5 best Ohio State players to ever play in the NFL

These are the 5 best Ohio State players to ever play in the NFL.
These are the 5 best Ohio State players to ever play in the NFL.

Year in and year out, the NFL talent pool expands with, at least, a handful of players from "The" Ohio State University. Undoubtedly, the league is, by and large, better off for the contributions via Columbus, Ohio.

Particularly recently, some of the biggest stars in the game have come from the Big Ten conference champions. This has been the case for four of the last five years and for five of the last ten overall.

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Unfortunately, one of the recent great Buckeyes QBs, Dwayne Haskins, passed away tragically at the age of 24. In honor of the fallen scarlet and gray signal-caller, we will take a look back at the greatest contributions from OSU to the NFL.

Here are the 5 best Ohio State players to ever play in the NFL:

Eddie George was a legend at Ohio State and with the Tennessee Titans.
Eddie George was a legend at Ohio State and with the Tennessee Titans.

#5 - RB Eddie George, Tennessee Titans

Eddie George has experienced a great level of success, both on a personal level and with the teams he played for.

At Ohio State, George was a Heisman trophy winner and a Big Ten MVP in 1995, the same year he was voted an All-American. He immediately parlayed that success into the NFL with the Offensive Rookie of the Year award in 1996. From 1996-2000, George was a Pro Bowler.

In terms of team success, George helped lead the Tennessee Titans to Super Bowl XXXIV. Though they lost, the Titans got over 100 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns from their workhorse back.

Ohio State alum Chris Carter was a legendary WR in the NFL.
Ohio State alum Chris Carter was a legendary WR in the NFL.

#4 - WR Chris Carter, Minnesota Vikings

Though Chris Carter played for three different organizations, there's no doubt that, when it is all said and done, he will be remembered for his 12-year career with the Minnesota Vikings.

Oh, and he was arguably the greatest catch in the history of college football during his Ohio State career.

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While Carter's most legendary postseason performance as a Buckeye was his record-setting freshman year showing at the Rose Bowl (nine catches, 172 yards), Ohio State quarterback Jim Karsatos' sideline toss in the 1986 Citrus Bowl, which was actually meant to be thrown away, will always be rememered.

This is what Karsatos had to say about the throw:

"When I finally saw it on film, he was tiptoeing the sidelines, and he jumped up and caught the ball left-handed by the point of the football, at least, a yard out of bounds. Then, he, somehow, levitated back in bounds to get both his feet in bounds. I swear, to this day, he actually levitated to get back in bounds. When I saw it on film, it just blew me away."

Fans, in this day and age, likely know Carter from his work on the NFL Network, and his former work for Fox/FS1. But the former Ohio State Buckeye Carter had some of the greatest hands in NFL history.

Cam Heyward has quietly had a Hall of Fame NFL.
Cam Heyward has quietly had a Hall of Fame NFL.

#3 - DL Cam Heyward, Pittsburgh Steelers

Quietly, Cam Heyward has worked to build a Hall of Fame-level resume for the Pittsburgh Steelers since being drafted from Ohio State back in 2011, following First-Team All-Big Ten honors following the 2010 season.

Well, it's certainly not been quiet in the Steel City, or in the pocket for offensive linemen, RBs, TEs and QBs that have had to deal with him.

The DE has been a beacon of consistency for a Steelers team that has made the postseason seven times in ten tries since he was brought to the Steelers frontline by Mike Tomlin and co.

Then again, perhaps consistency is underselling it, considering his three First-Team All-Pro awards the past five seasons, with Pro Bowl trips every single year.

Ohio State product Orlando Pace was one of the all-time greats in the trenches.
Ohio State product Orlando Pace was one of the all-time greats in the trenches.

#2 - OT Orlando Pace, St. Louis Rams

To give you an idea of how dominant Orlando Pace was at Ohio State, the six-foot-seven, 325-pound brickhouse finished fourth in Heisman voting. That's not an award typically given to non-skill position players. An offensive lineman, though? That's unfathomable.

Dubbed the "Pancake Man," Pace won the Big Ten MVP and Outland trophies in 1996 alone. In addition, he had two Lombardi Award wins, two years as a Unanimous All-American, and started his career off as the Big Ten Freshman of the Year. That was all just at Ohio State.

In the NFL, Pace was a three-time First-Team All-Pro, a seven-time Pro Bowler, and was even named to the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team. The cherry on top? A Super Bowl XXXIV victory with the St. Louis Rams to kick off the new millennium.

Pace is easily the greatest OL in Rams history. He will go down as one of the all-time greats at the tackle position.

Former Ohio State WR Paul Warfield played on several all-time great teams.
Former Ohio State WR Paul Warfield played on several all-time great teams.

#1 - WR Paul Warfield, Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins

Paul Warfield had two distinctly historic stints on the Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins. He is one of the only Ohio State legends that we associate with several franchises.

At both stops, Warfield became a champion. To commemorate that, both franchises have honored the former Buckeye. Warfield is a part of the Cleveland Browns Ring of Honor and the Miami Dolphins Honor Roll.

In addition, Warfield was also a receiving leader in 1968 and 1971 with the Browns and Dolphins, respectively. What separates Warfield from the pack is that brilliance for both teams.

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Edited by Windy Goodloe
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