The Ohio State All-Decade Offense was packed with stars, but the defensive side of the team is just as talented.
On all three levels of the defense, the Buckeyes have produced much of the NFL’s top talent. From Larry Washington’s defensive line to Kerry Coombs‘ secondary, Ohio State’s defense is always at the top of the nation.
Ohio State has produced five top-five NFL draft picks on defense in the 2010s, 13 first-round picks, and 42 total draft picks. $56 million was signed over in NFL free agency to Buckeye defenders who played in the 2010s.
Choosing the best 11 Ohio State players for the All-Decade Defense was challenging. But this team could challenge any in college football.
Ohio State All-Decade Defense
DE: Chase Young, Joey Bosa
Ohio State has produced three defensive ends taken in the first four picks of the NFL draft. How do you choose two between Joey Bosa, Nick Bosa, and Chase Young? Since Joey Bosa and Young had more consistent production, they’re the top two picks.
DT: Michael Bennet, Dre’Mont Jones
In three years of starting, Michael Bennett had 110 tackles and 18 sacks from the interior. Dre’Mont Jones didn’t have an expanded role until his senior year but collected 42 tackles, 8.5 sacks, and one interception returned for a 28-yard touchdown.
LB: Darron Lee, Ryan Shazier, Jerome Baker
Ryan Shazier may not only be the best linebacker in the decade but in the program’s history. In three seasons, he collected 315 total tackles, 45.5 tackles for a loss, and 15 sacks. Darron Lee was named MVP of the classic victory over Alabama in the 2015 Sugar Bowl. Lee and Jerome Baker were both only two-year starters and left for the NFL after their first year of professional eligibility.
CB: Marshon Lattimore, Jeffrey Okudah, Bradley Roby
How can you only choose three Ohio State cornerbacks? Bradley Roby, Marshon Lattimore, and Jeffrey Okudah are three of the best in a talent position group. Denzel Ward, Gareon Conley, Damon Arnette, and others deserve honorable mentions at the very least. Even active corner Shaun Wade could get some consideration.
S: Malik Hooker, Vonn Bell
Malik Hooker had a magical year in 2016 with seven interceptions and four pick-sixes. He served one year as a starter before declaring for the NFL draft as a redshirt sophomore. In three seasons, Vonn Bell had 175 combined tackles and nine interceptions. He scored two touchdowns his senior year off of turnovers.