COLUMBUS — Ohio State football fans expect Garrett Wilson, Sevyn Banks and Josh Proctor to elevate to major roles in 2020.
Pro Football Focus does as well, and they backed up that opinion with numbers. All three Buckeyes made PFF’s list of the top breakout candidates for 2020.
Even without accounting for Wilson’s move to the slot, PFF calls the sophomore “one of the most likely breakouts we will see.” According to the site, the receiver caught 33 of 34 catchable targets in his true freshman season of 2019, resulting in a quarterback efficiency rating of 144.0 when targeted.
Wilson totaled 432 yards and five touchdowns on 30 receptions last season.
Sevyn Banks could take over the outside cornerback position opposite Shaun Wade in 2020. Last season he started one game but mostly backed up first-round NFL Draft picks Jeff Okudah and Damon Arnette.
Despite only having 96 coverage snaps to evaluate, PFF said Banks’ “playmaking stood out.” He produced an interception and three pass breakups on those snaps while allowing three receptions for 25 yards.
“Playmaker” also came up in PFF’s evaluation of Proctor, who backed up NFL-bound Jordan Fuller the past two seasons. The site noted the junior dropped two interceptions last season, but also picked one off and forced three incompletions. Again, the sample size was small (65 coverage snaps) but PFF saw promise in those numbers.
A handful of players on Ohio State’s 2020 schedule also made the list.
The Buckeyes’ trip to Penn State on Oct. 24 looms as the biggest game of the season. PFF expects the Nittany Lions defense to receive a jolt from edge rusher Jason Oweh, linebacker Jesse Luketa and safety Jaquan Brisker.
Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. made PFF’s list. Penix was injured when OSU traveled to Bloomington last season, but the left-handed dual-threat QB could be healthy for the 2020 game in Columbus.
PFF included Rutgers receiver Aaron Cruickshank, though he has yet to receive the waiver necessary to play in 2020 after transferring from Wisconsin.
In addition to Clemson’s known weapons, PFF sees potential breakouts from offensive tackle Jordan McFadden and cornerback Mario Goodrich.