Is Emeka Egbuka the Next One for the Ohio State football team?

Despite being slowed by an injury in 2023, Emeka Egbuka is still on track to be the latest in a string of Ohio State receivers taken in the first round of the NFL Draft.

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He was part of what may be the greatest receiver group in college football history. Three have been first-round draft picks, while a fourth is expected to be a top-five pick in this upcoming Draft. Is Emeka Egbuka the Next One for the Ohio State football program??

After a thousand-yard season in 2022, it was widely thought last season would be Egbuka’s final as a Buckeye. He was ranked as college football’s number 22 player overall by On3 and the third-ranked receiver. Although his stats would be skewed because of playing with Marvin Harrison, Jr., Egbuka was expected to have another huge season.

The native of Steilacoom, Washington had 19 catches through OSU’s first four games. Then came October 7th and an ankle injury against Maryland. Doctors performed what is known as tightrope surgery to speed his recovery. Egbuka missed three games but returned to finish the season with 41 catches for just over 500 yards.

Despite the injury and reduced stats, Egbuka is showing up on way-too-early 2025 draft lists as the number two or three player at his position. They like his size (6’1”, 206 pounds), speed, and the way he has excelled against elite competition. Like all of Brian Hartline’s receivers at OSU, he’s a good route runner who can make plays anywhere on the field. He has all the tools to be the Next One.

What does he have to do to be the latest first-round Buckeye receiver? Because Egbuka has all of the necessary physical traits and abilities, staying healthy will be almost imperative. Having an injury is one thing, but having a second will make NFL teams think twice about sinking first-round money into a guy who might be out of the lineup a lot.

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I don’t think I’m going out on a limb when I say that this time next year, we’re going to be having discussions of just who will draft the Next One. Egbuka is going to make some lucky NFL team very happy someday.