OSU Draft Ticker: 9 Is The Number
A.J. Hawk
A.J. Hawk
Assistant Editor
Posted Apr 29, 2006


Follow along with Bucknuts.com as we track where the former Ohio State players go in the NFL draft. As many as six Buckeyes could go in the first round, and as many as 12 could be drafted overall. Final update: Surprisingly, Mike Kudla was not drafted. That leaves the Buckeyes with a total of nine draft picks this year.

Ohio State set the record with 14 draft picks in the 2004 NFL draft, and as many as 12 Buckeyes could be selected this year. In fact, there is a chance OSU could tie the record with six first round picks. Bucknuts.com will track both days of action and keep you updated on all the Buckeyes: A.J. Hawk, Santonio Holmes, Nick Mangold, Bobby Carpenter, Ashton Youboty, Donte Whitner, Rob Sims, Mike Kudla, Nate Salley, Anthony Schlegel, Tyler Everett, Josh Huston and Marcus Green.

1 p.m. -- As expected, Hawk was the first Buckeye off the board. He went No. 5 overall to the Green Bay Packers. It's a good fit for Hawk who will be loved by the football traditionalists in Green Bay. The Packers need defense and Hawk will obviously start from day one. The only question is what position he will play. Yes, he was an outside linebacker throughout his college career, but there are people who believe Hawk's best position in the pro ranks might be in the middle. It is rare for a linebacker to go this high in the draft, but Hawk was too good to pass up. The first-team All-American, Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and Lombardi Award winner could be a Pro Bowler for years. ... Rounding out the top five picks: In a surprise move that was announced Friday night, N.C. State defensive end Mario Williams went No. 1 overall to the Houston Texans. USC running back Reggie Bush -- expected all along to be the top pick -- went No. 2 to the New Orleans Saints. Texas quarterback Vince Young went No. 3 to the Tennessee Titans. (I think Young should have been the No. 1 pick of this draft. I know he throws the ball with an odd motion, but I don't put too much stock in that. He always gets the job done.) Virginia offensive tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson went No. 4 to the New York Jets, and Matt Leinart is starting to look nervous. He was guaranteed to be the top overall pick last year, but decided to come back to USC for his senior season. But he did learn a mean foxtrot.

1:30 p.m. -- Whitner was taken by the Buffalo Bills with the No. 8 overall pick. I am very surprised by this, and very happy for Whitner. His 4.3 speed and tackling ability shot his draft stock through the roof over the last month.

3:10 p.m. -- So much for the broken leg hurting Carpenter's draft stock. He went to the Dallas Cowboys with the No. 18 pick of the first round. There is an interesting connection here: Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells was the linebackers coach with the New York Giants when Carpenter's father -- Rob Carpenter -- was a running back for the Giants. Parcells used to tell the elder Carpenter than he should have been a linebacker. ... It's looking like there is a very good chance Ohio State will tie the record with six first round picks. Stay tuned. ... Oh, and I would like to add that watching the draft with Chris Berman commentating is like watching a movie with someone who has already seen the flick, and blurts out the lines before they happen. Are we supposed to be impressed that Berman has someone in his ear giving him a heads up on the picks?

4:25 p.m. -- Holmes was taken by the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers with the No. 25 pick of the first round, and was the first wide receiver off the board. I think he has everything you want in a pro receiver, other than ideal size. He slipped a little further than I thought, but he won't be disappointed with his signing bonus. The Steelers obviously coveted Holmes, as they gave up a third and a fourth (in addition to their first rounder) to move up and get him.

"It's a wonderful feeling to be selected -- no matter how long I was on the board," Holmes told ESPN. "I'm blessed that it's the Steelers."

Holmes was asked if he talked to Pittsburgh head coach Bill Cowher.

"Yeah, he said he was excited about me coming," he said. "I just want to continue the dynasty that the Steelers have going."

Holmes joins a long list of OSU receivers to go in the first round of the draft. Since 1995, the list includes Joey Galloway, Terry Glenn, David Boston and Michael Jenkins.

"The legacy of Ohio State receivers, to me, the reputation is class and dignity and the hard work that those guys portray. Those guys come back and talk to the young guys and really helped me out."

(Will Mangold and Youboty go in the last seven picks of the first round to tie the record for OSU? Looks like it will be a close call. I was leaning towards yes a while back, but now I'm thinking one of them might slide into the early second round.)

4:50 p.m. -- Mangold was snatched up by the New York Jets with the No. 29 pick of the first round, and was the first center off the board as expected. He will reunite with former OSU teammate Mike Nugent in New York. Mangold and Nugent (and Hawk) are from the same hometown: Centerville. Mangold was considered the second-best center in the Big Ten the last two years by many people -- behind Minnesota's Greg Eslinger -- but he proved them wrong when money was on the line at the draft. Eslinger is expected to go in the early third round.

8:30 p.m. -- Youboty slipped all the way to the sixth pick of the third round (No. 70 overall) to the Buffalo Bills. Youboty and Whitner came to OSU together as early enrollees in 2003 and they will be teammates once again in the pro ranks. Youboty should challenge for at least the nickel back spot right away and has the makings of a solid corner for years to come. However, you have to wonder if he is now re-thinking his decision to leave college early. Maybe not, because the signing bonus for a third rounder is decent. But that is quite a slide for someone that was expected to be a possible late first round pick. I don't know what surprised me more: Whitner going so early, or Youboty going so late. ... The Buckeyes fell short of tying the record for most first rounders, but it has still been a strong showing for OSU on the first day. Youboty might be the last OSU player that hears his name on the first day -- unless Rob Sims, Mike Kudla, or perhaps Nate Salley can sneak into the late third round. But around 5-6 more Buckeyes are expected to be drafted at some point for a grand total of 11-12. I am going with a clean dozen. ... I'll check back in later tonight, or when the second day gets rolling on Sunday, depending on when the next Buckeye is selected.

8:50 p.m. -- In a pleasant surprise, Schlegel was taken in the third round (No. 76 overall) by the New York Jets. He joins Nugent and Mangold in the Big Apple. Schlegel was expected to be a second day pick, but the Jets thought enough of him to snag him in the early part of the third round. He is an old-fashioned middle linebacker, and can also play special teams, including long-snapper. He’s also a high character guy, which only helped his value. … The Buckeyes are well on their way to 12 draft picks. It will be interesting to see how it pans out the rest of the way.

SUNDAY 12:20 p.m. -- Salley became the eighth OSU player drafted -- and the first on the second day -- when the Carolina Panthers selected him in the fourth round (No. 121 overall). Salley joins former OSU teammates Chris Gamble and Drew Carter in Carolina. It seems like a good fit for Salley, who will compete for time at safety and special teams right away. He was expected to go sometime in the second day, so hearing his name early on Sunday must have felt good.

12:40 p.m. -- Offensive lineman Rob Sims is headed to the NFC champs. The Seattle Seahawks selected Sims late in the fourth round (No. 128 overall). This is pretty much where he was pegged to go and Sims will add depth to one of the best offensive lines in the NFC. ... The Buckeyes are now at nine draft picks and counting. Defensive end Mike Kudla will likely be next off the board. Can OSU reach 12 today? Stay tuned.

6:15 p.m. -- Kudla went undrafted and will have to catch on as a free agent. He is sure to get calls from plenty of teams. So will Marcus Green, Tyler Everett and Josh Huston. Simon Fraser caught on as a UFA with the Browns last year and there is no reason these Buckeyes cannot do the same. Kudla was expected to go sometime on the second day, but his size obviously caused him to fall off draft boards. ... The Buckeyes finish with nine draft picks in 2006, including five first rounders. I expected more, but it was still a very strong showing for Ohio State players. Now they just need to perfect their Monday Night intros and they'll be ready to go. ... Well, that's it from here in the war room. I'll see you next year when we'll be talking about a mid/late first round quarterback named Troy Smith, as well as other top picks from OSU such as Quinn Pitcock and (probably) Ted Ginn Jr.





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