2020
‘He was nice.’
Runyan was also featured in a few other articles, more so on how he and the rest of the Michigan Wolverines were able to suppress Young and the annual Ohio State-Michigan game, holding him without a sack.
Runyan spoke about his match up with the highly-touted Young Wednesday at the NFL combine.
“Chase is a phenomenal player, obviously,” Runyan said. “I kind of understood his game from evaluating him on film. He’s a huge body. That’s pretty evident. I’ve been walking past him and kind of looking up to him.
”I kind of knew his game and he’s not really that big bull-rushing guy. He’s going to try to beat you with speed, and when he does beat you with speed, he’s going to burn you and he’s going to hit the quarterback hard.”
Despite the recent attention, Runyan is still project to be more of a later round prospect.
Here is what NFL.com and 247Sports had to say about the former Michigan tackle, respectively.
From NFL.com: Determined and smart, Runyan held his own as a Big Ten tackle despite a lack of desired physical and athletic traits. He’s inconsistent taking control into initial engagements, but stays after it and recovers back into the second phase of the block. He plays with high hands that diminish power and control, but that should improve as he slides inside to guard. He has adequate athleticism and body control to fit into a variety of run schemes but may not excel in any. Runyan’s protection experience at tackle improves his draft value as a later-round, backup-caliber guard.
247Sports’ take: The first sentence of the above scouting report speaks to how much Runyan can show — or not show — at the Combine. Game film shows an overachieving tackle who stymied some of the best defensive ends in the draft, but the eye test and physical measurements so far don’t project much for Runyan at the next level. If he improves his feet and speed, Runyan can show that his strengths expand beyond what’s between the ears, and that will likely entice scouts for a later-round selection.
Shea Patterson may not be drafted, still hoping to get chance
Former Michigan Wolverines quarterback Shea Patterson has come a long way since once being a top-tier recruit out of high school in 2016. 247Sports had ranked Patterson atop the pro-style quarterbacks when he committed to Ole Miss.
But his college career left much to be desired.
Patterson played two years with the Rebels before transferring to Michigan, where he played two more years. Joining the Wolverines, some believed Patterson was the missing puzzle piece that would lead the team back to national prominence. He wasn’t.
Now, heading into the end of the NFL combine ahead of April’s NFL draft, Patterson doesn’t carry nearly the prestige he once did. Now, he’s just hoping to be drafted.
“But it is a lot different for me,” Patterson told the Detroit Free Press. “Coming out of high school — I know it’s a long time ago — but I was one of the top guys.”
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper does not believe Patterson will be drafted, according the Free Press report, but does believe he’ll be a highly touted undrafted free agent.
Former coaches and teammates have said positive things about the former Wolverines quarterback. Hugh Freeze, who coached Patterson at Ole Miss, spoke highly of his talent coming out of high school.
“I couldn’t have been more excited to have a guy like him,” he told the Free Press. “I loved the release he had. I really thought he had an understanding of the (run-pass options), and I loved the way he threw the deep ball. A perfect fit for what I liked to do and just really thought he’s be a record-setting quarterback in our tempo and our RPO offense.”
The hype never panned out, however. Patterson maintains he has no regrets about how things went in his collegiate career.
“What I’ve gone through and all the change I’ve dealt with, it’s made me who I am today,” he told the Freep.
- Tom Brady — a former Michigan player otherwise known as The Goat — is seriously considering joining a new team in free agency, per ESPN. Brady has otherwise spent his entire career with the New England Patriots.
- Whoever says punters and kickers can’t be some of the strongest players on their respective football teams clearly never told Arizona State punter Michael Turk, who put up 25 reps at the NFL combine Thursday. Check it out: