NFL Draft: Ohio State sets record with 10 picks in first three rounds
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Five more Ohio State Buckeyes were selected on the second evening of the 2016 NFL Draft, held at the Auditorium Theater in downtown Chicago. In the process, the picks helped Ohio State to set an NFL Draft record for most picks through three rounds and tie the NFL Draft mark for most picks in the first two rounds.
Wide receiver Michael Thomas was selected with the 47th pick in the second round by the New Orleans Saints and safety Vonn Bell was also chosen in the second round by New Orleans with the 61st overall pick. The picks gave Ohio State seven in the first two rounds – after five went in the first round Thursday night – to tie the NFL record for most picks in the top two rounds, set previously by Tennessee in 2000 and tied by USC in 2008.
And about 90 minutes later, after defensive tackle Adolphus Washington was chosen with the 80th overall selection by the Buffalo Bills, receiver Braxton Miller went No. 85 to the Houston Texans and tight end Nick Vannett went to Seattle with the 94th pick, the program had set the three-round record with 10 total picks.
Ohio State’s 2016 draft picks through the first three rounds include:
DE Joey Bosa – the No. 3 pick of the first round by the San Diego Chargers.
RB Ezekiel Elliott – the No. 4 pick of the first round by the Dallas Cowboys.
CB Eli Apple – the No. 10 pick of the first round by the New York Giants.
OT Taylor Decker – the No. 16 pick of the first round by the Detroit Lions.
LB Darron Lee – the No. 20 pick of the first round by the New York Jets.
WR Michael Thomas – a second round, No. 47 overall pick by the New Orleans Saints.
SAF Vonn Bell – a second round, No. 61 overall pick of the New Orleans Saints.
DT Adolphus Washington – a third round, No. 80 overall pick of the Buffalo Bills.
WR Braxton Miller – a third round, No. 85 overall pick of the Houston Texans.
TE Nick Vannett – a third round, No. 94 overall pick of the Seattle Seahawks.
Thomas is from Los Angeles and Woodland Hills Taft High School. He was on track to rank among Ohio State’s Top 3 receivers in receptions and touchowns had he stayed for his senior year, but he ended up ranking eighth in school history in TD receptions (18), 13th with 113 receptions and 18th with 1,602 receiving yards. As the fifth receive selected in the 2016 draft he’ll join former teammates – coached by Zach Smith – Devin Smith (New York Jets) and Evan Spencer (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) in the National Football League … and Braxton Miller as well.
Bell is the fifth Buckeye defensive back drafted in the last three years after Apple, Doran Grant, Bradley Roby and Christian Bryant. From Chattanooga, Tenn., and Ridgeland (Ga.) High School, Bell was a big-play maker and a sure tackler for the Buckeyes in his three seasons. The first-team Associated Press All-American had 176 career tackles and a team-high 24 passes defended, including nine interceptions. Among his interceptions were these three in consecutive wins in 2014: vs. Michigan, vs. Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game and vs. No. 1 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.
Washington was a three-year starter for the Buckeyes – 49 games played and 31 starts – and is coming off a personal-best 49-tackle season. From Cincinnati and Taft High School, Washington was an anchor this season on a defense that ranked No. 2 in the Football Bowl Subdivision in fewest points allowed at 15.1 ppg and No. 9 in total defense. He was named a first-team All-American by The Sporting News this past season.
Miller, from Huber Heights, Ohio, and Wayne High School, enters the NFL after a collegiate career that saw him win and earn more Big Ten Conference individual awards – seven, including two Silver Footballs, two offensive player of the year and two quarterback of the year awards – than any player in Big Ten history. He caught 28 passes for 341 yards and three touchdowns this past season, his first as a receiver.
Vannett follows tight end teammate Jeff Heuerman into the NFL after being selected in the third round of the NFL Draft. Heuerman was chosen with the 92nd pick last year by Denver. Vannett, from Westerville, Ohio and Central High School, goes two slots later after having a fine career with the Buckeyes that included 55 career receptions for 585 yards and six touchdowns. He played in 53 games and started 15 times.