The 14 wins on Ohio State's record this past season get credited to head coach Ryan Day, but when the Buckeyes add to their NFL Draft success in April, it will be time for Urban Meyer to take another bow.
Myriad mock drafts have OSU's Chase Young going No. 2 overall to the Washington Redskins and Jeffrey Okudah coming off the board next at No. 3 when the Detroit Lions are on the clock.
Assuming the widely-held belief that the Cincinnati Bengals will draft LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, who signed with Ohio State after winning Ohio Mr. Football honors in high school in 2014 and graduated from OSU in three years before transferring, and Meyer's former players would have gone 1-2-3 in the Draft.
As it is, Young and Okudah would be the 15th and 16th No. 1 picks that Meyer could plausibly list on his resume to prove his NFL chops...as if Meyer needs a resume, or anything on a resume, to prove anything to anybody.
While Meyer's coaching specialty is offense, his litany of NFL players from OSU tilts decidedly toward defense.
The Buckeyes have had 10 defensive players taken in Round One of the Draft since Meyer came to Columbus in 2012, compared to five offensive players.
That ratio is imbalanced because of OSU's Draft class in 2014 ande 2017 featuring five defensive picks in the first round and no offensive players.
Here's the breakdown by year:
- Ryan Shazier (linebacker), 15th, Pittsburgh
- Bradley Roby (cornerback), 31st, Denver
- Joey Bosa (defensive end), 3rd, San Diego
- Ezekiel Elliott (running back), 4th, Dallas
- Eli Apple (cornerback) 9th, New York Giants
- Taylor Decker (offensive tackle), 16th, Detroit
- Darron Lee, (linebacker), 20th, New York Jets
- Marshawn Lattimore (cornerback), 11th, New Orleans
- Malik Hooker (safety), 15th, Indianapolis
- Gareon Conley (cornerback), 24th, Oakland
- Denzel Ward (cornerback), 4th, Cleveland
- Billy Price (center/guard), 21st, Cincinnati
- Nick Bosa (defensive end), 2nd, San Francisco
- Dwayne Haskins (quarterback), 15th, Washington
Young and Okudah figure to add to the legacy of success Meyer's players have established at cornerback and defensive end in the NFL.
The Bosa brothers, Joey and Nick, have long, distinguished pro careers in front of them.
Joey Bosa made the Pro Bowl this season after playing in all 16 games, finishing with 67 tackles, 11.5 sacks, and 20 tackles for a loss.
Nick Bosa is a strong contender for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. He, too, made the Pro Bowl thanks to registering nine sacks and 16 tackles for loss to go with an interception, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble.
Young and Okudah both have signed representation agreements with LeBron James-affiliated Klutch Sports Group out of Cleveland, which is run by James boyhood friend and agent, Rich Paul.
Young, an unanimous All-American, won the Nagurski and Bednarik awards as the nation’s top defensive player and was also named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. His 16.5 sacks set an OSU single-season record, despite missing two games with a suspension for a violation of NCAA Rules.
Okudah was a Thorpe Award finalist and unanimous All-American. He finished the season with 34 total tackles, including 28 solo, had three interceptions and nine passes defensed.
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