Two players from central Ohio -- Ohio State defensive starters DaVon Hamilton and Malik Harrison -- were selected during the second day of the NFL draft April 24.
Both were picked in the third round, with Hamilton selected at No. 73 overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars and Harrison going to the Baltimore Ravens at No. 98.
Another player from central Ohio, Purdue linebacker Markus Bailey, was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals on April 25 with the first pick in the seventh round (No. 215 overall).
Hamilton is a 6-foot-4, 320-pound defensive tackle who played for Pickerington Central.
“I feel like I fit well (with the Jaguars),” he said on a conference call posted on the Jaguars’ website. “I’m really blessed.”
He joins a defensive line that features Josh Allen, a Pro Bowl end, as well as former Groveport and Illinois standout Dawuane Smoot.
As a redshirt senior, Hamilton finished third on the Buckeyes with 10.5 tackles for loss and had 28 tackles overall while earning third-team all-Big Ten honors. He’s a 2015 Central graduate who was named Division I district Defensive Player of the Year as a senior.
“I’m able to get penetration into the backfield,” he said. “All I can say is that I’m just excited for it, to be able to learn and be able to contribute to my team. I’m doing whatever it takes and whatever the team needs me to do. … I try to create as much destruction in the backfield as possible.”
Harrison is a 6-3, 247-pound linebacker who became the second Ohio State selection for the Ravens on April 24 after running back J.K. Dobbins was picked in the second round at No. 55 overall.
Harrison was a two-year starter and played 53 games for the Buckeyes. Last fall, he was Ohio State’s leader in tackles with 75 and had 16.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.
A first-team all-Big Ten and third-team All-American last season, Harrison was a first-team all-district linebacker for Walnut Ridge as a senior in 2015.
In videos posted on the Ravens’ Twitter account, Harrison discussed playing quarterback in high school and choosing Ohio State so his father could watch him play.
“One of the reasons why I really stayed home was because of my dad,” Harrison said. “He owns his own flooring business in Columbus. … He was able to go to work on Saturday and bring his clothes with him and change in the car and right after work he was able to come to the games.”
Harrison is excited about continuing to play with Dobbins.
“We have a great relationship,” Harrison said of Dobbins, a training partner. “We actually were talking about, ‘Hey, what if we got drafted by the same team?’ ”
Bailey, a 2015 Hilliard Davidson graduate, is a 6-0, 235-pound linebacker who started 40 games for Purdue but entered the draft with injury concerns after tearing his right ACL last September.
"I’m truly so excited and grateful to be a part of (the Bengals) organization! I promise I’m going to add instant value," Bailey posted on Twitter.
Bailey started 13 games in 2017, recording 89 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and seven sacks, and 13 games in 2018, leading Purdue in total tackles (115) and sacks (5.5). Also in 2018, he returned an interception 41 yards for a touchdown against Ohio State as the Boilermakers upset the No. 2 Buckeyes 49-20.
“Markus' greatness as a player is obvious to anyone who has watched him play, especially anyone who watched his prime-time performance versus Ohio State a couple years ago," former Davidson coach Brian White said. “I personally believe what will allow him to have a tremendous NFL career is his character and intelligence. He’s a humble young man who will not be outworked by anyone.”
ThisWeek reporter Frank DiRenna contributed to this story.