Home » Features » NFL draft: Raekwon McMillan selected by the Miami Dolphins in the second round

NFL draft: Raekwon McMillan selected by the Miami Dolphins in the second round

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OSU junior linebacker Raekwon McMillan (5) takes the field with the Buckeyes before their game against Michigan State on Nov. 19. The Buckeyes won 17-16. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo Editor

Former Ohio State middle linebacker Raekwon McMillan was selected by the Miami Dolphins in the second round with the 54th overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

The former OSU captain manned the middle of the defense the past two seasons and was named an Associated Press second-team All-American.

A five-star prospect from Hinesville, Georgia, McMillan enrolled early at OSU and played in all 15 games as a freshman in 2014 during the team’s national championship-winning season. The linebacker split snaps at middle linebacker with then-senior and current New York Giants linebacker Curtis Grant, racking up 54 tackles, 2.5 sacks and an interception which he returned 24 yards for a touchdown.

The next two seasons in Columbus, McMillan took sole possession of the starting middle linebacker position. The 6-foot-2, 240-pound linebacker led the Buckeyes in tackles the past two seasons with 102 tackles in 2016 and 119 tackles in 2015. As a sophomore, he was a second-team All-Big Ten selection and, as a junior, he earned first-team All-Big Ten honors.

The 20-year-old early entry to the draft picked up 18 career tackles for loss as a Buckeye, tallied six sacks and defended 10 passes.

At the NFL combine, McMillan ran a 4.61-second 40-yard dash, the third-fastest time by any linebacker, behind former Michigan linebacker Jabrill Peppers (4.46) and former Florida linebacker Duke Riley (4.58).

This marks the third of four years that an OSU linebacker has been drafted. Former Buckeyes linebacker Ryan Shazier was drafted with the No. 15 overall pick in the first round by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2014 NFL draft. Darron Lee, McMillan’s former teammate, was drafted by the New York Jets with the 20th pick of the first round in 2016.

NFL.com’s Mike Mayock ranked him as the ninth best linebacker in the draft. ESPN analysts Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. ranked him as the seventh and fourth best inside linebacker in this draft class, respectively.

McMillan will play his first NFL game in Miami when the Dolphins take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Hard Rock Stadium on September 10. He will return to his home state in the sixth week of the season when the Dolphins take on the Atlanta Falcons on October 15.

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