Ohio State Buckeyes' highest NFL draft picks since 1970

Written by:
February 24, 2022
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Ohio State Buckeyes' highest NFL draft picks since 1970

While most colleges and universities field a football team as part of its general athletics program, there are some for which football is more than merely a sport—it’s akin almost to a religion. Devotion to the team and its colors is as important to that school’s culture as a religious icon is to a believer. These programs actively scout and recruit notable high school players, and are in turn rigorously applied to by matriculating seniors eager to make a name for themselves at the collegiate level.

Among the most notable college football empires are Notre Dame, the universities of Alabama, Michigan, Texas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma, Penn State, Ohio State—the list goes on and on.

But for every touchstone football school, there is an outlier that has produced some of the most successful and cherished players in the game. Think Jackson State, which gave us “Sweetness” himself, Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton. Or Mississippi Valley State, which yielded 3-time Super Bowl champion and #1 Player in NFL History, as voted by the NFL Network, ‘49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice.

Each year, the college draft serves as a source of renewal to professional football and a testament to the quality of college programs nationwide. With the 2022 NFL draft set to take place April 28-30 in Las Vegas, Stacker compiled a list of the highest NFL draft picks from the Ohio State Buckeyes using data from Pro Football Reference. Ties were broken by the most recent year drafted.

#20. Rickey Dudley (TE)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #9 overall in 1996
- Drafted by: Oakland Raiders
- Years as a starter in NFL: 5 (0 Pro Bowls)

#19. Joey Galloway (WR)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #8 overall in 1995
- Drafted by: Seattle Seahawks
- Years as a starter in NFL: 11 (0 Pro Bowls)

#18. Donte Whitner (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #8 overall in 2006
- Drafted by: Buffalo Bills
- Years as a starter in NFL: 10 (2 Pro Bowls)

#17. David Boston (WR)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #8 overall in 1999
- Drafted by: Arizona Cardinals
- Years as a starter in NFL: 3 (1 Pro Bowls)

#16. Terry Glenn (WR)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #7 overall in 1996
- Drafted by: New England Patriots
- Years as a starter in NFL: 9 (1 Pro Bowls)

#15. Vernon Gholston (DE)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #6 overall in 2008
- Drafted by: NY Jets
- Years as a starter in NFL: 0

#14. A.J. Hawk (LB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #5 overall in 2006
- Drafted by: Green Bay Packers
- Years as a starter in NFL: 10 (0 Pro Bowls)

#13. Ezekiel Elliott (RB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #4 overall in 2016
- Drafted by: Dallas Cowboys
- Years as a starter in NFL: 6 (3 Pro Bowls)

#12. Chris Ward (T)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #4 overall in 1978
- Drafted by: NY Jets
- Years as a starter in NFL: 6 (0 Pro Bowls)

#11. Art Schlichter (QB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #4 overall in 1982
- Drafted by: Baltimore Ravens
- Years as a starter in NFL: 0

#10. Denzel Ward (CB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #4 overall in 2018
- Drafted by: Cleveland Browns
- Years as a starter in NFL: 4 (2 Pro Bowls)

#9. Joey Bosa (DE)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #3 overall in 2016
- Drafted by: San Diego Chargers
- Years as a starter in NFL: 6 (4 Pro Bowls)

#8. John Hicks (G)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #3 overall in 1974
- Drafted by: NY Giants
- Years as a starter in NFL: 4 (0 Pro Bowls)

#7. Jeff Okudah (CB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #3 overall in 2020
- Drafted by: Detroit Lions
- Years as a starter in NFL: 0

#6. Shawn Springs (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #3 overall in 1997
- Drafted by: Seattle Seahawks
- Years as a starter in NFL: 10 (1 Pro Bowls)

#5. Nick Bosa (DE)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #2 overall in 2019
- Drafted by: San Francisco 49ers
- Years as a starter in NFL: 2 (2 Pro Bowls)

#4. Chase Young (DE)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #2 overall in 2020
- Drafted by: Washington Football Team
- Years as a starter in NFL: 1 (1 Pro Bowls)

#3. Tom Cousineau (LB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #1 overall in 1979
- Drafted by: Buffalo Bills
- Years as a starter in NFL: 4 (0 Pro Bowls)

#2. Dan Wilkinson (DT)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #1 overall in 1994
- Drafted by: Cincinnati Bengals
- Years as a starter in NFL: 12 (0 Pro Bowls)

#1. Orlando Pace (T)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #1 overall in 1997
- Drafted by: St. Louis Rams
- Years as a starter in NFL: 12 (7 Pro Bowls)

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