With Ohio State's defense from last season boasting three projected 2016 first-round picks and several others who could impact the NFL draft in Round 2 and beyond, there is no arguing the Buckeyes' 2015 defense was among the most talented college football has seen in years.
Just how talented?
One NFL scout would swap the defense for the team that employs him for the Buckeyes' 2015 defense.
"I was on the phone with (a scout) just the other day ... he said, 'I would trade our NFL defense right now for the Ohio State defense in a heartbeat. I'd do it right now,'" Jeremiah said Friday during NFL Network's coverage of Ohio State's pro day. "When you hear that you (think), 'C'mon,' but you start going through the three levels of the defense, and even some younger guys that aren't eligible in this draft class. Oh my gosh, this is a loaded football team."
At each level of the OSU defense, the Buckeyes have a projected first-round pick plus at least one more player who figures to be picked on the draft's second day (Rounds 2-3). On the line, it's defensive end Joey Bosa and defensive tackle Adolphus Washington. At linebacker, it's Darron Lee and Joshua Perry. In the secondary, cornerback Eli Apple is a projected first-rounder and safeties Vonn Bell and Tyvis Powell, conservatively, are regarded as top-100 picks.
That's seven of 11 starters and, as Jeremiah noted, it's not as though the Buckeyes aren't returning some defensive talent that will impact a future draft or two. Defensive end Tyquan Lewis led OSU in sacks last year with eight, and team captain Raekwon McMillan will be back at OSU to patrol the middle-linebacker position.
There is also the youth factor. While an aging NFL defense might have more than its share of starters facing the final years of a declining career, the 11 Buckeyes, in theory only, would have plenty of development and improvement ahead of them.
Of course, the suggestion not only illustrates the defensive talent OSU is placing in the NFL, but serves as something of an indictment of a particular NFL defense, as well. The comment could have come from any number of clubs, but fans of three which allowed more than 400 yards per game last year -- the New York Giants, New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles -- might not think it's a bad idea, although the Giants have significantly beefed up their defense in free agency.