Day Sees Productive NFL Buckeyes Beyond ‘Can’t Miss’ Okudah, Young

Ohio State football Damon Arnette

Chase Young won’t have to wait too long to hear his name called in Thursday night’s NFL Draft, provided his internet doesn’t buffer at the wrong moment.

The former Ohio State defensive end is expected to be selected by the Washington Redskins with the second overall pick.

Possibly going third to the Detroit Lions is former Buckeye cornerback Jeff Okudah.

For good reason, both players are at the top of everyone’s draft boards, though only a few teams will have a chance at selecting them.

Young led the nation with 16.5 sacks last season in just 12 games. Following past Big Ten Defensive Linemen of the Year winners like Joey Bosa, Tyquan Lewis, and Nick Bosa, Young arguably stood above them all with his play.

Okudah, meanwhile, was the top cornerback coming into the season and is certainly the top cornerback coming out.

They’re obviously talented, but it was more than just talent that made them productive as Buckeyes.

“Well, I think [Chase] and Jeff both are very, very high-end NFL players who will play a long time in the NFL. They’re both great people, good leaders. Very productive on the field,” said Ohio State head coach Ryan Day.

“They play. They’re tough. They play — I mean they’re durable. They don’t miss practice. They don’t miss games, they don’t miss snaps, and they just play. So I think you’re going to get a lot of production on both those players and I think they’re both can’t-miss guys.”

Young and Okudah may be the only two Buckeyes to hear their names called on night one, but running back JK Dobbins and cornerback Damon Arnette have been mentioned as possibilities. Day loves Dobbins’ versatility and saw how he grew as a leader and workhorse last year.

Everyone knows about Dobbins, though. So when asked about some of Ohio State’s more under-the-radar draft possibilities this year, Day immediately went to Arnette.

“I say this to the people who ask me, the coaches and the GMs, I can’t tell you where to pick these guys because I don’t know what all you have and who else is out there, but to say that there’s a lot of better corners in the country than Damon Arnette, I’d love to see them,” Day said. “You talk about competitive and versatility and just toughness, the way he played all season, I want him on my team.”

Arnette’s toughness was on display as he played all season long with a cast on his wrist. Broken bones can heal in the winter, but during the season there are receivers to defend.

Speaking of receivers, few receivers made as much of an impact at the Senior Bowl this year as KJ Hill. Much in the same way Terry McLaurin impressed everyone a year ago, Hill did the same thing by constantly getting open against the best the Senior Bowl had to offer.

If Hill can catch more passes than anybody else in Ohio State history, it would seem that a future in professional football isn’t a stretch. In fact, just being a starter at Ohio State is a sizable step in making it in the NFL. That’s why when Day looks over his roster of departed juniors and seniors, he sees a bunch of future professionals.

“KJ Hill and his clutch ability to make plays and get open inside, run routes. Jonah Jackson, you look at DaVon Hamilton. I mean, to me, these guys are going to be on rosters for a long time,” he said.

“Now again what they value them and where they take them, that’s their business. But I just think we have a lot of guys who are in this draft who, whether they get drafted or even some of those free agents, they are going to be hanging around the NFL for a long time for a lot of reasons.”

One Response

  1. Dobbins is going to be a bargain for someone..I think he is one of the most underrated Buckeyes in a while…I know he wasn’t disregarded but to me never got the accolades he deserved..he was THE best RB in the country last year…lot of great Buckeyes in this draft

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