Denver Broncos, New York Jets get stellar performances from former Ohio State Buckeyes

Colin Gay
The Columbus Dispatch

In his first preseason game moving from inside to outside linebacker for the Denver Broncos, Baron Browning shined.

The former Ohio State linebacker made his presence known, recording three solo tackles, a sack, a quarterback hit, a tackle-for-loss and a pass deflection, along with a special teams assisted tackle in the Broncos preseason victory against the Dallas Cowboys.

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“I was happy to be moved outside, I wanted to be there last year and I’m glad things worked out the way they did," Browning told reporters after the Broncos' win.

Browning was a third-round pick of the Broncos in the 2021 NFL draft, who recorded 58 tackles, two tackles-for-loss and two pass deflections last season.

In four years in the middle of Ohio State's defense, Browning recorded 109 tackles with 19 tackles-for-loss and seven tacks, adding two pass deflections and two forced fumbles in 2020.

“His acceleration on the ball and ability to bend on the edge is really good to see,” head coach Nathaniel Hackett said afterward. “He played free and it was awesome to see. We’ll evaluate it more, but he’s doing a great job.”

Jeremy Ruckert secures touchdown for New York Jets

In his first preseason game, Jeremy Ruckert may have emerged as a redzone target for the New York Jets.

Facing 4th-and-goal at the 1-yard line, the former Ohio State tight end lined up in the slot behind the left tackle and ran a sweep to the right side, taking the play-action target from quarterback Chris Streveler to give the Jets a three-point lead early in the fourth quarter.

Ruckert finished his first game with the Jets with two receptions for three yards and a touchdown on two targets.

Ruckert was selected in the third round by the Jets in the 2022 NFL draft after recording 615 yards and 12 touchdowns on 54 receptions across four seasons with the Buckeyes.

Ruckert wasn't the only former Ohio State player to make an impact for the Jets in its first preseason win against the Eagles.

Former No. 10 overall pick Garrett Wilson brought in two receptions for 25 yards on three targets.

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How did other former Ohio State players do in Week 1 of the NFL preseason?

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Chris Olave opened his professional career with one reception for four yards against the Houston Texans. Cornerback Bradley Roby also added a tackle in the preseason loss, while Saints tight end Nick Vannett added one catch on two targets for six yards.

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Binjimen Victor led the team with four receptions on five targets for 30 receiving yards against the Tennessee Titans.

Houston Texans punter Cameron Johnston made his impact known, recording six punts for 339 yards, averaging 56.5 yards per punt with a long of 68 yards. The former Ohio State punter put two punts inside the 20-yard line.

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields finished his first preseason performance with four completions on seven pass attempts for 48 yards, including highlight-reel grabs from wide receivers Darnell Mooney and Tajee Sharpe. Fields also added a 10-yard rush.

In limited playing time for the Washington Commanders, wide receiver Terry McLaurin recorded one reception for 16 yards on two targets, while wide receiver Curtis Samuel added two receptions for 14 yards on two targets.

Here are a few other key Ohio State performances

  • New York Giants DE Jalyn Holmes: one tackle, one assisted tackle
  • New England Patriots CB Shaun Wade: three tackles, one assisted tackle
  • New England Patriots LB Raekwon McMillan: two tackles
  • Detroit Lions CB Jeff Okudah: three tackles
  • Cleveland Browns DT Tommy Togiai: four tackles
  • Jacksonville Jaguars TE Luke Farrell: two receptions for 18 yards, lost fumble
  • Jacksonville Jaguars LB Rashod Berry: one tackle
  • San Francisco 49ers WR Austin Mack: one reception for nine yards on three targets
  • San Francisco 49ers RB Trey Sermon: six rushes for 11 yards with a long of six yards
  • Cincinnati Bengals P Drue Chrisman: two punts for 92 yards, averaged 46 yards with a long of 47 yards
  • Indianapolis Colts WR Parris Campbell: no receptions on two targets
  • Pittsburgh Steelers RB Master Teague III: six rushes for 31 yards with a long of nine yards

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