Big Ten, Buckeyes Fare Well in Draft's First Round

By Kyle Rowland on May 9, 2014 at 8:30a

It’s not just New Year’s Day that’s tortured the Big Ten in recent years. Draft Day also has provided angst for Jim Delany.

The 2013 draft presented a nightmare scenario for the conference. It took 30 picks before a Big Ten player was selected – Wisconsin center Travis Frederick to the Cowboys – and the next two days didn’t generate marked improvement. In all, only 22 Big Ten players were drafted, the league’s worst showing since 1994.

The Big Four of Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Nebraska had a combined 10 players drafted. As the Big Ten wilted, the SEC flexed its muscle with a record 63 draft picks, nearly one-fourth of the 254 players taken. Twelve were taken in the first round, including three from Alabama.

1st Rounders by Conference
Conference Selections
SEC 11
Big Ten 4
Pac-12 3
Big 12 2
Independents 1

This all occurred in a year when the first overall pick came Central Michigan. M-A-C!

As the Big Ten’s stature and national reputation came under fire, so too did its presence on Sundays. But Thursday night represented a step in the right direction. It’s still been six years since the conference had a top-10 pick – the MAC’s had two in as many years – but four first-rounders softened the blow.  

Michigan’s Taylor Lewan (11th to Tennessee), Ohio State’s Ryan Shazier (15th to Steelers) and Bradley Roby (31st to Denver), and Michigan State’s Darqueze Dennard (24th to Cincinnati) all went on Day 1 in the NFL’s first May draft.

Of the 30 players invited to attend the draft at Radio City Music Hall, five hail from the Big Ten – Lewan, Shazier, Roby, Ra’Shede Hageman (Minnesota) and Cody Latimer (Indiana).

The SEC led all conferences with 11 first-round picks. Texas A&M and Louisville were the team leaders with three, but the Buckeyes were close behind, with Carlos Hyde and Jack Mewhort expected to go Friday night in the second and third rounds.

The 2014 draft is the 19th time Ohio State’s had multiple players taken in the first round.  

It wasn’t a surprise to hear Shazier’s name called. At 15 to Pittsburgh was a bit unexpected.  Most analysts pegged him later in the draft and there wasn’t much chatter involving Pittsburgh.

“What we needed was a defensive playmaker, and he fits the bill in that regard,” Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said. “Not only in terms of his skill set, but also what he did on the field. He was a highly productive football player. He gets after the quarterback and has made plays in coverage as well. We needed a defensive playmaker.”

Denver drafted a player at different position, but Roby can also be best described as a defensive playmaker. There were murmurs about his off-field troubles catching up to him, and when TCU’s Jason Verrett was picked 25th by San Diego, a team Roby had visited and been linked to, the trepidation appeared accurate.

Instead, the reigning AFC champions grabbed Roby with the second-to-last pick of the first round.

“I did not have any indication [Denver would pick me],” Roby said. “I did not come on a visit. But I think it will be a great place for me.

1st Rounders by Team
Team Selections
Louisville 3
Texas A&M 3
Alabama 2
Auburn 2
Ohio State 2

“I am not a bad guy. In both situations, I never committed a crime. I’m not a bad guy. You won’t have to worry about me off the field. These two incidents taught me about being aware when you are in public.”

Hyde, Mewhort, Hageman, Latimer and Stanley Jean-Baptiste (Nebraska) are projected to be the Big Ten’s Day 2 picks. 

“The SEC is going to have the most draftees. I would think at least a dozen more than any other league,” NFL Network’s Mike Huguenin said last week. “I think the ACC will be second. The Big Ten and Pac-12 will be vying to have the third-most selections. No matter who you pull for in the Big Ten, you should be happy Urban Meyer and James Franklin now are coaching in your league. Those two are going to make every coach in the league pay more attention on the recruiting trail, and that is going to pay off Saturdays in the fall and on draft day.”


Comments Show All Comments

BroJim's picture

I hope Kenny G gets a call

I season my simple food with hunger

+5 HS
FROMTHE18's picture

wouldn't be shocked if it came really late. Be amazing for him to get drafted.

+1 HS
Buckeyeneer's picture

Yup. He'll need that NFL experience which will help him with coaching and recruiting when he comes back and leads us to the 2034 National Championship.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

+5 HS
FROMTHE18's picture

Hyde going very early today

+1 HS
AirAssaultBuckeye's picture

Hopefully to the Browns at 3 in the 2nd!!!!

Rendezvous With Destiny

osubuck57's picture

Am I the only one surprised that Darqueze Dennard went all the way down to #24?? Hope he plays like he did at MSU. Best of luck to him. I can't stand Cincy, but they got themselves a player!!


+5 HS
TnJoeBucks's picture

Living in Nashville, and being a Titans fan since Eddie's days, it sickens me to see Mr. 'high character' Lewan as their first round pick. Glad he could "represent " the B1G as a first rounder, just would rather it be with a team I dislike.

"As the water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it, so a wise man adapts himself to circumstances." Confucius

+1 HS
Alpo's picture

So glad he didn't make it to 12 where my giants picked, so there wasn't even the option to take that scumbag. I feel your pain

DC-town's picture

I feel you tnjoebuck- Lewan was the only player I wanted less than Manziel (for the browns)- dude is just plain turrible...we'll see how well he does without a TE chipping the guy he's assigned to for half the game-

Congrats to Shazier and Roby, both went to top shelf franchises, even if ones he steelers, happy to see them land in good places- best of luck 

'Piss excellence' -RB

+1 HS
Bolt's picture

My biggest take away one way or another from this draft is pure pissed off-ness that RDS went to Pittsburgh. He's going to be massacre-ing and injuring Cleveland QBs for the foreseeable future.

+3 HS
Klytus21's picture

As a Steeler fan and not one of "Mr Football" I hope to are correct, sir.


Tim's picture

As a Browns fan, I know it's a tradition for Steelers to concuss and batter Browns quarterbacks.  I'd rather it be Shazier than James Harrison or some other dirty Steeler bastard.

+2 HS
SavannahBuck's picture

But, but, didn't you hear? The Browns have Johnny Football now. He's the next Fran Tarkenton/Dan Marino/John Elway/Joe Montana. The Steelers don't stand a chance now!

AngryWoody's picture

The crazy thing to me has been the amount of 1st round talent coming out of the MAC the last few years. The MAC has had a first rounder 3 of the last 4 years, including the number one overall pick last year and two first-rounders this year. For a league that is, along with the Sunbelt, probably considered the worst in D1 football they are putting some guys in the NFL.

Our Honor Defend!

RedStorm45's picture

The B1G had eight guys go in the top 10 from 2003-2008.  None since.  I'd hardly say this is much of a victory for the conference.

GVerrilli92's picture

Everything is cyclical, and it's all about coaching.

The SEC has had more high profile coaches at one university than the B1G has had in its entire conference for the last couple of years. But Dantonio has notoriety now, *ichigan made moves with the OC hire, and Franklin and Meyer are well known on the recruiting trail.

I just hope it's enough to get the conference caught up.

I got a gray kitty, white kitty, tabby too, and a little orange guy who puts snakes in my shoes. Got mad MC skills, that leave ya struck, and I roll with my kitties and I'm hard as f*ck.

Barnsey69's picture

Shipping Fat Bert to Arkansas helps with the ledger as B1G and huge crater sized debit for the $EC.

Thank the Maker that I was born in Ohio, cradle of coaches, US Presidents, confederate-stomping Generals, and home of The Ohio State University Football Buckeyes- 2014 UNDISPUTED National Champions!

Go1Bucks's picture

SEC. Overrated.  period.

Go Bucks!

GVerrilli92's picture

They are overrated, but that doesn't mean they aren't still the best. 

The B1G must avoid the SEC hype, while accepting them as number 1 and simultaneously making moves to compete. 

I got a gray kitty, white kitty, tabby too, and a little orange guy who puts snakes in my shoes. Got mad MC skills, that leave ya struck, and I roll with my kitties and I'm hard as f*ck.

alust2013's picture

Regardless of your views on the Steelers, you have to admit that they're a smart organization, and I think they have a pretty solid eye for talent. I'm more of a casual NFL fan, so I'll have fun rooting for all the former Buckeyes. I do hope Indy takes someone from OSU though. Could be Mewhort.

...and Michigan still sucks.

+2 HS
BucksFan2000's picture

And their best eye for talent is at LB.  RDS has a chance to start right away.
Plus he's planning to wear #56, which was just given up by former michigan man - and current buffet eating champion - Lamarr Woodley.


buckeyeradar's picture

Man you hit it right on the nose.  Jack to Indy.  Nice call.  

I may not be the sharpest crayon in the box but I'm one of the most colorful.

TNbuckeye91's picture

Since the Titans had to pick fucking taylor lewan, please please please if there is a god, let the titans get carlos hyde.

I come from a long line high, low, and in-between, the same as you. - TVZ

+1 HS