Ohio State Buckeyes: Can Wilson, Olave end first-round drought?

Ohio State has sent a lot of receivers to the NFL since 2008, but none were taken in the first round of the draft.

Garrett Wilson hopes to change that.

“That would be awesome,” he said Wednesday.

Anthony Gonzalez is Ohio State’s most-recent first-round receiver. He was taken 32nd overall by the Colts the same year the Dolphins took fellow receiver Ted Ginn Jr. with the ninth pick.

No Buckeye receivers were drafted last year, but Ohio State averaged one per year from 2009-20.

Those 12 picks included second-rounders Brian Robiskie, Devin Smith, Michael Thomas, Curtis Samuel and Parris Campbell.

Thomas has become one of the most productive receivers in the league while Robiskie never carved out much of a role with the Browns and injuries have bogged down Samuel, Campbell and Smith.

Meanwhile, third-rounder Terry McClaurin (2019) is regarded as a great value pick for Washington and K.J. Hill and Noah Brown have hung onto roster spots despite being seventh-round picks.

Ironically, the second-most most productive player of the dozen is Brian Hartline, who is Ohio State’s receivers coach. He was a fourth-round pick in 2009 who caught 344 passes for 4,766 yards in seven seasons with the Dolphins and Browns.

“It’s one of those things, a lot of people are slept on,” Wilson said. “First round is awesome. It would be great to go first round, but a lot of those dudes get missed. They end up going in the second round and are just as good players. So my mission is to prove myself once I get there, but it definitely would be a blessing to go first round.”

There is a chance Ohio State could have two first-rounders again.

Wilson is a candidate, as is senior Chris Olave.

“I feel like that (15-year) streak is coming to an end,” Olave said. “But just to be in that conversation in the first round, coming from where I come from, such a low-recruited guy, low-rated guy and just be able to put that hard work in and put God first, anything can happen.”

Olave, who was a three-star recruit Ohio State coach Ryan Day discovers in California while recruiting someone else, could have jumped to the NFL last year but came back for his senior season.

He broke Cris Carter’s career touchdown catch record, finishing with 35, and is third in Ohio State history with 176 receptions and fifth in yards (2,711).

“I’ve been training for this for so long, and to get this once-in-a lifetime opportunity is a huge blessing,” Olave said. “I just want to go out there and compete against myself. It’s me vs. me, and show the world what I can do.”

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