For an NFL prospect, nothing beats answering the phone during the three-day draft and hearing a coach or general manager say, “We’re taking you.” Just ask Jamarco Jones.

The starting left tackle at Ohio State the past two seasons and an all-Big Ten selection in 2017, Jones was emotional when that call came Saturday from the Seattle Seahawks. It was 31 picks into the fifth round, which had to be disappointing for Jones, who had been forecast as high as the early third round before lackluster predraft workouts.

“I think anybody who’s a competitor and believes in himself wants to go as high as possible,” Jones said. “But I’m just glad I have the opportunity to go somewhere to compete and play the sport I love.”

Defensive end Jalyn Holmes' call came much earlier Saturday. Minnesota made him the second player taken when the draft restarted with the fourth round. He and Jones were the only other Buckeyes added to the list of five teammates who had gone in the first three rounds Thursday and Friday.

A bevy of OSU players didn’t get draft calls, including record-setting quarterback J.T. Barrett. But he agreed to a free-agent contract after the draft with the Indianapolis Colts.

Joining him were safety Damon Webb (Tennessee); linebacker Chris Worley (Cincinnati); tight end Marcus Baugh (Oakland); and defensive tackles Tracy Sprinkle (Carolina) and Michael Hill (Detroit).

Holmes and Jones, meanwhile, walked through the front door of the NFL.

“It was great,” said Holmes, who was with his family in Norfolk, Virginia, when the call came from Vikings general manager Rick Spielman and coach Mike Zimmer. “As soon I saw my phone, I already knew what team it was. I’m just happy I got drafted to a great fit, a great D-line coach, a team that’s ready to compete for a Super Bowl next year.”

Couple Holmes’ getting picked with Tyquan Lewis going in the second round to Indianapolis and Sam Hubbard in the third round to Cincinnati and it marked the first time three Ohio State defensive linemen have gone in the same draft since the late Will Smith, Tim Anderson and Darrion Scott in 2004.

“It’s just an unbelievable opportunity for the kids and their families to play at the next level,” Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson said. “It’s really great for our program, too. What a proud moment for all of them.

“And I’ve told those teams, you’re not only getting great football players but three great human beings. They are all great people, they’ll do a great job in the community, and they’ll be great team players.”

All three were defensive ends at Ohio State, though Lewis and Holmes especially showed the ability to move inside to tackle positions in some formations. That intrigued the Vikings, who seemed to draft Holmes with the possibility of playing him at defensive tackle some.

“I think I could be that for the Vikings,” Holmes said. “I could be whatever the Vikings need me for. … I feel like I could be a great D tackle.”


The 16 Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2018 NFL draft, and the ones who were picked:

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