Ohio State football doesn’t figure to match last year’s showing at the NFL draft, but it is shaping up to be another year for Urban Meyer and his coaching staff to crow about.
Here is what you want to know ahead of the 2017 draft in Philadelphia:
1. Pro Football Focus has seven Buckeyes in its top 300 prospects: Marshon Lattimore, Malik Hooker, Gareon Conley, Curtis Samuel, Raekwon McMillan, Pat Elflein and Noah Brown
Lattimore and Hooker are considered first-round likes while Conley was thought to be a potential first-rounder as well before potential legal troubles came to light this week.
Last year, 12 Buckeyes were drafted, including five in the first round.
2. When it came to sending cornerbacks to the NFL, Ohio State was tough to beat in the 1990s and early part of this century.
The Buckeyes enjoyed a stretch where nine of 10 starting corners were drafted (from Marlon Kerner and Shawn Springs in 1994 through Chris Gamble and Dustin Fox in 2003).
After a bit of a lull, Meyer and Kerry Coombs have restored that tradition as Lattimore and Conley could make it five in a row and eight of the last 10 if they are both picked over the next three days.
3. Assuming Elflein is drafted, he will be the second offensive lineman selected in as many years, joining Butler High School graduate Taylor Decker, who was a first-round pick of the Detroit Lions last year.
Elflein would be only the second interior lineman from Ohio State drafted since Doug Datish went to the Falcons in the sixth round in 2007.
The last Ohio State interior lineman drafted higher than the fifth round was Nick Mangold, who was a first-round pick of the New York Jets in 2006.
4. If the Bengals take a player from Ohio State, it will be for the first time since drafting Reid Fragel in the seventh round of the 2013 draft.
If they take a Buckeye earlier than the sixth round, it will be for the first time since Middletown graduate Jeff Cothran in 1994.
They tapped Cothran in the third round — the same year they chose fellow Buckeye Dan “Big Daddy” Wilkinson of Dunbar with the No. 1 overall pick.
(They chose Dan Herron in the sixth round in 2012.)
5. The Browns have not chosen an Ohio State player since since wide receiver Brian Robiskie in the second round in 2009.
The only other Buckeye drafted by the Browns this century is tight end Darnell Sanders (fourth round, 2002).
The Browns have drafted 32 Buckeyes since 1952 while the Bengals have taken 17 players from Ohio State since the franchise was founded in 1968.
The Steelers, who were founded before both Ohio teams, have drafted 22 Buckeyes, including six since 2010.
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