We will see the next crop of former Ohio State Buckeyes realize their dream of making it to the NFL when the 2023 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday night in Kansas City. At least Ohio State players should be finding out where their professional careers will begin on Thursday night, and even more will get word on where they are heading on Friday and Saturday.
There are always Ohio State draft picks that look like home runs because of the teams they are drafted by, as well as the personnel that surrounds them. With other picks it can look like more of an uphill climb because of the situation they are drafted into. Justin Fields is a perfect example of this, since he didn’t have much skill position talent to work with when the Chicago Bears drafted him, but he has started to win over Bears fans with some of his performances in 2022.
Today we want to know what Ohio State pick in the NFL Draft excited you the most. In some cases it could be if your favorite team drafted a Buckeye. The answer to this question doesn’t have to be an Ohio State player your favorite team drafted since there are some that are fans of football that don’t have a favorite team. Your answer could also be a Buckeye that you thought fell into the perfect situation that would see him find success in the NFL.
Today’s question: What past Ohio State player picked in the NFL Draft excited you the most at the time?
We’d love to hear your choices. Either respond to us on Twitter at @Landgrant33 or leave your choice in the comments.
Brett’s answer: Cardale Jones - Buffalo Bills
Have I mentioned that I’m a Buffalo Bills fan? I know, that fact is something that has never come up before. The Bills have dabbled in picking some Ohio State players over the years. Both Antoine Winfield and Nate Clements were great picks by Buffalo before they went on to sign lucrative free agent deals with other teams. When Winfield and Clements were drafted, I was still a younger B-Leez, who hadn’t yet moved from Western New York to Columbus and fully embraced my Buckeye fandom.
In my second year living in Columbus, Buffalo drafted Donte Whiter with the eighth pick of the 2006 NFL Draft. While I was excited to have a former Ohio State player on the Bills, I had a feeling Buffalo reached for Whitner, and my fears turned out to be warranted, as Whitner didn’t live up to the expectations that come with being a top-10 pick in the NFL Draft.
So why was I so pumped for a compensatory fourth round pick? Cardale did step in and lead Ohio State to a national title when Braxton Miller was ruled out before the 2014 season, and J.T. Barrett was injured in the Michigan game. I know the 2015 season was rocky for Jones, but I chalked that up to Urban Meyer trying to be too cute with his quarterbacks, refusing to name a starter heading into the season. To me, Jones was still a rhino with a rocket launcher for an arm.
My excitement for Cardale being drafted by the Bills also had a lot to do with the revolving door of quarterbacks that had started for Buffalo since Jim Kelly retired. The Bills were coming off a season where Tyrod Taylor and E.J. Manuel were the starters at quarterback. Taylor was a solid quarterback, but I knew he wasn’t the long-term answer for the Bills. I felt with some time to learn under Taylor, eventually Jones could take over as starter and be successful. I ended up being wrong, but it’s not like I haven’t been wrong about a lot of things over the years.
Here’s the thing, I don’t actually care all that much about the NFL. Obviously, I still watch and enjoy a ton of games, but I am not emotionally attached to any specific team, so for me, it’s less about being invested in a particular pro franchise and more about just having a good time watching the games.
So, I think for me what has gotten me most excited about in recent years has been seeing multiple Buckeyes land on the same team. We’ve seen a ton of Ohio State alums drafted by the New Orleans Saints in recent years, and that’s always exciting, but we’ve also seen a number of guys go to the nation’s capitol to play for what is now known as the Commanders.
That is where my most exciting moment in recent NFL Draft history came. In 2019, the Washington football team drafted the late, great Dwayne Haskins with the No. 15 pick of the first round and then took his OSU wide receiver Terry McLaurin in the third round. What an incredible duo those two could have, and should have, made in Washington. However, Washington is gonna Washington and under now out-going owner Dan Snyder and head coach Ron Rivera, they completely fumbled a golden opportunity for something special.
Snyder was a straight-up dick in how he handled the situation with Dwayne in Washington, and, honestly, I will never forgive him for that.
Obviously, Scary Terry has proven to be a legit NFL wide receiver, and in the right franchise, with the right coach, I still believe that Haskins could be a top-end starting quarterback in the league today. Of course, that is not the reality that we live in, and I am not going to blame Washington, Snyder, or Rivera for the sad circumstances that led to the end of Haskins’ life — especially considering that the latest reports indicate that he was drugged as part of a blackmail and robbery plot.
But I still remember the optimism and excitement around the duo’s selection in D.C. That should have been really special, and the optimism and anticipation that I felt about being able to watch two incredible Buckeyes play together (not to mention Chase Young joining them the following year) is what I love most about the NFL Draft.
Seeing players you’ve grown to know and love having opportunities to do incredible things. I only hope that they turn out better on the field for this year’s crop of Buckeyes than they did for Simba.