Ohio State Football: 2014 NFL Draft Should End Tough Stretch for Buckeyes

Ohio State has a rich history of sending its players to the NFL, and only one school (USC) has produced more first-round selections than the Buckeyes.

Over the last several years, though, Ohio State has failed to produce that top-level talent.

The last time the Buckeyes had an exceptional draft class was in 2009, when four players—Malcolm Jenkins, Chris “Beanie” Wells, James Laurinaitis and Brian Robiskie—were selected in the first 36 picks. Jenkins (No. 14) and Wells (No. 31) were picked in the first round by New Orleans and Arizona, while Laurinaitis (No. 35) and Robiskie (No. 36) were taken near the top of the second round by St. Louis and Cleveland.

Since the 2009 draft, only one former Buckeye has been drafted in the first 36 picks. In 2011, Pittsburgh selected Cameron Heyward at No. 31. The next highest pick over the last four years came in last year’s draft when the New York Giants selected Johnathan Hankins at No. 49.

That drought should end very soon.

A trio of Buckeyes stand a great chance of going high in next week’s draft. Ryan Shazier is rated one of the top outside linebackers in this year’s class. Bradley Roby has true lockdown ability at cornerback—a coveted skill in the pass-happy NFL—which makes him a valuable commodity. Carlos Hyde is considered by most as the best running back available, comparing favorably to Eddie Lacy, the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year.

In a pair of mock drafts from Bleacher…

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