Ohio State's 2017 NFL Draft Class Will Be One of its Best in a Decade

By Kevin Harrish on April 25, 2017 at 10:10 am
Lost in the hype of Ohio State's 2016 Draft Class is the 2017 Class.

The 2016 NFL Draft was a Buckeye banger.

With three players going in the top 10, five in the first round and 12 in the first four rounds, ESPN's coverage of last year's draft was one gigantic advertisement for Urban Meyer and Ohio State. Buckeyes made up 25 percent of the first 20 picks. It was the most impressive draft class in modern NFL history.

Ohio State's 2017 class will not come close to matching that, and for that reason there's considerably less hype around Buckeyeland for this year's NFL Draft, which makes complete sense. There are about half as many draft hopefuls, half as many projected first-rounders and considerably fewer household names.

The Buckeyes have their two best draft classes in a decade in back-to-back years.

If the standard is the 2016 class, this season's class doesn't come close to holding up. But if the standard is what Ohio State's done previously, fans should be ecstatic about the 2017 class, because outside of 2016, it's going to be the program's best draft class in a decade.

When the draft wraps up on Sunday, Ohio State will likely have had more first-round picks and top-three round picks in the 2017 draft than any between 2007 and 2015, and the second-most overall draft picks over that same span.

Based on current projections, only the 2007 draft will top the 2017 draft in overall picks, but there will be twice as many players taken in the first two rounds in the 2017 iteration and more taken in the first round. The only draft class that really rivals the 2017 class is 2009, but it still falls short of 2017's projected six projected first, second or third rounders by two picks.

NFL Draft Pick Per Round By Year
Round 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 (Projected)
1 2 1 2 1 2 5 3
2 2 1 1 2 1 2 2
3 1 2* 1 3 1
4 1 2 1 1 1 1 2
5 3 1 1 1
6 1 2 2 2 1
7 2 3 1 1
Total 8 3 7 4 6 5 3 6 5 12 7

*Terrelle Pryor was taken in the third round of the supplemental draft

It may not feel like it after last year's spectacle, but this week's NFL Draft will be one of Ohio State's best in recent memory.

While comparing the 2017 class to the gaudy 2016 class seems to diminish hype and excitement, last season's class actually makes this season's all the more impressive.

A year after the Buckeyes lost over half their starters to the NFL in what was arguably the most impressive draft class in NFL history, Ohio State is again sending an absurd amount of talent to the next level.

The Buckeyes have their two best draft classes in a decade in back-to-back years.

Logically, that doesn't make sense. With the exodus of talent, 2016 was supposed to be a rebuilding year with unproven players all over the field. What happened instead was those unproven players proved themselves and are now ready to get paid. Of the seven players expected to be drafted this week, three barely played a meaningful snap during the 2015 season and two of them are likely top-10 picks.

So while there's temptation to compare this season's draft numbers to last, don't. Instead, appreciate the 2017 draft for what it is. At this time last year, it was difficult to imagine six Buckeyes being projected in the first three rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft, but that's exactly where we are.

Ohio State is officially a factory of NFL talent, and it doesn't appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

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