Currently, there are five former Buckeyes on the Bengals’ roster–defensive backs Eli Apple and Vonn Bell, defensive end Sam Hubbard, offensive tackle Isaiah Prince and punter Drue Chrisman. That ties them with the Saints and Lions for the most OSU products on one NFL roster.
Additionally, that number doesn’t include Joe Burrow and other players who began their careers at Ohio State before transferring elsewhere. The Bengals also drafted ex-Buckeye offensive linemen Billy Price and Michael Jordan in recent seasons, though neither player is still with the franchise.
Cincinnati’s OSU ties run deep, and not just because they play in the same state. Speaking at Ohio State’s recent coaches clinic, Bengals head coach Zac Taylor made it clear that having that many Buckeyes around is no accident.
“We’ve got tons of Buckeyes on our team. And one thing about Ohio State is whenever we go through the draft, they’ve got plenty of players that are in the first couple rounds that we want, but they’re always gonna get a longer look from us,” Taylor said, via Eleven Warriors. “Yeah, because they’re in the state of Ohio and we want guys that are here and it means something to them, but they just deserve that because all the guys that played for us from Ohio State play at (a high) level. And so every player that comes through here, we take a long look at to make sure we get the right evaluation on them and see if they should be a part of our program.”
Zac Taylor says the Cincinnati Bengals give extra consideration to Ohio State draft prospects because “you really know what you’re getting when you take a Buckeye.” https://t.co/eFezYAhsgf pic.twitter.com/A518lokRm0
— Eleven Warriors (@11W) April 24, 2022
Taylor added that he and his staff are comfortable with the coaching that OSU players receive while in Columbus.
“We know that they’re going to be well-coached,” he told reporters. “I know a lot of the coaches here, they’ve got a history of success putting guys in the league that have success. These guys always play for championships. And so you’ve got a pretty good idea of what you’re getting when you take one of these players.”
In this week’s NFL Draft, the Bengals have eight selections, giving them plenty of opportunities to add to their Ohio State haul.
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