Ohio State football: Bucks expecting big things in 2014 NFL Draft

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

The first-round of the 2014 NFL Draft begins tonight at 8 p.m. ET, and there are a number of former Buckeyes that will be hoping to hear their name called at some point in the seven round draft that spans three days.

There are a number of former Ohio State Buckeyes that figure to hear their name called either during the first round on Thursday or sometime Friday before the rest of their teammates that are eligible to be drafted. Cornerback Bradley Roby, linebacker Ryan Shazier, running back Carlos Hyde, and offensive tackle Jack Mewhort are the best bets to have their names called in the first couple rounds of the draft. After those four, there are still over a dozen former Buckeyes that have a shot to be drafted at some point later in the draft. Some of those notables include, offensive linemen Andrew Norwell and Corey Linsley, and safeties C.J. Barnett and Christian Bryant just to name a few.

Should any Buckeye alum hear their name called on Thursday night in the first round they will join 67 other former Ohio Staters that have been drafted in the first-round of the NFL Draft . That number grows to 71 if you include the Buckeyes that were drafted in the first-round of the AFL Draft from 1960-69 before the AFL and NFL decided to hold a combined draft.

While none of the Buckeyes in the NFL Draft this year figure to be in contention to be picked number one, there have been three Ohio State players that have been taken with the first selection in the draft in previous years. Orlando Pace was the most recent to be selected first, when he was taken by the St. Louis Rams back in 1997. Previous to Pace, "Big Daddy" Dan Wilkinson was drafted with the top spot by the Cincinnati Bengals in 1994, and Tom Cousineau was taken first by the Buffalo Bills way back in 1979.

The 67 first-round picks for Ohio State in the NFL Draft ranks second only behind the 77 players that the University of Southern Cal has had drafted in the first-round over the years. While Ohio State has cranked out first-round talent, it has been a few years since one their players has been chosen within the first 32 picks. Cameron Heyward was the last Buckeye to have his name called in the first-round, when he was taken by the Pittsburgh Steelers late in the 2011 first-round.

With the talent that Ohio State has entered into the draft this year, it shouldn't get shutout again in the first-round, but it also won't have the results like in 2006 when they had a school-record five players taken in the first-round. Even without producing a first-round pick over the last two years, Ohio State has still had 14 players drafted in the first-round in the past ten years.

While the first-round steals most of the headlines of the NFL Draft, there will still be plenty to see on Friday and Saturday when there figures to be a number of former Buckeyes that will be chosen in rounds 2-7. Ohio State should have no problem adding to their total of 26 NFL Drafts where at least five Buckeyes have been selected. The most Buckeyes ever taken in a single draft came in 2004 when 14 Buckeyes where chosen, which broke the then school-record of 13 Buckeyes drafted in 1971 and 1975.

Not only is Ohio State one of the best programs at producing first-round talents, but they are also near the top of the list at getting players drafted at any point of the NFL Draft. Over the years Ohio State has had 405 Buckeyes drafted, which trails only USC (479 players drafted) and Notre Dame (476 players drafted) for most all-time. And in case you were wondering, That Team Up North has only had 342 players taken in the NFL Draft all-time. Go Bucks!

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