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NFL Draft Recap Day 1: 4 Big Ten Players Drafted

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2018 NFL Draft Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The 2018 NFL Draft is finally here, and the first round concluded last night. This year is a little bit different for Michigan State Spartans fans, as Brian Allen is really the only possibility of keeping MSU’s 77-year draft streak alive. With that said, there was still plenty of excitement from around the Big Ten Conference.

Four Big Ten players were drafted in Round 1: running back Saquon Barkley (Penn State), cornerback Denzel Ward (Ohio State), guard/center Billy Price (Ohio State) and wide receiver D.J. Moore (Maryland).

Two of those players, Barkley and Ward, were taken in the first four picks with Barkley going to the New York Giants at No. 2 overall and Ward headed to the Cleveland Browns at No. 4 overall.

Barkley is actually the first Penn State player to be drafted in the first round since Jared Odrick in 2010. He’s also the highest drafted Nittany Lion since Courtney Brown in 2000 (No. 1), and is the highest selected running back since USC’s Reggie Bush went No. 2 overall in 2006.

Meanwhile, Ward is the fifth Ohio State defensive back to be drafted in the first round in the last five years. Likewise, he is the third Ohio State cornerback to be drafted in the first round in the past three years. Ward is the highest pick for any Buckeye DB in that time frame, and was not only the first cornerback taken, but also the first defensive player taken in the 2018 draft.

Price and Moore had to wait until the draft picks got into the 20s, with Price going No. 21 overall to the Cincinnati Bengals and Moore going No. 24 overall to the Carolina Panthers.

The selection of Price gave Ohio State multiple first round picks for the fourth time in six seasons under head coach Urban Meyer. Price is the sixth offensive linemen to get drafted from OSU in the Meyer era, and third center drafted in the past five years.

Moore, who still dazzled scouts despite playing with eight different quarterbacks in his college career, was the first receiver drafted in the 2018 class. Moore is the first Terrapin to be drafted in the first round since fellow wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey in 2009, and is the 16th player from Maryland to ever be drafted in Round 1.

Other draft notes:

  • In somewhat of a surprise (and correctly mocked by yours truly) Baker Mayfield went No. 1 overall to the Cleveland Browns
  • Five quarterbacks were taken in the first round: Mayfield, Sam Darnold (New York Jets), Josh Allen (Buffalo Bills), Josh Rosen (Arizona Cardinals) and Lamar Jackson (Baltimore Ravens)
  • Notre Dame had two offensive linemen taken in the first nine picks: Quenton Nelson (No. 6 overall, Indianapolis Colts) and Mike McGlinchey (No. 9 overall, San Francisco 49ers)
  • Alabama had the most first round picks (surprise, surprise) with four.
  • Three running backs were drafted in the first round, which is the most since 2012.

To view the complete list of draft results, visit NFL.com’s Draft Tracker.