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Highest Selected: Ohio State's Quarterbacks and the NFL Draft

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Matt Gutridge's picture
April 18, 2019 at 10:50am
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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 reason 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 quarterback?
How many Ohio State quarterbacks have been drafted?
How about the number of Buckeye quarterbacks taken in the 1st Round?

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

Highest Selected Ohio State Quarterback

The Buckeyes have had many winning players at quarterback. However, the position has never been stellar when it comes to the NFL Draft. To date, the program has only produced three first round draft picks. Two of those three picks played QB in Columbus, but were drafted at defensive back or running back. The last time an Ohio State quarterback was selected in the first round? Art Schlichter in 1982. Dwayne Haskins should snap that 27-year drought a week from today. 

Notable drafted quarterbacks are Braxton Miller, Cardale Jones, Terrelle Pryor, Troy Smith, Craig Krenzel, Joe Germaine, Bobby Hoying, Cornelius Green, Rex Kern, Tom Matte, Dave Leggett, and Don Scott.

In 2018, Dwayne Haskins rewrote the record book for Ohio State quarterbacks. Before last season, Art Schlichter had the school record for passing yards in a game (458), attempts in a game (52) and number of 400-yard passing games (1).

Joe Germaine held the record for passing yards in a season (3,320) and pass attempts in a season (384), passing yards per game for a season (277.5) and consecutive games of passing for at least 200 yards.

JT Barrett's name was at the top of the record book for completions in a game (33) and season (240), completion percentage for a career (.635), touchdown passes for a season (35) and passing yards per game for a career (188.7).

Troy Smith was the proud owner of highest completion percentage for a season (.653).

Today, Dwayne Haskins is the owner of all of the records listed above. However, there is one record he still has a shot at...being the highest drafted Ohio State quarterback. To get this record, Haskins will have to be the No. 1 overall pick and that does not look like it is going to happen.

So, who was the highest selected quarterback? Jim McDonald. It's okay if you have never heard of him. The Eagles took McDonald with the second pick of the 1938 NFL Draft. The signal-caller was coached by the tall, Texas, offensive minded Francis Schmidt during his time at Ohio State. Guard Gust Zarnas, DB Dick Nardi, end Chuck Ream and center Ralph Wolf were the other Buckeyes drafted in 1938.

Top 5 DRAFTED OSU QUARTERBACKS*
YEAR PLAYER RD PICK TEAM
1938 JIM McDONALD 1 2 EAGLES
1982 ART SCHLICHTER 1 4 COLTS
1961 TOM MATTE 1 7 COLTS
1941 DON SCOTT 1 9 BEARS
1988 TOM TUPA 3 68 CARDINALS

During the three years he spent with the Buckeyes, McDonald went 3-0 against Michigan and Ohio State won by a combined score of 80-0 in the three games. Ohio State also won a Big Ten title and came in second twice. McDonald was a captain on the 1937 team and was also named to the All-American team. 

Although the Eagles drafted McDonald with the second pick of the draft, he never played for the team. Instead, he suited up for the Lions, where he played for two seasons. Following his playing days, McDonald joined the coaching staff at Tennessee as an assistant for eight seasons. In 1963 he was named the Volunteers' head coach, but he only held the position for one year before taking a spot as Tennessee's assistant athletic director.

If you are wondering, the top five Ohio State quarterbacks who were drafted by the NFL as quarterbacks are: Art Schlichter (4), Dave Leggett (74), Bobby Hoying (85) and Joe Germaine (101).

By The Numbers: Ohio State Quarterbacks in the Draft

0: OSU quarterbacks selected as the No. 1 overall pick.
0: Number of Ohio State quarterbacks picked by the Bengals.
1: The number of Buckeye quarterbacks drafted in the 1st Round at the quarterback position (Art Schlichter, 1982).
2: Amount of Ohio State quarterbacks taken by the Browns, Andy Okulovich (1957) and John Borton (1955).
6: Buckeye quarterbacks drafted since 2002. 
9: Ohio State quarterbacks that were drafted by the NFL at another position.
16: Players selected by NFL teams as a quarterback.
25: The number of players listed as a quarterback during their final season at Ohio State who were selected in the NFL Draft.

Ohio State Quarterbacks Selected in the NFL Draft
YEAR PLAYER OSU POS NFL DRAFT RD PICK TEAM COACH
2016 BRAXTON MILLER QB WR 3 85 TEXANS MEYER
2016 CARDALE JONES QB QB 4 139 BILLS MEYER
2011 TERRELLE PRYOR QB QB SUPP   RAIDERS TRESSEL
2007 TROY SMITH QB QB 5 174 RAVENS TRESSEL
2004 CRAIG KRENZEL QB QB 5 148 BEARS TRESSEL
2002 STEVE BELLISARI QB DB 6 205 RAMS TRESSEL
1999 JOE GERMAINE QB QB 4 101 RAMS COOPER
1996 BOBBY HOYING QB QB 3 85 EAGLES COOPER
1992 KENT GRAHAM QB QB 8 211 GIANTS COOPER
1988 TOM TUPA QB P 3 68 CARDINALS BRUCE
1987 JIM KARSATOS QB QB 12 322 DOLPHINS BRUCE
1982 ART SCHLICHTER QB QB 1 4 COLTS BRUCE
1982 BOB ATHA QB K 12 317 CARDINALS BRUCE
1976 CORNELIUS GREEN QB QB 11 318 COWBOYS HAYES
1974 GREG HARE QB QB 8 203 COLTS HAYES
1971 REX KERN QB DB 10 260 COLTS HAYES
1971 RON MACIEJOWSKI QB QB 15 376 BEARS HAYES
1961 TOM MATTE QB RB 1 7 COLTS HAYES
1961 JERRY FIELDS QB LB 13 179 GIANTS HAYES
1959 FRANK KREMBLAS QB QB 23 275 GIANTS HAYES
1957 ANDY OKULOVICH QB B 27 319 BROWNS HAYES
1955 DAVE LEGGETT QB QB 7 74 CARDINLAS HAYES
1955 JOHN BORTON QB QB 13 157 BROWNS HAYES
1941 DON SCOTT QB QB 1 9 BEARS SCHMIDT
1938 JIM McDONALD QB DB 1 2 EAGLES SCHMIDT

*Listed as QB during his final season at Ohio State.

Answers to Today's Questions

In the history of the draft, who was the highest selected Buckeye quarterback?
Jim McDonald was selected by the Eagles with the second pick in 1938.

How many Ohio State quarterbacks have been drafted?
25. However, only 16 of the 25 quarterbacks were selected as quarterbacks.

How about the number of Buckeye quarterbacks taken in the 1st Round?
4, but only two of the quarterbacks were drafted as a quarterback.

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

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