Denzel Ward is the latest Ohio State defensive back to go in the first round of the NFL draft. He’s headed to the Cleveland Browns, who picked Ward at No. 4.
The 2018 NFL Draft marks the third straight year that Ohio State has a cornerback go in the first round of the draft. It’s a streak no other college program has matched since the Buckeyes did the same thing from 1999-2001, as pointed out by NFL Network’s James Palmer.
When Ohio State CB Denzel Ward is selected in the 1st round, it would mark 3 straight years a Buckeyes CB went in the first round. Ohio State would be the first school with a CB selected in the first round in 3 straight drafts since… Ohio State from 1999-2001.
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) April 25, 2018
Ohio State had cornerbacks Marshon Lattimore (11th overall to the Saints) and Gareon Conley (24th overall to the Raiders) go in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Former Buckeye Eli Apple went in the first round (10th overall to the Giants) in the 2016 draft.
Ohio State’s first-round cornerback streak from nearly 20 years ago featured Antoine Winfield in 1999, Ahmed Plummer in 2000 and Nate Clements in 2001.
Ward, Lattimore, Conley and Apple were all developed under Buckeyes’ cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs, who has moved on to a job in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans this offseason. But the Ohio State cornerback NFL pipeline is still in good hands with new Buckeyes’ assistant Taver Johnson.