BSB Staff Draft: Round 1 Of Our Draft Of The Best Ohio State Football Players

The Buckeyes return just six starters from last years team, but plenty of talent returns for Ohio State. With that in mind we're drafting two teams from the pool of Buckeye scholarship players to determine where the most talent lies and for office bragging rights.

Ohio State just dominated the NFL Draft as the Buckeyes led college football with 12 players selected, including three in the top 10.

While the NFL Draft is over, it got us at BuckeyeSports thinking, how would a draft of the Ohio State players currently on scholarship play out? Who would be the first pick and what would be the best way to build a team of Buckeyes?

To answer those questions we divided the office into two teams based on where our desks are located. So we pitted the brain trust of Tim and Blake against Ryan and James with the stated task of building the best Ohio State team possible through a draft.

First, some ground rules. First, specialists – kicker Sean Nuernburger, punter Cameron Johnston and long snapper Liam McCullough – are playing for both teams to make things as fair as possible. Second, the goal is to build the best team possible that will run Ohio State’s offensive and defensive schemes. And third, first pick went to the team of Ryan and James by virtue of a coin toss.

Once all of that was ironed out the four hypothetical general managers convened for a draft of the remaining 83 scholarship players. Before we divulge how exactly the teams were broken down, we wanted to give you a peak into our draft philosophy and the top 10 players on our big board.

Team Tim and Blake

Big Board:

  1. Pat Elflein
  2. Raekwon McMillan
  3. Gareon Conley
  4. Curtis Samuel
  5. Sam Hubbard
  6. J.T. Barrett
  7. Jamarco Jones
  8. Billy Price
  9. Noah Brown
  10. Isaiah Prince

Draft Philosophy: Take players at positions where there is the steepest drop off between the best player and the next player. For example, Raekwon McMillan and Pat Elflein were our top two players because we felt there was a large gap between those two players and other options at middle linebacker and center. Conversely, while we think that Chris Worley is a very good player and will make an impact for Ohio State this season, he was relatively low on our list because there isn’t much separating him and the very talented Jerome Baker.

Past that relatively obvious philosophy we were comfortable waiting for a quarterback so long as we had dynamic offensive weapons. In Ohio State’s system surrounding a guy with playmakers is as important as anything else, so we didn’t feel we needed to grab J.T. Barrett assuming we had good players and leaders around Joe Burrow. That left or priority positions as offensive line, linebacker, cornerback, skill position and defensive line.

Team Ryan and James

Big Board:

  1. Pat Elflein
  2. Raekwon McMillan
  3. J.T. Barrett
  4. Jamarco Jones
  5. Gareon Conley
  6. Sam Hubbard
  7. Noah Brown
  8. Curtis Samuel
  9. Malik Hooker
  10. Billy Price

Draft Philosophy: It all starts with the three captains, and we viewed Elflein and McMillan as prospects of equal importance with similar roles on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. And while Joe Burrow looked impressive in the spring game, we couldn’t overlook how insanely productive J.T. Barrett has been over the last two years (and the fact that Burrow has yet to play a game).

While Blake and Tim were all in on targeting positions with big talent dropoff in the top 10, we mixed in some pure talent and projections with our picks. Ohio State is loaded at defensive end and has plenty of wide receivers but we still felt guys like Noah Brown and Sam Hubbard were big enough difference makers to make our top 10 prospects. And while Ohio State could have some depth at safety, we view Malik Hooker as a player with one of the highest ceilings on the team. Above all else though – as you’ll see over the course of this series – we valued offensive and defensive line. Great offensive linemen can give quarterbacks more time and running backs bigger holes, while their defensive counterparts can make it hard for opponents to get the ball to their playmakers.


First Round

  • Ryan and James: Pat Elflein

We went back and forth on this one because we essentially had Elflein and McMillan as 1A and 1B, but Elflein won out in part because of the role he plays in protecting Barrett, who we also had very high on our list. Although he’s never played center Elflein has demonstrated he’s a dominant interior lineman who can win battles in pass protection and run blocking.

  •  Tim and Blake: Raekwon McMillan

With Elflein off the board we were more than happy to snag McMillan and get the leader of our defense. The linebacker is an absolute stud and with this selection we know that it will be tough to run inside against us and there won’t be many missed tackles at the second level.

Check back with to see how the rest of the draft unfolds and to help us decide whose draft resulted in the better team.

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