The 2016 NFL Draft was essentially a three-day infomercial for Ohio State. The Buckeyes had 12 players selected overall — all in the first four rounds — with five of those going in the first round. It felt like every time a pick was announced, Ohio State was the school the prospect came from.
And while the 2017 version of the Draft wasn't exactly the same for the Buckeyes — how could it be? — Ohio State was once again well-represented over the weekend. The Buckeyes had seven players selected overall and three more first-round picks.
|School||No. of Draft Picks|
That means over the last two years Ohio State produced 19 NFL Draft picks. No other program in the country manufactured more.
Alabama was closest. The Crimson Tide had 10 players selected in the 2017 Draft and seven over the weekend for a total of 17 the last two years. Florida and Clemson had 15 players each selected over the last two years. Michigan, which had the most players selected in 2017 with 11, produced 14 NFL Draft picks in the last two years.
Some schools were close. Nobody topped Ohio State.
The benefits of this, of course, are rather obvious. Urban Meyer and his staff don't even have to do much. The mass amount of selections almost speaks for itself when it comes to attracting potential future players.
“Absolutely we’re going to use that for recruiting,” Meyer said prior to the 2016 Draft. “We’re pretty creative around here and I don’t even know what [director of player personnel Mark Pantoni] is going to do."
Pantoni and the rest of Ohio State's creative staff are among the best in college football. The Buckeyes are rather active on social media in creating graphics, videos and more to advertise their former players who got drafted.
That kind of stuff resonates with high school prospects looking to make a college decision. They see all of the flashes on social media while also watching Ohio State players parade onto the stage at the NFL Draft. It's a form of free advertising to come play football in Columbus.
Meyer and Co. inked the nation's No. 2-ranked recruiting class in 2017. With only nine commits in the fold for 2018, the Buckeyes' 2018 haul is already ranked fourth in the country — with a high per-recruit average than any other team in the country.
This isn't all directly tied to the Draft, of course, but it is certainly influenced by it.
Ohio State doesn't appear to be showing any signs of slowing down, either. With a strong core senior class and a talented crop of underclassmen, the Buckeyes' potential 2018 Draft class could threaten records for the number of players selected.
The pipeline from Ohio State to the NFL is alive and well.