How historic were the first two days of Ohio State’s 2016 NFL Draft? Where do the first three rounds rank compared to other recent juggernauts?
Of course a player or ten taken after the first three rounds will turn out to be great, and several undrafted free agents will become key starters, but analyze the history of any draft and it’s pure dumb luck to find a real starter after Day Two.
The NFL Draft realistically ends after the third round.
So with that in mind, did Ohio State come up with the greatest draft ever, and was the 2014 national champion the big winner when it comes to the history of the draft?
1) Technically, up top, yeah, and 2) no, at least not yet.
How does the 2016 Ohio State run in the first three rounds really translate to the recent history of the college football world, and why does what Ohio State and the Big Ten make a difference?
Historically, it doesn’t really matter. Power programs always go in waves when it comes to sending top players to the NFL, and just because it might be a down year for a team, that might mean most of the top players – get ready for the LSU onslaught in the 2017 Draft – aren’t ready or eligible yet.
Take Florida State, for example, with CB Jalen Ramsey and PK Roberto Aguayo the only Seminoles taken in the first three rounds in 2016. Yeah, but they were a few of the holdovers from the 2014 BCS championship team that, now that the dust has settled, had 20 players taken over two-plus-three-rounds of the last three NFL drafts. Most of the starters on the field in Pasadena to beat Auburn were drafted – can Ohio State match that?
What about the 2001 Miami team that ripped and roared its way to a national title? From that squad, 28 players were selected over the next three drafts, with almost all the starters and key backups being picked.
And that’s where the raw numbers start to kick in. Ohio State’s five players going in the top 20 this year was good, but Miami having six taken in the top 21 in 2004 was better, and the 14 first-rounders off that 2001 team over the ensuing three drafts was more impressive.
The USC drafts from Pete Carroll teams from 2006 to 2009 were something special with 37 players taken over four drafts, but even those talent powerhouses couldn’t do what the Buckeyes just pulled off when it comes to its historic two days in Chicago.
And yet Michigan State won two of the last three Big Ten championships.