April 27, 2017

A Record Three No. 1 DB Draft Picks for Ohio State


April 27, 2017


COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State University is “DBU”! Thursday evening along the Ben Franklin Parkway in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, three Ohio State defensive backs were selected in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft to tie the mark for most at the position in one draft and set records over two drafts with four defensive backs chosen in the first round and three cornerbacks taken.

Ohio State tied the 2002 Miami Hurricanes with its trio of first-round picks this year that featured:

  • Cornerback Marshon Lattimore, taken with the 11th overall pick of the draft by the New Orleans Saints
  • Safety Malik Hooker, selected No. 15 overall by the Indianapolis Colts
  • Cornerback Gareon Conley, who was taken with the 24th pick by the Oakland Raiders

No program has developed four first-round defensive backs over two seasons or had three cornerbacks taken until Ohio State did so this year and last, when Eli Apple was selected No. 10 by the New York Giants.

This year’s trio has also given Ohio State eight first round draft picks over the past two seasons, breaking the school record of seven combined from the 2006 and 2007 NFL Drafts.

Lattimore was a red-shirt sophomore who had a terrific 2016 campaign, starting all 13 games and being named first-team all-Big Ten Conference by the league’s coaches. At 6-0 and 192 pounds, Lattimore, from Cleveland, was second on the team with four interceptions and he also contributed 41 tackles and nine pass break-ups for 13 total passes defended on the year.

Hooker, from New Castle, Pa., was a unanimous first-team All-American in 2016 as a red-shirt sophomore. He ranked third nationally in interceptions with seven and interception yards with 181, and he was first in the nation with three interception return touchdowns, including a critical 16-yard return for a score in the win over Michigan. The 6-2, 205-pounder ranked third on the team in tackles with 74.

Conley, a 6-0, 195-pound red-shirt junior this past season who has already graduated, was named second-team all-Big Ten by the league’s coaches in 2016. He played in 42 games for the Buckeyes and started 27 games at cornerback. A team co-captain from Massillon, Ohio, he ranked second on the team in 2016 with four interceptions and had six for his career along with 15 pass break-ups.

Lattimore, Hooker and Conley give Ohio State coach Urban Meyer 19 first-round NFL draft picks, including 10 Buckeye first-rounders. In addition, the trio increases Ohio State’s total number of first round picks to 77 and to within three of all-time leader USC, which has 80.

NFL Draft History
Most First-Round Draft Picks

  1. USC — 80
  2. Ohio State — 77
  3. Notre Dame — 67
  4. Miami (Fla.) — 63
  5. Alabama — 54
  6. Florida — 51
  7. Tennessee — 45
    Michigan — 45
  8. Texas — 44
  9. Oklahoma — 42
  10. Florida State — 41
    LSU — 41
  11. Penn State — 36
  12. Michigan State — 35
    Texas A&M — 35
  13. Nebraska — 33
    UCLA — 33
  14. Georgia — 31
  15. Auburn — 29
    Wisconsin — 29