Herron, Ebner Round Out OSU Draftees

Dan Herron

Ohio State had a pair of players picked on the third day of the NFL draft, but it most anticipated it would be a different two. Running back Dan Herron and safety Nate Ebner both heard their names called in the sixth round while Mike Brewster, a four-year starter at center, went undrafted in a turn of events that left many surprised.

Running back Dan "Boom" Herron was the first Buckeye picked on the third and final day of the 77th NFL Draft when the Cincinnati Bengals tabbed him with the 21st pick of the sixth round, No. 191 overall.

Herron is the 16th Ohio State player selected by the Bengals, who were founded by former Ohio State head coach Paul Brown, but the first in nearly 20 years.

The most recent previously was Jeff Cothran, a fullback who was the first pick of third round (No. 66 overall) in 1994. Previously that year, the club used the No. 1 overall pick on defensive tackle Dan "Big Daddy" Wilkinson.

A four-star recruit from Warren (Ohio) Harding in 2007, Herron ran for 2,869 yards, good for 10th on the all-time Ohio State list. He accounted for 33 touchdowns (including one receiving) as a contributor for four years. His best year came as a junior when he started nine games and picked up 1,155 yards and scored 16 touchdowns on his way to first-team All-Big Ten status. 

Herron's senior year was shortened to seven games because of two separate NCAA suspensions connected to illicit extra benefits, but he still was voted a team captain by his peers on the squad when the season was complete. 

In addition to his rushing exploits, Herron caught 44 passes for 309 yards in his career, and he is considered a potential contributor on special teams. 

Herron is the fourth running back or fullback picked by the Bengals, joining Cothran, two-time Heisman Trophy winning tailback Archie Griffin (24th pick in first round, 1976) and fullback Pete Johnson (21st pick of second round, 1977). He is the 32nd OSU running back or fullback drafted since NFL-AFL merger (1967-present). The last was Beanie Wells, the 31st pick in first round in 2009 by the Arizona Cardinals, and the first was Jim Otis, the 10th pick in ninth round in 1970 by the New Orleans Saints 

Not long after Herron came off the board, the New England Patriots stunned many by selecting Nate Ebner with the 27th pick in sixth round (No. 197 overall).

Ebner's pick was a surprise as he played only a handful of defensive snaps during his Ohio State career. He was a standout, however, as a special teamer. 

The Hilliard (Ohio) Davidson product did not get his start in football until 2009 but did not take long to earn a niche as a special teamer for the Buckeyes. 

Previously, his primary sport was rugby, a fact that would not come as a surprise to anyone who saw the reckless abandon with which he covered kicks. 

Ebner recorded 30 tackles in 36 career games with a sack during his OSU career from 2009-11. Those numbers likely didn't get the attention of pro scouts, but the unofficial 4.47 40-yard dash time and 39-inch vertical jump he posted at Ohio State's Pro Day on March 9 may have.

He was voted the team's most inspirational player and presented with the Bo Rein Award at the end of the 2011 season when he also picked up the Ike Kelley Award as the team's best special teams player.

Ebner is the fifth Buckeye drafted by the Patriots since the merger.

The last was Andy Katenmoyer, a linebacker who was the 28th pick of first round in 1999. The first was defensive lineman Pete Cusick the 14th pick of third round (No. 66 overall) in 1975.

In between the franchise selected defensive back Tim Fox with the 21st pick of the first round in 1976 and wide receiver Terry Glenn with the seventh pick of first round in 1996.

Ebner is the 49th defensive back drafted in since the merger, including 26 in the past 20 years.

The other story of the day was center Michael Brewster, a former five-star recruit who went undrafted despite being ranked among the top five centers available by many recruiting experts.

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