The talent that comes out of both Ohio State and Oregon has a significant impact on the NFL, especially recently. That should come as no surprise, given how successful both programs have been at the college level. What would an all-star team look like of Duck and Buckeye players?
Our ultimate team has a few more former Buckeye players than Ducks. Early in the competition, Ohio State looked promising with 33 alums playing in the big league; Oregon is close behind with 30. There was one very clear outcome from this experiment, Oregon is more successful on offense, and Ohio State on defense.
Certain NFL teams seem to have affinities for the players out of these two respected institutions, and if Monday's game were a professional one, everyone would be watching the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Philadelphia Eagles. The Steelers have five Buckeyes on their roster, and the Eagles have five Ducks; the latter is no surprise, given that former Oregon coach Chip Kelly leads the Eagles now.
Quarterback: Kellen Clemens, Oregon VS Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State
Despite former Heisman winners and candidates at the quarterback position, neither team has a current star in the NFL. Terrelle Pryor has made his rounds in the west, holding a roster spot on the Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks, and was recently signed to the Kansas City Chiefs. With his propensity to move around, he hasn't added 'starting quarterback' to his resume. Kellen Clemens of the other hand, is in his ninth season, and was a starter for three of them. Clemens can boast 339 completions for 3,954 yards.
Center: Nick Mangold, Ohio State VS Max Unger, Oregon
Nick Mangold is a current and six time Pro-Bowler, currently playing for the New York Jets. Max Unger, who has seen a lot of post-season success with the Seattle Seahawks, is a two time Pro-Bowler and working his way to a Mangold-like career. Honorable mention to former Buckeye player Corey Linsley, who is currently lining up for the Green Bay Packers and being praised by Aaron Rodgers. Perhaps this team could try to package a center and some draft picks for a better quarterback.
Running Back: Jonathan Stewart, Oregon VS Daniel (BOOM) Herron, Ohio State
No one has ever questioned Oregon's ability to run fast; the proof is in their four successful running backs currently in the NFL. Two of the most famous and successful backs out of Oregon are Jonathan Stewart of the Carolina Panthers, and LeGarrette Blount of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Stewart has two more years in the league than Blount, accounting for 4,825 yards in the 90 games he's played. Ohio State is new to the speed game, and has just two former players in the league, Carlos Hyde and Dan Herron. Hyde had a good season in San Francisco, but played backup to Frank Gore; he did however, prove he can be successful as a professional with 333 yards his rookie season. Herron had two slow seasons in Cincinnati, but once he was picked up by the Indianapolis Colts, he played in all 16 games and rushed for 351 yards; on Sunday's he can still hear "BOOOOOM" ringing through the stadium.
Wide Receiver: Brian Hartline, Ohio State VS Drew Davis, Oregon
Brian Hartline of the Miami Dolphins is one of the most successful wide receivers out of Ohio State. In his sixth season, he has 298 receptions for 4,243 yards and 12 touchdowns. Rookie receiver Corey "Philly" Brown has become a go-to target for Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers, and should have a similar career to Hartline, if not better. Oregon has three former players in the league and most have only one or two years experience. Drew Davis of the Atlanta Falcons had his best season yet this year with 12 receptions for 216 yards and two touchdowns.
Tight End: Ed Dickson, Oregon
Ohio State has never been known for a strong tight end position, I'm not even sure they knew that position existed until Heuerman started playing, so they don't currently have any professional tight ends. Oregon has several tight ends playing in the NFL; Ed Dickson of the Carolina Panthers is in his fifth season in the league and has already amassed 121 receptions for 1,293 yards.
Offensive Tackle: Mike Adams, Ohio State VS Geoff Schwartz, Oregon
In his third year with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mike Adams has played in 41 games and has 20 career starts. Geoff Schwartz was unfortunately placed on the New York Giants short-term injured reserve list.
Offensive Guard: Alex Boone, Ohio State VS Kyle Long, Oregon
Alex Boone is currently in his fifth year with the San Francisco 49ers, and has played in 64 games and has earned his starting spot the past three season, totaling 46 career starts. Kyle Long has been a starter for the Chicago Bears since he was drafted before the 2013 season; he has played in and started in 31 games.
Place Kicker: Mike Nugent, Ohio State
Buckeye fans, and current Cincinnati Bengals fans, still love chanting, "NUUUUGE!!!!" There aren't any former Ducks kicking their way through the NFL, so Nugent is a shoe in (get it) for the starting spot, but he has earned it with an 80.9 success rate. Nugent has made 190 field goals of his 235 attempts over ten seasons.
Cornerback: Bradley Roby, Ohio State VS Walter Thurmond III, Oregon
Both Ohio State and Oregon have multiple alums in the big time, but Roby's rookie season with the Denver Broncos were competitive with the career stats of fifth year veteran Walter Thurmond III of the New York Giants. Roby was responsible for 65 combined tackles, two forced fumbles and two interceptions.
Free Safety: Malcolm Jenkins, Ohio State VS Jairus Byrd, Oregon
Both Malcolm Jenkins and Jairus Byrd are in their sixth season in the NFL and have both played for the New Orleans Saints at some point. While they have both seen success in the pros, Jenkins has the superior stats, with 438 combined tackles, 4.5 sacks, eight forced fumbles and three touchdowns. In addition to his impressive career stats, he has taken the leadership role for the Philadelphia Eagles defense, making him one of the best 2014 off-season pick-ups. Byrd is responsible for 378 combined tackles, 12 forced fumbles and two touchdowns.
Linebacker: A.J. Hawk, Ohio State VS Spencer Paysinger, Oregon
The Linebacker position has always been a shining spot for Ohio State, which leads to no surprise that former players continue to be sought after and successful in the NFL. The most notable player is A.J. Hawk, who is currently in his ninth season with the Green Bay Packers. Having won a Super Bowl and being voted into the 2010 Pro Bowl, he has 923 combined tackles, 19 sacks and nine interceptions. Coming in as a close second, six year veteran James Laurinaitis of the St. Louis Rams has 743 career combined tackles, 15.5 sacks and nine interceptions. The Buckeyes also claim Ryan Shazier and John Simon, who due to injuries haven't been as impactful as their predecessors. Oregon has three former players in the league, and while they are becoming star players in their own right, they don't have the long history that Hawk does. Spencer Paysinger is in his fourth year with the New York Giants and has accounted for 140 combined tackles and two forced fumbles. Casey Matthews, younger brother of Packer giant Clay Matthews, had a great season for the Philadelphia Eagles and could become a household name in the next few years.
Defensive End: Haloti Ngata, Oregon VS Cam Heyward, Ohio State
Cam Heyward has made a name for himself, especially over the past two seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but the storied career of Halori Ngata with the Baltimore Ravens is far more impressive. Ngata has been with the Ravens nine seasons and has played in 135 games with 445 combined tackles. As if Ngata's resume couldn't get better, he also forced six fumbles, recovered five and has had five interceptions. Well-rounded is a safe word choice to describe his successful efforts.
Defensive Tackle: Johnathon Hankins, Ohio State
While Oregon doesn't have any former DTs suiting up on Sundays, Ohio State has two alums to play the position. Former Buckeye player, Ryan Pickett is in his 14th season and plays for the Houston Texans. Despite his long and impressive career, the young energy from Johnathon Hankins resulted in 51 combined tackles for the New York Giants this season alone.
Defensive Back: Kurt Coleman, Ohio State VS Eddie Pleasant, Oregon
Kurt Coleman spent his first four seasons in Philadelphia, and after a quick stop off in Minnesota, played the 2014 season for the Kansas City Chiefs. In just five seasons, Coleman has racked up 258 combined tackles, three forced fumbles and ten (10!) interceptions. Eddie Pleasant of the Houston Texans, has played in most games over the past two seasons, but has a humbling 28 combined tackles and no turnover stats.
Did we miss anybody? Let us know in the comments.