Top 10 Ohio State players in the NFL
Is anyone else missing the NFL like me? Let's hear it for the American football fans out there! There are very few college football programs that have produced the quantity of elite talent that Ohio State has done over the last decade.
The Buckeyes, year after year, are putting over a handful of players in the NFL. It’s a run that has been matched by few in the history of the NFL Draft. Let's take a look at the 10 best Ohio State players of all time.
Nick Bosa - San Francisco 49ers
Since entering the league in 2019 as the second overall pick, there have been few defensive ends who have had the impact that Nick Bosa has had. In his brief career, he’s racked up 156 tackles, 43 sacks, and eight forced fumbles. He also has won the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, and NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and has been a three-time Pro Bowl selection and a first-team All-Pro selection in 2022. There are very defensive players in the NFL that can impact the game week in and week out like Bosa has for the 49ers.
Joey Bosa - Los Angeles Chargers
The older Bosa brother has had an elite career thus far as well. Like his brother, Joey was a top-five draft pick, going third overall in the 2016 NFL Draft. Since being drafted, he’s totaled over 300 tackles, 60.5 sacks, and 14 forced fumbles while being a four-time Pro Bowl selection and winning the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2016. He’s been a key part to the Chargers' success and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon either.
Marshawn Lattimore - New Orleans Saints
The 27-year-old cornerback was the 11th overall pick in 2017 and has become one of the NFL’s best defensive backs, earning four Pro Bowl selections since entering the league while also being the 2017 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. Lattimore has been dominant in his six seasons, recording 327 yards, 78 pass deflections, and 14 interceptions in his career. He’s recorded two or more interceptions four times in his six years in the NFL.
Cameron Heyward - Pittsburgh Steelers
Defensive tackles don’t always get a ton of love but very few in the NFL have put together the career as Cameron Heyward. Since being drafted in 2011, Heyward has earned three first-team All-Pro selections and one second-team All-Pro selection while also being named to six Pro Bowls. In his decade-plus-long career, he has 614 career tackles, 78.5 sacks, eight forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries, and 46 pass deflections. He’ll have a great shot at one day being enshrined in Canton.
Vonn Bell - Carolina Panthers
Bell hasn’t had a dominant NFL career but he has put together a very solid career. Over 600 career tackles and 34 pass deflections as well as six career interceptions. He’s a tremendous all-around safety that can be trusted to be a leader of the defense and emerged over the last few years with Cincinnati as one of the better safeties in the league.
Terry McLaurin - Washington Commanders
With better quarterback play, McLaurin would be much higher on this list. Unfortunately for him, lackluster quarterbacks have led to results that are still solid but not as strong as one would imagine they could be. Either way, in his four years in the league, McLaurin has four 1,000+ yard seasons as well as recording 75+ receptions in each of the last three seasons and a total of 21 career touchdowns. Scary Terry is one of the NFL’s best wide receivers but will the Commanders finally have the strong, consistent quarterback play to go along with it?
Sam Hubbard - Cincinnati Bengals
One of the more underrated players in the NFL at this point, Hubbard has quietly put together strong seasons consistently in his career. Since 2018 when he entered the league as a third-round draft pick, he has nearly 300 tackles but has also averaged over six sacks per season in his career. He may not be the flashiest defensive end in the NFL but he gets the job done and has been a huge reason for the Bengals’ defensive success the last few years.
Garrett Wilson - New York Jets
The 2022 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year was super impressive with the New York Jets in his rookie year with 83 receptions for 1,103 yards and four touchdowns. Recording those stats despite having mediocre quarterback play at best. Now with Aaron Rodgers as his quarterback, Wilson has a chance to emerge in 2023 as not just a top-notch NFL wide receiver but one of the elites in the league.
Chris Olave - New Orleans Saints
With just one year in the NFL under his belt, Olave is quickly becoming one of the NFL’s top wide receivers. The former Buckeye had a major rookie season, earning a PFWA All-Rookie Team nod as he totaled 72 receptions for 1,042 yards and four touchdowns in his rookie season. Olave is only scratching the surface of his full potential.
Michael Thomas - New Orleans Saints
At one point not too long ago, Thomas would be at the top of the list. However, the star wide receiver has been struggling with injuries over the last few years and therefore hasn’t seen the same level of production. When on the field, he’s still productive but with only 10 games played over the last three seasons, it’s fair to question if his best is behind him at this point.
Cutting this list down to just 10 players was an incredibly hard task and meant in the process that we had to keep some very high-end talent off the list for now as well. Players that didn’t make the cut include J.K Dobbins, Justin Fields, Denzel Ward, Malik Hooker, Jordan Fuller, Jerome Baker, Curtis Samuel, and Chase Young.
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