The first round of the NFL draft Thursday answered a number of questions fans had going into it, but as it moved along, a new one emerged: How did Ohio State manage to lose even one game last season? The Buckeyes placed five players in the first 20 picks, proving that it, not Alabama, was the national champion — at least of churning out top NFL talent.
The roll call of Ohio State stars began early and somewhat surprisingly, with defensive end Joey Bosa going at No. 3 to the San Diego Chargers, who had been thought to be choosing between other players. Bosa was followed immediately by a teammate, running back Ezekiel Elliott, who was nabbed by the Dallas Cowboys at No. 4.
A third Buckeye became a top 10 selection when the New York Giants used the No. 10 pick on cornerback Eli Apple. Six picks later, offensive tackle Taylor Decker was able to remain in the Midwest, going to the Detroit Lions.
Darron Lee was the fifth OSU star to go, when the New York Jets took the linebacker/defensive back hybrid player at No. 20. Some noted that he managed not to notice his former head coach, Urban Meyer, waiting for a high-five as he made his way to the stage at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago.
The record for most first-round picks from one school in a single draft was set by Miami in 2004. With several picks to go, it appeared that the Buckeyes could get there, given that they still had a few highly regarded prospects available, including wide receiver Michael Thomas and safety Vonn Bell.
As for Alabama, it had one player taken in the top 25. Of course, Crimson Tide players could take plenty of solace in that national championship they won on the field.