Ohio State's 2013 Recruiting Class Has Now Produced Five NFL First-Round Draft Picks

By Tim Shoemaker on April 28, 2017 at 1:05 pm
Darron Lee, Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliott and Eli Apple on a visit to Ohio State in high school.

When Ohio State raised the national championship trophy at AT&T Stadium in January of 2015, it was in large part due to the performance of a group of players in their second year in the program.

The Buckeyes' 2013 recruiting class, which ranked No. 2 nationally when Urban Meyer signed it, played a massive role in winning the first-ever College Football Playoff.

Ezekiel Elliott ran for 696 yards and eight touchdowns during that historic Ohio State three-game run. Joey Bosa had one of the best single-season performances by a defensive player in school history. Darron Lee and Eli Apple exploded onto the scene as first-year starters and performed at an all-conference level. There were many others — Vonn Bell, Jalin Marshall, J.T. Barrett, Billy Price and more — who contributed to that season, too.

First-Round Picks From 2013 Class
Player selection team
Joey Bosa No. 3 Los Angeles Chargers
Ezekiel Elliott No. 4 Dallas Cowboys
Eli Apple No. 10 New York Giants
Darron Lee No. 20 New York Jets
Gareon Conley No. 24 (2017) Oakland Raiders

It was easy to see that season Meyer inked a special class. Now, some three years later, the rest of the world is seeing it.

The Oakland Raiders selected former Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley with the 24th pick Thursday night. With the selection, Conley became the fifth member of the Buckeyes' 2013 group to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Bosa, Elliott, Apple and Lee all went in the first round of last year's Draft.

Five first-round picks from the same recruiting class.

It's a feat that has happened before, but it's still rather rare.

Alabama's 2008 recruiting class featured five first-round picks in Mark Ingram, Julio Jones, Marcell Dareus, Mark Barron and Dont'a Hightower. Miami accomplished the same feat in 2000 — Jonathan Vilma, D.J. Williams, Jeremy Shockey, Willis McGahee and Jerome McDougle — and once again with its 2001 recruiting class that had Sean Taylor, Kellen Winslow, Vince Wilfork, Antrel Rolle and Kelly Jennings.

There's a chance Ohio State's 2013 class could add a sixth first-round pick to its resume as seven players from that group still remain on the Buckeyes' roster and will play their final collegiate season next fall. Price, Tyquan Lewis, Chris Worley and Marcus Baugh all seem like surefire draftable prospects next year. First round? Who knows. But they still should all be selected.

Bell was a second-round pick in last year's Draft, as well. When it's all said and done, there's a possibility at least 10 members from Ohio State's 2013 recruiting class wind up as NFL Draft picks.

Best in school history? The 2013 haul is certainly making its case.

And with five first-round picks already produced, it's becoming increasingly difficult to argue.

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