Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State Football: What Previous Huge OSU NFL Draft Classes Tell Us About The Newest Group

We take a stab at predicting the success of Ohio State's 2016 NFL Draft class using other historic Buckeye hauls as a barometer.

After Ohio State had 12 players taken in the 2016 NFL draft, visions of Buckeyes dominating the NFL for the next few years danced through the heads of fans of the Scarlet and Gray. 

Are those hopes realistic? 

Only time will tell what kind of impact Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliott, Eli Apple and the rest of the 2016 OSU draft class will have in the NFL, but we thought we would take a look back at the careers of the players from the school’s other huge draft classes to see what is reasonable to expect. 

1971  

  • Draftees: 13
  • Played in the NFL: 9*
  • Multiyear starters: 4 
  • Pro Bowlers: 2 
  • Rookie of the Year: 1 
*Worth noting in the 1970s the drafts were much larger and rosters were smaller, so it should not come as a big surprise that fewer guys ended up actually spending any time playing in the league. Available salaries were much smaller, too, especially in comparison to many jobs in the “real world.”  

Out of 13 draft picks (including four first rounders), five players (John Brockington, Jack Tatum, Mike Sensibaugh, Jan White, and Rex Kern) ended up spending at least one season as a starter in the league. Six (those five and Leo Hayden) played three seasons or more. Two made the Pro Bowl as Brockington and Tatum did so three times apiece. 

Brockington was the 1971 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year while Tatum went on to be known as one of the hardest-hitting safeties in league history. 

Of the four who never played a game in the NFL, Jim Stillwagon stands out. The All-American nose guard ultimately went to the Canadian Football League instead and had several successful seasons there.  

Round

Overall Pick

Player

Team

Seasons

Starter

Pro Bowls

1

9

John Brockington

Packers

RB

7

7

3

1

19

Jack Tatum

Raiders

DB

10

9

3

1

23

Tim Anderson

49ers

DB

2

0

1

24

Leo Hayden

Vikings

RB

3

0

2

29

Jan White

Bills

TE

2

2

5

124

Jim Stillwagon

Packers

LB

0

0

0

7

165

Doug Adams

Broncos

LB

4

0

0

8

191

Mike Sensibaugh

Chiefs

DB

8

6

0

8

196

Larry Zelina

Browns

RB

0

10

250

Bruce Jankowski

Chiefs

WR

2

0

10

260

Rex Kern

Colts

QB

4

1

0

15

376

Ron Maciejowski

Bears

QB

0

16

405

Mark Debevc

Bengals

LB

0

1975 

  • Draftees: 13  
  • Played in the NFL: 9 
  • Multiyear starters: 4 
  • Pro Bowlers: 1  
  • Rookie of the Year: 0  

Thirteen players were drafted, and nine played at least one season in the NFL. Only three (Doug France, Steve Luke and Doug Plank) were starters for as many as three seasons. France was the only Pro Bowler, making it twice. 

France and Neil Colzie both spent nine seasons in the NFL to top the class. 

Colzie had 25 career interceptions but had a bigger impact as a punt returner.  

Round

Overall Pick

Player

Team

Seasons

Starter

Pro Bowls

1

12

Kurt Schumacher

Saints

OT

5

<1

0

1

20

Doug France

Rams

OT

9

6

2

1

24

Neil Colzie

Raiders

DB

9

2-plus

0

3

66

Pete Cusick

Patriots

DT

1

0

0

4

88

Steve Luke

Packers

DB

6

5

0

4

89

Harold Henson

Vikings

RB

1

0

0

4

100

Bruce Elia

Dolphins

LB

4

<1

0

5

119

Jim Cope

Browns

LB

1

0

0

11

261

Dave Hazel

Colts

WR

0

0

0

11

275

Steve Myers

Lions

G

0

12

291

Doug Plank

Bears

DB

8

7

0

14

354

Larry O'Rourke

Eagles

DT

0

17

430

Mike Bartoszek

Jets

TE

0

2004  

  • Draftees: 14 
  • Played in the NFL: 14  
  • Multiyear starters: 7 
  • Pro Bowlers: 1  
  • Rookie of the Year: 0 

All 14 players who were drafted spent at least one season in the NFL with 11 sticking in the league for at least three seasons. 

Four players (Will Smith, Chris Gamble, Michael Jenkins and Shane Olivea) were starters for at least three seasons. Another, Ben Hartsock, carved out a 10-year career as a No. 2 tight end, and Will Allen (still active) has spent most of his 12 seasons in the league as a special teams ace.  

The late Smith made the only Pro Bowl of the group and was a key player for a Saints team that won the Super Bowl in February 2010. 

Gamble made the Pro Football Weekly All-Rookie team in 2004 and was among the league’s best cover men for several seasons despite never making a Pro Bowl. 

Round

Overall Pick

Player

Team

Seasons

Starter

Pro Bowls

1

18

Will Smith

Saints

DE

9

7 years

1

1

28

Chris Gamble

Panthers

DB

9

8

0

1

29

Michael Jenkins

Falcons

WR

9

3-plus

0

3

68

Ben Hartsock

Colts

TE

10

1

0

3

74

Tim Anderson

Bills

DT

4

1

0

3

87

B.J. Sander

Packers

P

1

1

0

3

88

Darrion Scott

Vikings

DE

6

2

0

4

100

Alex Stepanovich

Cardinals

C

5

2

0

4

111

Will Allen

Buccaneers

DB

12

2-plus

0

5

148

Craig Krenzel

Bears

QB

1

<1

0

5

163

Drew Carter

Panthers

WR

3

0

0

5

165

Robert Reynolds

Titans

LB

3

0

0

7

209

Shane Olivea

Chargers

T

4

4

0

7

227

Adrien Clarke

Eagles

G

2

1

0

2016 

  • Draftees: 12
  • Played in the NFL: ?
  • Multiyear starters: ?
  • Pro Bowlers: ?
  • Rookie of the Year: ?



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