When former Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley was selected 24th overall in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft by the Oakland Raiders on Thursday night, it marked a prominent moment in OSU football history.
Prior to Conley getting drafted, fellow former Buckeye corner Marshon Lattimore was taken 11th overall by the New Orleans Saints while former OSU safety Malik Hooker was selected four picks later by the Indianapolis Colts.
With this trio of first-rounders, Ohio State tied Miami (Fla.) for the most defensive backs ever taken in the opening round of an NFL draft. The Hurricanes saw Phillip Buchanon, Ed Reed and Mike Rumph come off the board in the first round of the 2002 draft.
The three OSU defensive backs taken in this year’s draft coupled with former Buckeye cornerback Eli Apple being selected 10th overall by the New York Giants in last year’s edition means Ohio State is the first program ever to develop four first-round defensive backs over two seasons and three corners in that same time frame.
Furthermore, with the selections of Lattimore, Hooker and Conley, a total of 19 players who have been coached by Urban Meyer during his 16-year career as a college football head coach have been taken in the first round. Ten Buckeyes have gone in the opening round since Meyer took over as Ohio State's head coach prior to the 2012 season. The trio also brings Ohio State’s total number of first-round picks to 77, three shy of tying USC’s all-time leading mark of 80.
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