For the sixth year in a row, an Ohio State cornerback has been selected in the NFL draft.
The Atlanta Falcons selected Ohio State cornerback Kendall Sheffield with the No. 111 overall pick in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL draft on Saturday.
Atlanta traded up six spots with the Detroit Lions, sending the No. 117 overall pick in the fourth round and the No. 186 overall pick in the sixth round to the Lions in order to move up for the opportunity to draft Sheffield.
Sheffield joins Denzel Ward (No. 4 overall, Cleveland Browns, 2018), Marshon Lattimore (No. 11 overall, New Orleans Saints, 2017), Gareon Conley (No. 24, Oakland Raiders, 2017), Eli Apple (No. 10 overall, New York Giants, 2016), Doran Grant (No. 121 overall, Pittsburgh Steelers, 2015) and Bradley Roby (No. 31 overall, Denver Broncos, 2014) as the seventh Ohio State cornerback to be drafted – all in the first four rounds – in the last six years.
A regular in the cornerback rotation for each of his two seasons with the Buckeyes after arriving at Ohio State as a junior college transfer from Blinn College, Sheffield recorded 75 total tackles, four tackles for loss, two interceptions, 17 pass breakups and two forced fumbles in his Ohio State career.
Sheffield's play never quite lived up to expectations at Ohio State, but he's known for his elite speed; in the winter of 2018, Sheffield moonlighted with Ohio State's track and field team and broke the school record by running the 60-yard dash in a time of 6.63 seconds.
He suffered a partially torn pectoral while participating in the bench press at this year's NFL Scouting Combine, which prevented him from putting his speed on display in Indianapolis, but he was able to go through a workout for NFL scouts at Ohio State in April, proving that he was healthy and putting his athleticism on display, and that was enough to sell the Falcons on trading him to secure the chance to select him in Round 4.
Sheffield is the first Ohio State player to be drafted by the Falcons since Doug Datish in 2007.
The Falcons have a thin depth chart at the cornerback position behind starters Desmond Trufant and Isaiah Oliver, so Sheffield should have a chance to compete for significant early playing time. He also has experience from his time at Blinn returning kickoffs and punts, so he could potentially help the Falcons in that area even though he did not return any kicks or punts at Ohio State.