Christopher Schwartz/Managing editor; Cody Cousino/Photo editor; Brittany Schock/Asst. photo editor
From the first overall pick to the hundreds of players who sign as undrafted free agents, the NFL Draft is an event where the dreams of many young men come true.
This year, dreams came true for seven Buckeyes.
Four Ohio State alumni were among the 253 players drafted between Thursday and Saturday, while three more former Buckeyes signed contracts with NFL teams as undrafted free agents.
The draft got off to a slow start for the Buckeyes. For only the second time since 2006, no OSU alumni were first-round picks.
The wait ended for two former Buckeyes Friday. The first OSU alumnus to be drafted was offensive tackle Mike Adams, selected with the 56th overall pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Adams, who was selected in the second round, told The Lantern on Friday night that he was glad to be a Steeler.
“I’ve been a Steelers fan since I was born,” Adams said. “It’s a dream come true.”
Adams joins former teammate and Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward, who was drafted with the 31st overall pick in the 2011 draft.
Adams, who played left tackle at OSU, was a 25-game starter for the Buckeyes. As a junior, Adams was named first-team all-Big Ten, and was named second-team all-Big Ten as a senior despite playing in only eight games.
Adams came into the draft with a history of off-the-field mistakes. Adams was one of five OSU players suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for trading Buckeyes football memorabilia in exchange for improper benefits in the form of tattoos. He also tested positive for marijuana at the NFL Scouting Combine in February.
Just 12 picks later, wide receiver DeVier Posey was drafted by the Houston Texans with the 68th overall selection.
Posey, selected in the third round, told The Lantern he is confident that playing for the Texans will be a great fit for him.
“I think it was the perfect fit,” Posey said. “I have a great opportunity down here to play, and I’m just really excited about it.”
In his four-year career at OSU, Posey caught 136 passes for 1,955 yards and 18 touchdowns, numbers which rank sixth, eighth and seventh respectively among OSU receivers all-time.
Like Adams, Posey came into the draft with character concerns. He was also among the five players suspended for the first five games last season, and later received a separate five-game suspension for receiving money for work he did not complete during a 2011 summer job.
Posey said he was “honest and forthright” with NFL teams about his suspensions.
“I didn’t go in the room and try to convince teams they needed me, I just went in the room and was myself,” Posey said. “Some teams didn’t like what I had to say, but it really only takes one team to like you.”
Saturday, two former Buckeyes were selected during the sixth round. The Cincinnati Bengals selected running back Daniel “Boom” Herron with the 191st overall pick. Six picks later, the New England Patriots selected special teams standout Nate Ebner as the 197th overall pick.
Herron had 2,869 rushing yards and 33 touchdowns during his four-year career, numbers which rank 10th and eighth all-time, respectively, among OSU running backs. Herron was an all-Big Ten performer in his junior season, during which he ran for career-best marks of 1,155 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Herron did not respond to The Lantern‘s request for comment.
Ebner joined the OSU football team as a walk-on in 2009, having played rugby in high school but never playing high school football. He earned a scholarship prior to his senior season. He recorded 30 career tackles, most of which came on special teams.
Ebner could not be reached for comment.
Three other NFL hopefuls from OSU signed as undrafted free agents with teams in the hours following the end of the draft on Saturday night.
Mike Brewster, a four-year starter for the Buckeyes at center, signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Linebacker Andrew Sweat and offensive lineman J.B. Shugarts both signed with the Cleveland Browns.
Sweat had 72 tackles in his senior season, which ranked second on the team. Shugarts was a three-year starter for the Buckeyes at right tackle.
Brewster started 49 consecutive games for OSU.
Brewster, a native of Orlando, Fla., said he was glad to be going to the Jaguars.
“After the 5th round, getting drafted to me wasn’t really important,” Brewster said. “I couldn’t be happier to be back in Florida.”
Cameron Weimer contributed to this story.