This is by no means a news flash, but we love our football in Columbus. The latest piece of evidence came this weekend, when TV ratings for the NFL draft were released. Columbus ranked as the No. 1 market in the country for ESPN's draft coverage Thursday through Saturday.
The numbers also speak of Ohio's love of football, as Cleveland was the No. 2 market, and Cincinnati tied with Kansas City at No. 4.
If you tuned in for all or parts of the draft, you saw 10 Buckeyes get selected. Three, Chase Young (Washington), Jeff Okudah (Detroit) and Damon Arnette (Las Vegas) went in round one. After that, there were some Buckeyes who waited longer than expected to get picked. On Friday, most thought J.K. Dobbins would be gone in the first 10 picks of round two. While he did go in the second round, the Buckeye running back waited till near the end of round two to get picked, when Baltimore nabbed him with the 55th overall selection. The fit for Dobbins seems perfect, as the Ravens, behind league MVP and dual threat QB Lamar Jackson, led the NFL in rushing last season. Dobbins and veteran Mark Ingram should form quite a two-headed monster at running back to compliment Jackson in the Baltimore backfield.
Dobbins, who went 3-0 in his college career against Michigan, gaining 358 yards with 5 touchdowns in those games (including 211 with 4 scores this past year,) ironically will now play for Wolverine coach Jim Harbaugh's brother John, who did not stop at Dobbins in terms of picking Buckeyes. In the very next round, linebacker Malik Harrison was also selected by the Ravens.
Prior to Harrison's pick, two other Buckeyes went earlier in round three as defensive lineman Davon Hamilton was selected by Jacksonville and offensive lineman Jonah Jackson was grabbed by Detroit. Jackson was one of three Ohio State players selected by the Lions in the draft. Detroit took Okudah No. 3 overall and then in round seven, selected defensive lineman Jashon Cornell.
In round six, safety Jordan Fuller, a three year starter and two year captain at Ohio State, was picked by the LA Rams.
After that, and before Cornell came off the board in the seventh round, wide receiver K.J. Hill, who waited much longer than most expected, was picked by the L.A. Chargers. Hill finished his career as Ohio State's all-time leader in career receptions and caught at least one pass in his last 48 games. His slide was puzzling to much of Buckeye Nation and to many of his former teammates.
The 2020 NFL draft is the sixth time that 10 or more Buckeyes have been selected in any one draft and the third time since the draft was shortened from 12 rounds, to seven back in 1994. Michigan also had 10 players picked this year, tying Ohio State for second most. LSU had the most players taken with 14. That ties the 2004 Buckeye draft class as the most players taken off any one team in a single draft.
In addition to the 10 Buckeyes selected in the draft, five more have latched on with teams as undrafted free agents. Receivers Austin Mack and Ben Victor will both be in camp with the Giants, offensive lineman Brandon Bowen with Carolina, tight end Rashod Berry with New England and long snapper Liam McCullough, with the Raiders.