OSU receivers excited about QBs they will play with

Bill Rabinowitz

Ohio State’s three players taken Friday in the NFL draft had to wait a little longer than they expected to hear their names called.

But their two receivers in particular were thrilled with their landing spots.

Parris Campbell was the Buckeyes’ only second-round pick, going with the 59th pick to the Indianapolis Colts, where he’ll catch passes from one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks in Andrew Luck.

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“With a guy like Andrew Luck,” Campbell told Colts reporters, “(they) toss the ball all around the field. He’s one of the greats in the NFL. I think it couldn’t be a more perfect fit.”

Terry McLaurin is probably even happier. The Washington Redskins took him with the 76th pick, reuniting him with Buckeyes quarterback Dwayne Haskins, their first-round pick.

“Redskin Nation … I’m thankful to be part of your organization,” McLaurin said in a video clip posted by the team. “Just know that you guys are going to get everything I’ve got every single day and just know that the Ohio State connection — Dwayne and Terry McLaurin — is coming to D.C., baby.”

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McLaurin’s selection answered a request by Haskins himself. Before his selection, he pleaded that whatever team took him to also pick Campbell, McLaurin or Johnnie Dixon.

“You won’t regret it,” he tweeted.

Between the Campbell and McLaurin picks, the Denver Broncos took Ohio State defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones in the third round with the 71st pick.

Campbell arrived at Ohio State with two things, rare speed and virtually zero experience as a receiver after playing running back at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary.

Both showed during most of his college career. Finally, the hands began catching up to his legs, and that turned him from a marginal NFL prospect to a second-rounder.

Campbell helped his draft stock by running 40 yards in 4.31 seconds at the NFL combine. But that wouldn’t have mattered if not for the countless reps he did improving his hands. It translated into a 2018 season in which Campbell caught an OSU-record 90 passes for 1,063 yards and 12 touchdowns.

“I’m so confident in my hands where I am today from where I was when I stepped foot on the Ohio State University (campus),” he said at the combine. “I’m a completely different player, a completely different person.”

He will have to continue to refine his skills in the NFL.

“I think my ceiling is high for the position,” Campbell said. “I made the transition when I got to college. It was a struggle for me early on, but I continued to work and it got me to the place I am now. But definitely, I think I have a lot of potential to still reach, for sure.”

At Ohio State, Campbell played the hybrid position in which he usually caught quick passes and then used his speed to find daylight.

He and McLaurin were two-time Buckeye captains.

Jones had 43 tackles last year, including 13 tackles for a loss and 8½ sacks. He also scored two timely touchdowns, one on an interception return against TCU and another on a fumble recovery in the end zone against Michigan State.

He was the only Buckeyes defensive player to earn first-team all-Big Ten honors in 2018.

“Ohio State gave me the blueprint,” Jones said at the combine. “They gave me the cheat code of how to get here and I definitely followed what they told me. They taught me everything, the ins and outs of football. I was very raw coming in, and they definitely molded me into the player I am right now.”

McLaurin caught 75 passes for 1,251 yards and 19 touchdowns in his Ohio State career. His senior season was by far his best statistically with 701 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. He also was an outstanding special-teams player, especially as a gunner in punt coverage.

He rose up draft boards with a strong Senior Bowl performance and a 4.35 40 time at the combine.

The final four rounds of the draft are Saturday. Offensive linemen Michael Jordan and Isaiah Prince, running back Mike Weber and cornerback Kendall Sheffield are likely to be selected.


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