More than 70 former Ohio State players reported to a training camp somewhere across the NFL in August and, now, roughly 50 remain on active rosters as the season recently commenced. keeping the program’s presence as strong as ever.
Ohio State’s NFL presence is deep, talented and as strong as ever. But who are the absolute BEST Buckeyes in the league? While so many are going to make noticeable impacts this season, how about we create a Top 10? I mean, who doesn’t love lists and sports debate!?
There are Madden ratings, fantasy football drafts, hefty contracts, the general importance of certain positions and much more. I tried taking all of that into consideration when shrinking this talented group way down. Feel free to agree, disagree, make your own list, etc. Here are my top Ohio State alums currently in the NFL …
1. Joey Bosa (DE, Los Angeles Chargers)
The 135 million-dollar man became became the highest-paid defensive player in the league upon signing his monster deal. He tallied 40 sacks in his first 50 NFL games and is an absolute force. To me, there's no better Buckeye at this moment.
2. Nick Bosa (DE, San Francisco 49ers)
He made nine sacks as a rookie and spearheaded the 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance. Who knows what kind of momentum he would have built on last year if not for the injury. Already one of the best in the game.
3. Corey Linsley (C, Los Angeles Chargers)
Besides rushing the other quarterback, protecting your own is most important. Linsley earned first team All-Pro last season while helping keep the league's MVP upright. He has since inked a huge deal with the Chargers, becoming the NFL’s highest-paid center.
4. Chase Young (DE, Washington Football Team)
CY2 is one bad boy. He made 7.5 sacks and forced four fumbles as a rookie, where his team made the playoffs. The sky is the limit for this 6-foot-5, 265-pound beast.
5. Cameron Heyward (DL, Pittsburgh Steelers)
Cam has been a true model of consistency and lynchpin for one of the NFL's best organizations. He is a 3x All-Pro and can play multiple roles on the defensive line.
6. Marshon Lattimore (CB, New Orleans Saints)
This man got paid... and is now the highest-earning cornerback in league history. Lattimore is a 3x Pro Bowler and only 25 years old.
7. Michael Thomas (WR, New Orleans Saints)
Thomas could be lower on the list. Some incredible seasons previously, but the best ability is availability. He's out until Week 6 this time around and Drew Brees has retired. We'll see where his career goes from this point...
8. Denzel Ward (CB, Cleveland Browns)
Ward has been pretty sharp to begin his career, making the Pro Bowl as a rookie and holding over 40 passes defended over first three years.
9. Terry McLaurin (WR, Washington Football Team)
Probably the best Buckeye wideout in the league right now with Thomas sidelined. Scary Terry has been solid and consistent despite rotating QB's.
10. Ezekiel Elliott (RB, Dallas Cowboys)
Used to be much higher on this list, but has taken a slight dip recently.
Honorable Mention (no order):
- J.K. Dobbins
- Bradley Roby
- Andrew Norwell
- Malcolm Jenkins
- Curtis Samuel
- Joe Burrow
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