The Inconvenient Truth Behind The Ohio State Draft Mystique
Every year around this time football fans across America catch NFL draft fever. While most fans concentrate on who their favorite NFL team will pick, some fans choose to concentrate on and point out to others how many players from their favorite college football team get drafted, especially first rounders. While this is not that uncommon of a practice, no fans besides maybe USC fans are more obnoxious with this than Ohio State fans. Over my 26 years on this fine earth, I have lived in Buckeye Country as a Michigan fan. This was my choice and so I deal with the consequences. One of which is having to experience this annoyance firsthand. This year I decided to do some research and see if Ohio State’s draft mystique/numbers really translate into the Buckeyes producing the best pros. Since the argument, for me at least, is usually between the two, I decided to compare Ohio State players who have been drafted against those drafted from Michigan to gain some perspective.
Since 1995 Ohio State has produced a staggering 96 players who have been drafted, 26 of them being first round choices (<- Insert the standard OH-IO chant here because this is OSU fans’ crown jewel of draft arguments). In that same time frame Michigan has produced a meager 68 players drafted with only 12 of those being first round picks. Since I didn’t have the time to analyze all of these players I decided to look at the top 30 players that are still currently playing from each school. While both schools might have some on the verge of retirement I still included them. In order to do this I had to cut the “excess fat” from each team’s current active players. The “excess fat” included practice players and free agents who have had no impact in the NFL.
In the charts set out below I have listed the players, categorized them (subjectively), and listed some significant NFL awards they have received (i.e. pro bowls/all pros). There is a key below that describes my categorizations of each player and what they mean. Also it should be noted that I did not distinguish whether the player was a first team all pro or second team or an alternate pro bowler or starter (believe me this favored OSU in the total #’s). Although some may argue with my categorizations, in the end, the numbers (awards) don’t lie! In fact they seem to prove what my “come-back” comment has always been to OSU fans: I’ll take QUALITY OVER QUANTITY any day. Enjoy!