Former Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore has been drafted with the 11th overall pick in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft by the New Orleans Saints.
Lattimore is the first OSU player taken in the draft this season, and the second Buckeye cornerback taken in the top 15 after Eli Apple was taken 10th last season by the New York Giants.
This is the second-straight season the Saints have drafted a Buckeye after they selected former OSU wide receiver Michael Thomas with the 47th overall pick and safety Vonn Bell with the 61st overall pick in last season’s draft.
He declared for the draft on Jan. 11, nearly two weeks after his team’s 31-0 loss to Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 31.
The former Buckeye was a breakout sensation in his first full season with the Scarlet and Gray. He redshirted his freshman season while he recovered from an injury and missed six games in 2015 with lingering hamstring issues, but was able to play a full 13 games in his third season with the Buckeyes in 2016.
For his 2016 season, Lattimore was recognized as a first-team All-Big Ten cornerback by the coaches and second-team All-Big Ten by the media. The Cleveland native finished tied for fifth in the Big Ten with four interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) and eighth for total yards with 61 yards on those picks. He also ranked sixth in the Big Ten in pass breakups with 13 on the season.
Lattimore helped the Buckeyes’ secondary emerge as one of the most dominating units in the NCAA last season. They ranked seventh in fewest passing yards allowed (172.2 ypg), fourth in interceptions (21) and led Division I schools in interceptions returned for a touchdown (seven).
The Buckeyes’ top cornerback taken in the draft posted top-three numbers in all combine events he took part in. He was third with a 4.36-second 40-yard dash time, third with a 38.5 inch vertical jump and second with a 132-inch broad jump.
The Saints last season allowed more passing yards than any other team in the NFL last season, surrendering 4,380 passing yards and the 10th most passing touchdowns allowed (27). The team also demonstrated an inability to intercept the football, picking off only nine passes last season, tied for the fifth-fewest in the league.
Lattimore and the Saints will play in their first game of the NFL regular season on Sep. 11 when they travel to Minnesota to take on the Vikings.