Home » Sports » Football » First-round recap: Ohio State ties school record with five first-round draftees in the NFL draft

First-round recap: Ohio State ties school record with five first-round draftees in the NFL draft

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Former OSU running back Ezekiel Elliott poses after scoring a touchdown in the 2016 Fiesta Bowl. Elliott was one of five Buckeyes selected in the first round on Thursday. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo Editor

Former OSU running back Ezekiel Elliott poses after scoring a touchdown in the 2016 Fiesta Bowl. Elliott was one of five Buckeyes selected in the first round on Thursday. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo Editor

Way back when the 2014 Buckeyes won the College Football Playoff national championship, everyone around the team knew the type of talent returning in 2015.

As the season played out, it became apparent to the Ohio State faithful that there would be an extensive list of players leaving the program following the final whistle.

After months of speculation and hype surrounding the former OSU football players who entered their names in the NFL draft pool, the outgoing Buckeyes lived up to the expectations on Thursday night.

With five players selected in the first round, OSU fell just shy of the single-school record of six, held by the University of Miami in 2004. OSU did tie its own school record of first-round picks set in 2006.

The first day of the draft was headlined for the Buckeyes by defensive end Joey Bosa and running back Ezekiel Elliott, taken by the San Diego Chargers and the Dallas Cowboys at No. 3 and No. 4 overall, respectively.

Eli Apple, Taylor Decker, and Darron Lee also heard their names called by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday night inside the Auditorium Theater in Chicago.

After Bosa and Elliott were quickly taken off the board, most people thought a dozen or so picks would pass by before the next Buckeye was taken. But coming as arguably the biggest surprise pick of the first round, the New York Giants reached a bit to take the cornerback Apple with the 10th pick.

Multiple media sources have stated that this is the first time in NFL history that a team has had three selections inside the first 10 picks. However, this has been accomplished 12 times before, with Oklahoma the last team to do so in 2010.

It is the first time in program history that three players from the Scarlet and Gray were selected in the first 10 picks of the NFL draft.

When Decker and Lee were selected at No. 16 and No. 20, respectively, OSU became just the second school in the history of the draft to have five picks in the top 20. With 11 picks remaining in the first round, many wondered if safety Vonn Bell or wide receiver Michael Thomas would come off the board to tie the mark set by the Hurricanes.

In the end, the talented class from the Scarlet and Gray still boasted an impressive first-round showing in Chicago, drawing attention from all over the NFL. With the first round concluded, nine former OSU players remain on most draft boards entering the final two days of the draft. Bell and Thomas are likely to be two of the first Buckeyes selected, along with the possibility of wide receiver Braxton Miller.

A pair of offensive players, quarterback Cardale Jones and tight end Nick Vannett, add to the list of potential second and third day picks. Vannett has gained the most attention from NFL teams prior to the draft, but many analysts are predicting Jones to be a late selection.

Linebacker Joshua Perry is predicted to go in the middle rounds, while defensive tackle Adolphus Washington is expected to accompany Perry somewhere around the halfway point of the draft.

The draft is set to continue on Friday with the second and third rounds, and Saturday with Rounds 4 through 7. By the end of the weekend, OSU will begin to threaten its own NFL draft record of 14 total picks from one school set in 2004.

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