Ohio State center Billy Price is headed to the Cincinnati Bengals with the No. 21 pick in 2018 NFL Draft after four great seasons with the Buckeyes.
In his time with the Buckeyes, Price established himself as one of the top offensive lineman in all of college football, as he was a staple on Ohio State’s offensive line from his first game to his last.
Now that Price is ready to take the next step in his football career, he will look to join the countless number of former Ohio State players to move on to the NFL. Price has the opportunity to join recent Ohio State players like Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliott, Darron Lee and Malik Hooker to be drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Billy Price: Ohio State center in 2018 NFL Draft
1. ESPN’s Mel Kiper ranks Billy Price the No. 1 center in the 2018 draft class.
Price goes into the draft as easily one of the best centers in the class.
However, ESPN analyst Mel Kiper has Price as the top center in the class. Kiper ranks Price ahead of Arkansas’ Frank Ragnow, Iowa’s James Daniels and LSU’s Will Clapp, among others. In addition, Kiper ranked Price at No. 18 on his latest Big Board.
Land of 10’s mock draft has Price going late in the first round with the 30th overall pick.
SB Nation’s mock draft has Price going a little higher, predicting the Buffalo Bills will draft him with pick No. 22.
2. Billy Price wasn’t always a center
If you watched Price in the 2017 college football season, you may be inclined to believe that he always played center for the Buckeyes. However, this past season was the first time Price started at the position in his collegiate career. In his first three seasons with Ohio State, Price was an offensive guard.
Price had big shoes to fill in 2017 when he replaced former Ohio State center Pat Elflein, who won the 2016 Rimington Trophy and chosen by the Minnesota Vikings in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Here’s highlights of Price against Michigan on Nov. 25, 2017:
Here’s highlights of Price against USC in the 2017 Cotton Bowl:
3. Billy Price started every game of his college career, setting an Ohio State record
In his Ohio State career, Price started all 55 games played. This set a new Ohio State record, as Price surpassed former Ohio State defensive lineman and co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell, who started 50 consecutive games with the Buckeyes from 1993-96.
In addition, Price is tied with Elflein for the most games played with Ohio State (55).
Although Price was a redshirt in 2013, his first year playing at Ohio State could not have gone better, as the Buckeyes went on to win the first College Football Playoff National Championship.
Price accomplished a lot more in his four seasons with Ohio State, which went 49-6 in that span (4-1 in bowl games), won two Big Ten Championships and made the CFP twice. The two-year Team Captain was named a First-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association in both 2016 and ’17, and he was awarded the 2017 Rimington Trophy.
In addition, Price was named to the All-Big Ten first team by media and coaches in both 2016 and 2017, and was named to the All-Big Ten third team by coaches in 2015.
4. NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah called Billy Price “one of the best center prospects” he has seen in the last decade.
Price has impressed many NFL Draft analysts throughout the season, but he has particularly caught the eye of Daniel Jeremiah.
Here’s what Jeremiah had to say about Price:
“I recently studied Buckeyes senior Billy Price and he’s one of the best center prospects I’ve seen in the past decade. He has tremendous upper body torque, quick feet and outstanding awareness. Elflein has enjoyed an outstanding rookie campaign with the Vikings, and I think Price is a superior player on college tape. I gave Price the same grade I gave [Nick] Mangold when he entered the league, and Mangold ended up being a first-round selection.”
5. Billy Price has received rave reviews from his coaches and his teammates
Price’s work ethic and leadership on and off the field made him one of the most respected players on Ohio State.
One of Price’s biggest fans was coach Urban Meyer. In an article by Bleacher Report’s Tully Corcoran on Nov. 24, Meyer had high praise for Price.
“I’m deeply indebted to Billy,” Meyer said. “Billy’s going to be a lifelong friend, and he’ll be a Buckeye for the rest of his life, obviously, and I’m glad we still have him for a few more games.”
Meyer wasn’t the only one to praise Price, though. Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett had plenty of good to say about Price in an article by Greg Gulas of The Vindicator.
“He made Ohio State a better place,” Barrett said. “As a person, his leadership and how he attacks each and every day was outstanding.
“The work ethic that he had in order to get better, that was Billy. He took that work ethic each day and made a lot of people better. He really helped me in that area.”