Who have been the most successful Buckeyes in the NFL? The NFL’s college football syndicate took a look at some of the best players in the league to hail from Ohio State, and came up with a Mt. Rushmore that included four Pro Football Hall of Famers: Orlando Pace (tackle), Cris Carter (wide receiver), Paul Warfield (wide receiver) and Jim Parker (guard-tackle).
Ten Buckeyes earned spots in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and with 12 more players drafted to the league in 2016, Ohio State was one of 10 schools considered for a Mt. Rushmore monument. Other players considered included Eddie George, Lou Groza, Dick LeBeau, Nick Mangold (current player for the Jets), Jim Marshall and Bill Willis.
Ohio State is one of only three schools to have double-digit inductees into the hall of fame, which made choosing only four slightly more difficult. Here is the reasoning for the four that were chosen:
Pace -- the Rams' top choice in the 1997 NFL Draft -- is one of three former Buckeyes to be No. 1 overall draft picks (Dan Wilkinson in 1994 and Tom Cousineau in 1979 are the others). Pace was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, a member of the NFL's 2000s all-decade team and a vital part of the Rams' Super Bowl XXXIV-winning team.
Warfield was a part of the last Cleveland Browns team to win an NFL championship (in 1964), and was then a member of the Miami Dolphins when the team won back-to-back Super Bowls, including the perfect 17-0 1972 season. He was an eight-time Pro Bowl pick and a member of the NFL's 1970s all-decade team.
Carter -- an eight-time Pro Bowl selection -- retired second on the NFL's all-time career receptions and touchdowns list behind Jerry Rice (he's currently fourth on both lists).
Considered one of the greatest offensive linemen in the game's history, Parker was an eight-time Pro Bowler, and earned recognition on the NFL's 1950s all-decade team and 75th anniversary all-time team.
Buckeye football and the NFL go hand-in-hand, as evidenced by the 429 total number of NFL players that have come from Ohio State -- 76 first rounders. It’s hard to narrow down so much talent into only four faces, but the NFL has tried.
Limiting a Mt.Rushmore to just NFL performance does change things a bit, as many names who would probably go on an Ohio State Rushmore, like Chic Harley or Woody Hayes, wouldn’t make the cut.
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