Former Ohio State football players one step closer to NFL after draft, first wave of free-agent signings
Lives have changed forever for 256 players as they were selected in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Six of those players are former Ohio State Buckeyes.
The first former Buckeye taken off the board was linebacker Ryan Shazier, who was selected 15th overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round Thursday night. He became the ninth former OSU linebacker and 68th Buckeye ever taken in the first round.
Shazier, who was a first-team Associated Press All-American in his final season at OSU, totaled a Big Ten conference-high with 143 tackles to go along with six sacks.
Cornerback Bradley Roby, who joined Shazier as one of 30 prospects invited to New York for the draft, was selected by the Denver Broncos with the 31st overall pick in the first round.
Roby became the first OSU defensive back taken in the first round of the draft since Malcolm Jenkins was selected by the New Orleans Saints with the 14th overall pick in 2009.
The Broncos, who dropped Super Bowl XLVIII 43-8 to the Seattle Seahawks on Feb. 2, have since bolstered their secondary by not only drafting Roby, but also signing former New England Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib to a six-year, $57 million contract in March.
Just as they did in the first round, the Buckeyes produced two picks in the second round, as running back Carlos Hyde and offensive lineman Jack Mewhort came off the board.
Hyde was selected 57th overall by the San Francisco 49ers, who are coached by former University of Michigan quarterback Jim Harbaugh.
The former Buckeye running back became the first 1,000-yard rusher under OSU coach Urban Meyer and was named the Big Ten Ameche-Dayne Running Back of the Year in 2013. Hyde finished his senior campaign with 1,521 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground.
Mewhort was selected just two picks later with the 59th overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts.
The selection of Mewhort marked the third straight year that an OSU tackle has been selected in the draft, following in the footsteps of Reid Fragel – drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2013 – and Mike Adams, who the Pittsburgh Steelers selected in 2012.
Mewhort was a three-year starter in his time as a Buckeye and was named a first-team All-American by ESPN.com during his senior season in 2013.
Another Buckeye was not taken until the fifth round when center Corey Linsley was selected 161st overall by the Green Bay Packers.
Linsley anchored an offensive line that ranked fifth nationally in 2013 in rushing, averaging 308.6 yards per game and breaking school records for points in a single season with 637, as well as touchdowns scored with 87.
Linsley graduated from OSU with a degree in economics in December.
Rounding out the former Buckeyes selected in the 2014 draft was safety Christian Bryant, who was selected 241st overall in the seventh round by the St. Louis Rams.
Bryant, who was named a team captain prior to the 2013 season, suffered a season-ending ankle injury during the fifth game of the year against Wisconsin Sept. 28., a game won by OSU 31-24. At the time of the injury, Bryant ranked third on the team in tackles with 22.
Bryant, who was a three-year starter for the Buckeyes, finished his OSU career with 171 total tackles to go along with two interceptions, 23 pass breakups and three forced fumbles.
The Buckeye safety petitioned the NCAA for a medical redshirt in January, but was turned down and entered the draft.
Although six Buckeyes were drafted to NFL rosters, several draft-eligible players were not selected during the draft.
According to multiple reports, many of the former Buckeyes not drafted have found homes in free agency.
Some of the players signing in free agency took to Twitter to announce their new teams, one of them being wide receiver Corey “Philly” Brown who announced his signing with the Carolina Panthers saying, “Here I come Carolina,” via his personal account @phillybrown10. Reportedly joining him in Carolina will be offensive lineman Andrew Norwell.
Offensive lineman Marcus Hall confirmed with The Lantern Sunday in an email that he has signed with the Indianapolis Colts, which reunites him with Mewhort. Safety C.J. Barnett’s signing with the New York Giants was confirmed via Twitter by his signing agency IFA.
Kicker Drew Basil also took to Twitter late Saturday night announcing he has signed with the Atlanta Falcons. Wide receiver Chris Fields also used social media to announce an agreement with the Washington Redskins.
Running back Jordan Hall has earned a tryout with the Steelers according to multiple reports and quarterback Kenny Guiton remains unsigned as of Sunday morning.
The Lantern uses two-click social media buttons to protect your privacy. Click once to load the button, then again to share!