Ohio had no players drafted to the NFL for the first time in three years, but that doesn’t mean players from last season will miss out on a shot at making an NFL roster.
Two former Bobcats were signed as undrafted free agents and three received invitations to rookie minicamp on Sunday following the 2019 NFL Draft.
The most recent Ohio players drafted were Quentin Poling, Blair Brown and Tarrell Basham. Poling was taken by the Miami Dolphins in the seventh round of the 2018 draft. Brown was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fifth round of the 2017 draft; Basham was selected in the third round by the Indianapolis Colts in that draft.
There are currently five active players from Ohio in the NFL, and that number should grow if any of the five players selected this year impress coaches this summer.
Papi White - WR
White signed as an undrafted free agent with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Seminole, Florida, native spent five seasons at Ohio and finished with over 2,000 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns on 139 receptions. He also tallied four rushing touchdowns on 54 attempts. White earned All-Mid-American Conference First Team honors behind a stout redshirt-senior season where he totaled 987 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.
Joe Lowery - OT
Lowery signed as an undrafted free agent with the Chicago Bears. The offensive tackle from Tallmadge earned All-MAC First Team honors and led an offensive line that only allowed 20 sacks in 2018. Lowery’s blocking abilities also helped Ohio become one of the most highly-revered teams in the MAC — the Bobcats led the conference with 3,358 rushing yards last season.
Evan Croutch - LB
Croutch received a rookie minicamp invitation from the Jaguars and will have an opportunity to join White and Brown in Jacksonville. The Youngstown native had 5.5 sacks and two interceptions and led the Bobcats with 90 tackles last season. Croutch earned Defensive Player of the Game honors after recording 11 tackles and 1.5 sacks in Ohio’s 27-0 win over San Diego State in the Frisco Bowl.
Kylan Nelson - S
Nelson received a rookie minicamp invite from the Arizona Cardinals. The Lexington, Kentucky, native finished his career with Ohio with 166 career tackles — including 60 last season — and grabbed two interceptions last year.
A.J. Ouellette - RB
Ouellette received a rookie minicamp invite from the New Orleans Saints and is perhaps the most well-known name of the pack to earn a professional shot. A Covington native, Ouellette began his career as a preferred walk-on and shortly earned a scholarship. In five seasons at Ohio, he totaled 3,784 career rushing yards and 32 rushing touchdowns.