The 2016 season didn’t exactly go as planned for Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett.
Despite leading the Buckeyes back to the College Football Playoff, it was a roller coaster year for Barrett. While his mobility has allowed Barrett to be a serviceable quarterback for Urban Meyer’s squad, he has failed to make the necessary developments as a passer.
Here’s a look his passing chart from the 2016 season:
For comparison, here’s Barrett’s passing chart from 2015, when he split the quarterback duties with Cardale Jones.
It’s somewhat difficult to compare the two seasons due to the smaller sample size in 2015. Jones began the year as the starter before Barrett took over late in the season. So while Barrett did improve in some specific zones, that can likely be attributed to the small sample sizes in 2015.
Overall, however, Barrett saw a decline in play at most levels of the field.
Losing playmakers such as Ezekiel Elliott and Michael Thomas could potentially explain some of the dropoff, especially on the short throws where both Thomas and Elliott played a major role in 2015.
Unfortunately for Barrett, he’ll once again have to work with a new crew of targets, as Noah Brown and Curtis Samuel both departed for the NFL. Terry McLaurin, K.J. Hill, Parris Campbell and Binjamen Victor will all compete for targets in Ohio State’s offense this season.
The Buckeyes have predictably high expectations in 2017, and Barrett needs to make substantial improvements in order for Ohio State to continue to build upon their offensive performance from 2016.