How Good Have Ohio St. Draft Choices Been For The New Orleans Saints?
Recently, the New Orleans Saints selected former Ohio St. cornerback Marshon Lattimore with the 11th-overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft.
How well have Ohio St. players fared for the Saints after they drafted them?
Let's take a look at the players the Saints have drafted from Ohio St. below:
1970---Jim Otis---Running Back---9th round
1974---Rick Middleton---Linebacker---1st round
1975---Kurt Schumacher---Offensive Lineman---1st round
1976---Craig Cassady---Defensive Back---8th round
1987---Scott Leach---Linebacker---9th round
1997---Rob Kelly---Defensive Back---2nd round
2000---Kevin Houser---Long Snapper---7th round
2002---LeCharles Bentley---Offensive Lineman---2nd round
2003---Cie Grant---Linebacker---3rd round
2004---Will Smith---Defensive End---1st round
2007---Antonio Pittman---Running Back---4th round
2009---Malcolm Jenkins---Defensive Back---1st round
2016---Michael Thomas---Wide Receiver---2nd round
2016---Vonn Bell---Safety---2nd round
2017---Marshon Lattimore---Receiver---1st round
That's 15 players that the Saints have drafted from Ohio St., including five in the first round.
Ohio St. players started slow for the Saints, as Rick Middleton and Kurt Schumacher, both first round picks, didn't work out, but Buckeyes players have been pretty good for the organization since.
Just last year, Michael Thomas set rookie records, accumulating 92 catches for 1.137 yards and 9 touchdowns, while Vonn Bell was solid in the secondary.
The best Saints draft pick out of Ohio St., at this time, has to be Will Smith, a defensive lineman, who has played ten years for the Saints, from 2004-2013.
A native of Queens, New York, Smith, who was the 18th-overall pick of the 2004 NFL Draft, was a fixture on the defensive line for the Saints for ten seasons.
The 6-foot-3, 282-pound Smith played in 16 games as a rookie, starting 4, while making 30 tackles, including an impressive 7.5 sacks.
The 2005 season saw Smith get even more playing time, as he played in all 16 games once again, starting 9, while making 48 tackles, including 8.5 sacks.
In 2006, Smith continued his fine play, being named to the Pro Bowl for the first and only time is his successful career, after generating 10.5 sacks in 14 games, all as a starter.
Smith remained the starter at right defensive end over the next six seasons, averaging 40 tackles and 6 sacks, including the 2009 season, in which he got to the quarterback 13 times, a career-high, while helping the team win the Super Bowl.
In 2013, in the third preseason game of the year, Smith suffered a knee injury, which ultimately ended his fine career.
In 9 seasons in the NFL, all with the Saints, Smith played in 139 games, including 120 as a starter, accumulating 324 total tackles, including 57.5 sacks.
Sadly, Smith was shot dead following a traffic altercation in April. He was 34 years of age.
Let's hope that Lattimore continues a recent good string of Saints draft choices from Ohio St.!