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Highest Selected: Ohio State's Defensive Ends and the NFL Draft

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Matt Gutridge's picture
April 17, 2019 at 6:40am
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2019 NFL Draft

The 1st Round of the NFL Draft is next week (4/25) and it will be covered by ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and the NFL Network. This little series will give you some historical data about the Ohio State positions that are projected to get selected in this year's NFL Draft. 

What is this good for? I don't know, but maybe you can wow your friends and family as you watch the latest Buckeyes get selected. It's also a good excuse to grab a beer and drink while you read.

Note, the information below is based on the position the player was listed as playing during his last season at Ohio State.

Before we start, can you answer these three questions?

In the history of the draft, who was the highest selected Buckeye defensive end?
How many Ohio State defensive ends have been drafted?
How about the number of Buckeye defensive ends taken in the 1st Round?

Read on, and you will find those answers and maybe some other trivial sh..tuff.

Highest Selected Ohio State Defensive End

The Buckeyes have had many talented players at the defensive end position. However, the position has really taken off in recent years. Four of Ohio State's six d-ends selected in the first round are from were drafted between 2004 and 2016.

Urban Meyer and Larry Johnson have made a tremendous impact at this position. The DEs that they have had selected in the NFL Draft are: Joey Bosa, Sam Hubbard, Tyquan Lewis and Jayln Holmes. This list doesn't include the remaining Meyer players who are going to get drafted in the coming years or transfer Noah Spence.  

Standout defensive ends from other eras are Will Smith, Vernon Gholston* Alonzo Spellman, Cameron Heyward, Mike Vrabel, Jay Richardson and Matt Finkes, Bob Brudzinski*, Jim Houston* and Jim Marshall***.

Mike Vrabel had the most tackles for loss in a Buckeye season (26.0 in 1995) and career (66.0), Vernon Gholston had the most quarterback sacks in season (14.0 in 2007) and Will Smith was taken by the Saints with the 18th pick of the 2004 draft.  However, none of them was taken before this recent Buckeye.

So, who was the highest selected defensive end? Joey Bosa. At the conclusion of his junior season, he declared for the NFL Draft. In 2016, the San Diego Chargers selected him third overall. He was the first of five Buckeyes taken in the first round that year.

Top 5 DRAFTED OSU DEFENSIVE ENDS*
YEAR PLAYER RD PICK TEAM
2016 JOEY BOSA 1 3 CHARGERS
2008 VERNON GHOLSTON 1 6 JETS
1960 JIM HOUSTON 1 8 BROWNS
2004 WILL SMITH 1 18 SAINTS
1992 ALONZO SPELLMAN 1 22 BEARS

During his time with the Buckeyes, he won a national title, a Big Ten title, was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and was a two-time All-American and All-Big Ten player.  

Bosa's rookie season with the Chargers was delayed by four weeks as he sat out with an injured hamstring. His NFL debut came against the Oakland Raiders and the talented rookie recorded two sacks, a hit and four hurries. He only played for 27 snaps. At the conclusion of the 2016 season, Bosa was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. He finished the season with 41 tackles, 10.5 sacks and a forced fumble.

The 2017 season saw Bosa earn his first Pro Bowl and his NFL peers ranked him as the 37th best player in the league. He finished the season with 70 tackles and 12.5 sacks. Last year, Bosa only played in seven games due to a foot injury. In the seven games he did compete in, he had 5.5 sacks, 23 tackles and a fumble recovery.

Joey Bosa's time on the top of this list might be short-lived as his brother, Nick, is projected to get selected either first or second in this year's draft.

By The Numbers: Ohio State Defensive Ends in the Draft

0: OSU defensive ends selected in the 1st Round between 1936 and 1959.
1: The number of Buckeye d-ends drafted by the Colts (Tyquan Lewis, 2018).
2: Amount of Ohio State defensive ends taken by the Bengals (Sam Hubbard and Mark Debevb) and the Browns (Jim Cope and Jim Houston).
6: Defensive ends taken in the 1st Round.
17: Total number of NFL teams to pick a Buckeye defensive end.
24: The number of Ohio State defensive ends selected in the NFL Draft**. 
(This is the number of players I came up with. Look at the tables below an you can also try to determine the number of Ohio State players as being selected in the NFL Draft as defensive ends.)  

*Vernon Gholston (DL), Jim Houston (E) and Bob Brudzinski (DE) were selected as linebackers, but were listed as defensive linemen by Ohio State's Media Guide during their final season. Gholston, Houston and Brudzinski will count as defensive linemen. Eric Kumerow was listed as an OLB during his final season at Ohio State, so he is not listed on this chart.

**Adolphus Washington, Michael Bennett and Johnathan Hankins are listed as DL and were drafted as defensive tackles. These players are not counted as defensive ends. Joey Bosa and Doug Worthington were listed as DL their senior seasons and drafted at DE by the NFL, they will count as defensive ends. Thaddeus Gibson and Vernon Gholston were listed as DL and were drafted as linebackers, but are counted as defensive ends.
***Jim Marshall was listed as a RT on Ohio State's 1958 roster. Depending on the source, the Browns selected him as a tackle or a defensive end. Since he made his name and played his entire career at DE, we will count him as a DE in this series. 

Up For Debate: Defensive End Eligiblity

To help clarify the defensive end position and the NFL Draft, you will find all of the players that were listed at Ohio State as a DE, DL, LE, RE and the position they were selected at in the NFL Draft in the first table below.

Below that list, you will find all of the players that were selected as a DE by the NFL and their position during their final year at Ohio State will also be listed.

Ohio State Players Listed at DE, LE and RE
YEAR PLAYER OSU POS NFL DRAFT RD PICK TEAM COACH
2018 TYQUAN LEWIS DE DE 2 64 COLTS MEYER
2018 SAM HUBBARD DE DE 3 77 BENGALS MEYER
2018 JAYLN HOLMES DE DE 4 102 VIKINGS MEYER
2016 JOEY BOSA DL DE 1 3 CHARGERS MEYER
2011 CAMERON HEYWARD DL DE 1 31 STEELERS TRESSEL
2010 THADDEUS GIBSON DL LB 4 116 STEELERS TRESSEL
2008 VERNON GHOLSTON DL LB 1 6 JETS TRESSEL
2007 JAY RICHARDSON DE DE 5 138 RAIDERS TRESSEL
2004 WILL SMITH DE DE 1 18 SAINTS TRESSEL
2001 RODNEY BAILEY DE DE 6 181 STEELERS COOPER
2000 JAMES COTTON DE DE 7 223 BEARS COOPER
1997 MIKE VRABEL DE DE 3 91 STEELERS COOPER
1992 ALONZO SPELLMAN DE DE 1 22 BEARS COOPER
1989 DEREK MACCREADY DE DE 9 226 LIONS COOPER
1977 BOB BRUDZINSKI DE LB 1 23 RAMS HAYES
1976 PAT CURTO DE LB 16 441 FALCONS HAYES
1975 JIM COPE DE LB 5 119 BROWNS HAYES
1971 MARK DEBEVC DE LB 16 405 BENGALS HAYES
1964 DICK VAN RAAPHORST LE K 10 138 BROWNS HAYES
1962 SAM TIDMORE RE LB 6 81 BROWNS HAYES
1962 CHUCK BRYANT LE OE 3 34 CARDINALS HAYES

 

Ohio State Players Selected As Defensive Ends
YEAR PLAYER OSU POS NFL DRAFT RD PICK TEAM COACH
2018 TYQUAN LEWIS DE DE 2 64 COLTS MEYER
2018 SAM HUBBARD DE DE 3 77 BENGALS MEYER
2018 JAYLN HOLMES DE DE 4 102 VIKINGS MEYER
2016 JOEY BOSA DL DE 1 3 CHARGERS MEYER
2011 CAMERON HEYWARD DL DE 1 31 STEELERS TRESSEL
2010 DOUG WORTHINGTON DL DE 7 242 STEELERS TRESSEL
2007 JAY RICHARDSON DE DE 5 138 RAIDERS TRESSEL
2004 WILL SMITH DE DE 1 18 SAINTS TRESSEL
2003 KENNY PETERSON DT DE 3 79 PACKERS TRESSEL
2001 RODNEY BAILEY DE DE 6 181 STEELERS COOPER
2000 JAMES COTTON DE DE 7 223 BEARS COOPER
1997 MIKE VRABEL DE DE 3 91 STEELERS COOPER
1992 ALONZO SPELLMAN DE DE 1 22 BEARS COOPER
1989 DEREK MACCREADY DE DE 9 226 LIONS COOPER
1988 ERICK KUMEROW OLB DE 1 16 DOLPHINS BRUCE
1983 JEROME FOSTER DT DE 5 139 OILERS BRUCE
1981 KEITH FERGUSON OLB DE 5 131 CHARGERS BRUCE
1970 NICK ROMAN DRE DE 10 241 BENGALS HAYES
1960 JIM MARSHALL RT DE* 4 44 BROWNS HAYES
1952 SONNY GANDEE LE DE 9 106 LIONS HAYES
1945 CECIL SOUDERS WR DE 23 259 REDSKINS WIDDOES

*Multiple sources also have Marshall as being drafted as a "Tackle".

This is a forum post from a site member. It does not represent the views of Eleven Warriors unless otherwise noted.

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