The 2023 NFL Draft only concluded on Saturday, but it’s never too early to take a look ahead and see what Ohio State players might hear their names called at next year’s event.
While the Buckeyes had only six players selected in this year’s draft – the second consecutive year that’s happened, each with a split of five offensive players and only one defensive player – there’s little doubt that Ohio State will surpass double-digit draftees next year, with the defense expected to finally have their share of draft picks – with some potentially coming in the first round.
According to a 2024 mock draft by Pro Football Focus, the Buckeyes could have as many as five first-round selections, including wide receivers Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka, defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau, cornerback Denzel Burke, defensive tackle Mike Hall Jr., and other mock drafts have also included defensive end Jack Sawyer, offensive lineman Donovan Jackson and running back TreVeyon Henderson as potential first rounders.
The common thread between those players is that they will all be in their first year of draft eligibility after having completed three seasons at Ohio State. Others in this category that could make a push for the draft include defensive tackles Tyleik Williams and Ty Hamilton as well as quarterback Kyle McCord, who could conceivably go into the draft if he wins the starting job and has a standout year.
There are plenty more Buckeyes in their fourth or fifth seasons (or beyond) with the program, though, that could also look toward the NFL Draft. That list includes linebackers Steele Chambers and Tommy Eichenberg, running back Miyan Williams, safeties Ja’Had Carter and Lathan Ransom, tight end Cade Stover and wideouts Jayden Ballard and Julian Fleming.
As for those that are out of eligibility following this upcoming season, offensive lineman Matthew Jones, safety Josh Proctor and wide receiver Xavier Johnson will all try their shot at the draft and will have a chance to hear their name called.
While not all of those players will necessarily wind up drafted – or even enter the draft, as all except for Johnson, Jones and Proctor have at least one season of eligibility remaining if they so choose – there are, all told, upwards of 20 players from Ohio State that could potentially look toward the draft next year.
The school’s record for the most players taken in a single draft was set in 2004, when 14 players heard their name called. The all-time record belongs to Texas, who had 17 players drafted in 1984.