The 2023 NFL Draft is still several weeks away and major milestones including the NFL Scouting Combine, various Pro Days and individual workouts still stand in the way of 100s of potential NFL rookies and their lifelong dreams.
As with every season, there are no shortage of Ohio State players who know that they will hear their name called at the end of April 2023. Ohio State has had at least three players taken in every draft since 1998, the only time that zero Buckeyes were called.
It is a sure bet that 2023 will not end up like that ’98 draft with several Buckeyes set to go on the first night of the event, signifying first round status.
Ohio State had six picks in the 2022 draft with wide receivers Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson topping the draft board for the Buckeyes, both going in the first round. They were joined by Nicholas Petit-Frere, Jeremy Ruckert, Tyreke Smith and Thayer Munford. Those six players signed combined deals for 58-million dollars if every deal is completely paid out and barring any fifth-year club options on the first rounders.
Over the coming days and weeks, we will get you fully up to speed on every player that will be going through the NFL process, starting with the Scouting Combine lists for the early-March event, special podcasts and pieces from several NFL Draft gurus and of course all the way through the big event in Kansas City.
Before we really get things kicked off for 2023, let’s take a look back at several fast facts from Ohio State’s NFL Draft history, one of the most storied programs in terms of producing tomorrow’s future stars for the NFL.
2: The number of Ohio State players taken in the first NFL Draft back in 1936. It was a different world as scouting departments did not exist and media coverage of the event was non-existent. Center Gomer Jones would be the 15th overall pick and go to the Chicago Cardinals while Dick Heekin would go on the board (as the draft was conducted on a chalkboard) with the No. 72 overall pick to the New York Giants.
87: The number of first round picks that Ohio State has produced. That number is good for No. 1 of any program in the nation with USC (83) and Alabama (76) coming in second and third. Ohio State has a very good chance of pushing that number up to 90 if things fall right in the draft with players like CJ Stroud, Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Paris Johnson Jr. all seemingly slotted to fall in the first 31 picks of the draft.
167: The average draft position of the last four Ohio State quarterbacks drafted prior to Dwayne Haskins (and not including Terrelle Pryor who went in the NFL Supplemental Draft). Ohio State has come a long way with Haskins going 15th overall in 2019 and Justin Fields going No. 11 overall. CJ Stroud is set to better either of those picks if the draft falls right. The four quarterbacks taken prior include Cardale Jones (No. 139), Troy Smith (No. 174), Craig Krenzel (No. 148) and Steve Bellisari (No. 205).
480: The overall number of players that have been drafted from Ohio State into the NFL. That number is good for third overall, only trailing Notre Dame (522) and USC (516). The Buckeyes have had 83 more players selected for the NFL Draft than archrival, Michigan, which has just 397, good for 5th overall.
1996: That marks the last year that Ohio State produced an offensive rookie of the year with Eddie George taking home the honors for the Houston Oilers. That likely will be snapped this season with the play of Garrett Wilson for the New York Jets. Wilson is one of three finalists for the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award, an award that will be handed out later this week. Things have been better on the defensive side of things with Chase Young (2020), Nick Bosa (2019), Marshon Lattimore (2017) and Joey Bosa (2016) all winning it over the course of the last handful of seasons.
The last time…
2021 – The last draft where Ohio State had only one player selected in the first round
2020 – The last draft where Ohio State had a defensive player selected in the first round (Chase Young 2nd, Jeff Okudah 3rd)
2016 – The last draft where Ohio State had an offensive lineman selected in the first round (Taylor Decker)
2015 – The last draft where Ohio State did not have a player selected in the first round
1997 – The last time Ohio State had a player selected No. 1 overall (Orlando Pace)
1975 – The last year where Ohio State had two offensive linemen selected in the first round (Kurt Schumacher 12th overall – New Orleans, Doug France 20th overall – LA Rams)