As another day of the 2016 NFL draft came to a close, Ohio State set another program record, while also breaking a league-wide mark.
The Buckeyes had 10 draftees in the first three rounds, which solidified the hype and anticipation of the Scarlet and Gray draft class. Scouts and analysts from around the football world poured praise over players like Ezekiel Elliott and Darron Lee, and their predictions of a historic couple of days for OSU were validated.
It took a while for the Buckeyes to see the first member of the 2015 team taken off the board on Day 2, but at No. 47 overall, wide receiver Michael Thomas broke the silence and began the chatter once again for the OSU draft class.
It took just 10 picks on Thursday for the Scarlet and Gray to see three of their players selected in the first round. On Friday, OSU saw just two names taken off the board in the second round.
Many analysts around the league thought safety Vonn Bell would be selected late in the first round, or no later than early-to-mid second round. But Bell found himself tirelessly waiting to hear his name called by the numerous former players who announced their team’s picks. In back-to-back picks, the Indianapolis Colts at No. 57 and the Pittsburgh Steelers at No. 58 selected safeties who did not play their home games in Columbus. Alas, at No. 61 overall, Bell finally saw his name taken off the board by the same team that drafted Thomas: the New Orleans Saints. With a pair of Buckeyes being selected in the second round, OSU tied Tennessee and USC for the NFL draft record of seven picks in the first two rounds from one school.
Defensive lineman Adolphus Washington was picked up by the Buffalo Bills at No. 80. The outgoing senior defensive tackle started for three years with OSU.
Washington tallied 13.5 sacks during his time with the Scarlet and Gray and could provide more push upfront for the Bills, who occasionally struggled to get to the quarterback at times.
Just five picks later, OSU wide receiver Braxton Miller was chosen at No. 85 overall by the Houston Texans. OSU coach Urban Meyer was covering the draft for NFL Network and cracked a smile and raised his fists in celebration upon hearing Miller’s name called. Miller became the ninth Buckeye selected in the first three rounds, surpassing the University of Tennessee’s previous record of eight picks in three rounds set in 2000.
But the Buckeyes weren’t done.
With five picks remaining in the third round before Day 2 would come to a close, tight end Nick Vannett was selected by coach Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks. For those who weren’t believers of the truly unprecedented 2016 OSU draft class, having 10 draft picks in the top 94 selections is difficult to fathom.
Now with 10 names on the board across most divisions of the NFL, much of the top talents for the Scarlet and Gray have found their new homes at the professional level. However, there are still plenty of notable Buckeyes available for NFL teams to invest in. Former OSU quarterback Cardale Jones, linebacker Joshua Perry, safety Tyvis Powell and wide receiver Jalin Marshall headline the prospects who hope to hear their names called on the third, and final, day.
The chance for the Buckeyes to break the record of 14 players selected in a single draft from one school loomed a bit closer on Friday night. Four more players selected, and the Buckeyes will seize the record they set in 2004.