The 83rd NFL draft is set for Thursday-Saturday in Texas, and Ohio State is expected to be heavily involved again.
Here are five things for Buckeye fans to know before it begins:
1. Close to a dozen Buckeyes could be drafted.
Eleven Ohio State players were invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, and more got to work out for NFL scouts during the team’s pro day.
Land of 10’s Scott Dochterman predicts Jerome Baker, J.T. Barrett, Marcus Baugh, Jalyn Holmes, Sam Hubbard, Jamarco Jones, Tyquan Lewis, Billy Price, Denzel Ward, Damon Webb and Chris Worley will all hear their names called by the end of round seven on Saturday.
Ward and coach Urban Meyer are scheduled to be in attendance.
2. The top prospects are…
Ward is widely expected to be a first-round pick.
After him, it gets a little murky.
Hubbard could be taken in the first or second round and Price was considered a potential first-rounder before a pec injury knocked him out of the combine (he should be ready for the start of training camp).
Jones is the No. 34 player according to Pro Football Focus with Price coming in 64th, Hubbard 68th, Lewis 81st and Webb 88th.
3. The return of OSU as “DB U”.
If Ward does go in the first round, Ohio State will become the first school in the common era (since 1967) to have five first-round defensive backs in three years.
That run started with Eli Apple in 2016 with Marshon Lattimore, Malik Hooker and Gareon Conley following last year.
The last five starting cornerbacks from Ohio State have been drafted, something that also happened in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Ward could make six.
4. Will any Buckeyes remain in Ohio?
Recent history shows the Bengals and Browns aren’t very likely to pick a player from Ohio State.
While Cincinnati last chose a Buckeye in 2013 (offensive lineman Reid Fragel, seventh round), eight drafts have passed since the Browns chose Brian Robiskie in the second round in 2009.
In all, the Browns have drafted 32 players from Ohio State since 1952 while the Bengals have taken 17 since 1969.
5. Meyer’s first full recruiting class nearly finished.
Six players from Ohio State’s class of 2013 already have been drafted.
At least five more could be taken this weekend. If that happens, the 24-man class will be the most successful (in terms of draftees) since 2002, both in terms of total and percentage.
Twelve players of 25 signees (48 percent) from 2002 were drafted.