Ohio State Surpasses Iconic Blue Blood Program for Most First-Round NFL Draft Picks in NCAA History

Ohio State has had the most players ever selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Ohio State has had the most players ever selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. / Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The 2020 NFL Draft is in the books and it brought us one of the most talent-stacked first rounds in recent memory. While the first few picks went according to the script, we saw some trades, reaches and other surprises. We also saw history being made, as the Ohio State Buckeyes passed the USC Trojans for most first-round picks by school.

With three players selected on the first day of the draft, Ohio State passed USC on the all-time list, now having 84 first-round selections in their history. Not only is this a product of terrific recruitment on their part, but it also shows the ability to develop players into prospects NFL teams view as long-term starters for their franchise.

Ohio State started the draft off in impressive fashion, having two of the top three picks come out of their program. The first was defensive end Chase Young, who was viewed by many as the top talent in the entire draft. He went second overall to the Washington Redskins, getting to play under a couple well-respected, defensive-minded coaches in Ron River and Jack Del Rio.

The third overall pick also came out of Ohio State, as the Detroit Lions selected cornerback Jeff Okudah. The Lions traded away Darius Slay, in part, due to their confidence that Okudah will become a strong starter. Fellow Buckeyes cornerback Damon Arnette was the final first-round selection out of Ohio State. He was drafted No. 19 to the Las Vegas Raiders.

There is a pretty large drop-off after Ohio State and USC in the all-time list of first-round draft picks by school. Rounding out the top-five is Notre Dame (69), Alabama (68) and Miami (65).

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