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Ohio State could shatter its own NFL Draft record this year

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It's been more than a decade since the Buckeyes had 14 players drafted. 2016 could eclipse that.

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State didn't win the National Championship this year, but the Buckeyes still had one of the best teams in the country. They proved that in a season-ending domination of Michigan, plus a blowout of Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl.

It was a team full of players who probably could have gone pro this year, and that's showing in this year's draft class, as 21 Buckeyes have declared for the NFL Draft. Nine of those players are underclassmen, which is one shy of LSU's record of 10 underclassmen in 2013.

However, Ohio State could set a record for the most players ever drafted, tying or breaking its own record of 14 players in 2004. As of now, exactly 14 players are projected to be drafted by CBS Sports:

Projected Round Number of players Players
1 4 Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliott, Darron Lee, Taylor Decker
1/2 2 Michael Thomas, Eli Apple
2 2 Vonn Bell, Joshua Perry
2/3 1 Adolphus Washington
3 1 Nick Vannett
3/4 1 Cardale Jones
4 1 Braxton Miller
4/5 1 Tyvis Powell
6 1 Jalin Marshall
Projected draftees 14
Other potential draftees 8 Corey Smith, Tommy Schutt, Jacoby Boren, Chase Farris, Joel Hale, Jack Willoughby, Jeff Greene, Camren Williams

The first round should be an incredible recruiting pitch for Urban Meyer, as CBS projects four likely first rounders — defensive end Joey Bosa, running back Ezekiel Elliott, linebacker Darron Lee and offensive tackle Taylor Decker — and two more possible first rounders in wide receiver Michael Thomas and cornerback Eli Apple.

SB Nation's Dan Kadar projects five Buckeyes — Bosa, Elliott, Apple, Decker and Thomas — to go in the first round. And of the 14 projected to be drafted by CBS sports, none are below the sixth round.

The question is whether any of the other projected undrafted players could sneak into the seventh round. The best chance might be wide receiver Corey Smith, who fell just outside a seventh-round grade from CBS. However, Smith broke his leg this season, which could give teams pause. Another option is Jeff Greene, who is a big target at 6'5, but he caught two passes in his college career.

(H/T Reddit)