2024 NFL Draft

Buckeyes And The NFL Draft: By The Numbers

It is NFL Draft week and that is always a special time for the Ohio State Buckeyes as few programs have had as much success sending players to the National Football League.

Nine Buckeyes will be hoping to answer the call over the three-day event that starts on Thursday night.

It shouldn’t be a long wait for Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. to hear his name called on night one of the draft but for the remaining eight players, there are no other first-round grades and Friday night is the next best option, but several players will have to wait until Saturday afternoon in hopes to get that life-changing phone call.

Ohio State’s first draft pick took place in the 1936 draft when Gomer Jones was taken with the No. 15 overall pick by the Chicago Cardinals. Ohio State’s most recent pick was No. 190 in the 2023 draft when Luke Wypler was selected by the Cleveland Browns.

There have been a lot of great picks between those two as Heisman Winners, NFL rookies of the year and Ohio State all-time leaders have all had their name called and started their NFL careers.

Let’s take a look at “the numbers” of Ohio State’s draft history as several more players are hoping to add their names to the history books over the course of the weekend.

5: This is the number of Ohio State wide receivers that have been selected in the top-10 of their respected drafts. Garrett Wilson was the last Ohio State player taken in the top-10 when he went No. 10 overall in the 2022 draft (Chris Olave went just slightly outside of the top-10). Marvin Harrison Jr. has a chance to be the highest pick ever for Ohio State at the position with many experts feeling he goes No. 4 overall to Arizona. Ted Ginn Jr (9th – 2007), David Boston (8th – 1999), Terry Glenn (7th – 1996), and Joey Galloway (8th – 1995) were all selected in the top-10.

6: The Buckeyes have had six players drafted in both the 2023 and 2022 drafts. Six seems to be a potential number for the current draft as well but with so many players returning to Ohio State, this number could have been much higher for 2024. For most schools, sending six to the NFL would be a big number but the Buckeyes have sent many more in recent drafts. This could be a quiet draft for Ohio State fans, at least from the time that Michael Hall comes off the board until the next player hears his name called.

12.1: This is the percentage of all Big Ten players (based on the 14-team current Big Ten) drafted that went to Ohio State. There have been more than 4,000 players drafted through the years and the numbers go all the way down to 66 for Rutgers (which has not been a Big Ten member for its entire history) up to 188 for Northwestern (the low number for a team with a long term Big Ten history). Two programs are in the 400s with the Buckeyes (more on the number in a second) and the Wolverines each making the cut. Three more programs are in the 300s with Nebraska (not a Big Ten member for much of its history), Penn State (not a Big Ten member for much of its history) and Michigan State. Wisconsin and Purdue are each on the doorstep of the 300-club, the Badgers being very close at 297 while Purdue may need a couple of years to move up from 292 to the 300 number.

90: Ohio State has had more first-rounders than any other program in the nation with 90. The Buckeyes lead USC (85) and Alabama (79) and have a commanding lead over Michigan who ranks No. 7 overall with just 51. The Buckeyes added to their total in 2023 with three first rounders in CJ Stroud (HOU), Paris Johnson Jr. (ARI) and Jaxon Smith-Njigba (SEA). Ohio State would have to wait until the 1938 draft for its first first rounder with Jim McDonald going No. 2 overall to the Philadelphia Eagles.

485: You can’t do a piece like this without keeping track of the overall number of players drafted, and that number is significant. Ohio State has had the third most players drafted over the history of the NFL Draft only trailing Notre Dame (525 players) and Southern Cal (523 players). For those who are worried about the rival to the north, Ohio State has a good lead there with Michigan coming in at 401 players, good for 6th place. The Buckeyes are lapping the field however when it comes to the drafts over the past 10 seasons with Ohio State having 78 players drafted compared to 47 from Notre Dame and 40 from USC.

2020: Okay, this isn’t exactly a number in terms of a count but rather a year, the last year that Ohio State had a defensive player taken in the first round. Ohio State had three players taken in the first round of the draft with Chase Young (2nd), Jeff Okudah (3rd) and Damon Arnette (19th). It does not appear that Ohio State is going to breakthrough on this trend in the 2024 draft with Michael Hall Jr. set to be the highest defensive player for the Buckeyes and it looking like a 2nd or 3rd round grade on the big defensive tackle. This trend will surely be snapped in the 2025 draft when players like Jordan Hancock, JT Tuimoloau and Jack Sawyer all have opportunities to go in the first round. But time will tell, and we will be sure to check in on this in 365 days prior to the draft scheduled to take place in Green Bay (Wisc.).

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