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Now Playing On Sundays: A Team By Team Look At Former Buckeyes In The NFL

36 former Buckeyes live out their dreams in the NFL.
Ohio State Buckeye fans doing the "O-H-I-O" chant.

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 27: Ohio State Buckeyes fans cheer on their team against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on September 27, 2008 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Ohio State has always been one of the main pipelines for young football players to make the leap to the NFL. These past few years have been no different, as 36 former Buckeyes now have spots on NFL rosters. Some are journeymen, some are rookies who are trying to hold a roster spot, and others are true stars.

Did you know that former Ohio State captain Austin Spitler is on the Dolphin's roster, or that Nick Mangold has been an All-Pro selection three times? Sometimes it is hard to keep up with all of these former players, so here is a chance to take an in depth look at how each of your favorite Buckeyes are faring on Sundays.

NFC >>

NFC:

Philadelphia Eagles:

Brian Rolle (2007-2010), Linebacker - Season Stats: 2 tackles (2 solo)

Kurt Coleman (2006-2009), Safety - Season Stats: 5 tackles (5 solo), 2 interceptions for 13 yards

Brian Rolle, in his second season with the Eagles, looks to build on a surprisingly strong rookie campaign during which he recorded 54 tackles with one sack and a forced fumble. Rolle is currently listed as the backup to Akeem Jordan at weak-side linebacker.

Kurt Coleman enters his second year as one of the main pieces of the Philadelphia defense after a breakout sophomore season in the NFL. In 2011 Coleman recorded 78 tackles and picked off four passes. Three of those interceptions came in one game against the Washington Redskins. Coleman is the Eagles starter at free safety.

New York Giants:

Jim Cordle (2005-2009), Center - Season Stats: 1 game played

Former Buckeye captain Jim Cordle is in his second season playing for the New York Giants after going un-drafted in the 2010 NFL draft. In 2011 Cordle played in nine games and was part of the Giants Super Bowl team. He is listed as the backup to David Baas at center.

Detroit Lions: 

Rob Sims (2002-2005), Offensive Guard - Season Stats: 1 game, 1 game started

Rob Sims has proved to be a very strong NFL player, maybe even better than many people expected. Sims has started every game for the Lions each of the past two seasons and looks to keep his starting job for a long time coming.

Chicago Bears:

Dane Sanzenbacher (2007-2010), Wide Receiver - Season Stats: None

Dane Sanzenbacher had to fight for a roster spot for the second straight season after being signed as an un-drafted free agent by the Bears in 2011. Though he finds himself buried on the depth chart this season, Sanzenbacher actually had a very strong rookie year for the Bears, catching 27 passes for 276 yards and three touchdowns.

Minnesota Vikings:

Michael Jenkings (2000-2003), Wide Receiver - Season Stats: 3 receptions, 45 yards

Antoine Winfield (1995-1998), Cornerback - Season Stats: 4 tackles (4 solo)

Michael Jenkins started off his second season with the Vikings with a solid outing against Jacksonville. The nine-year NFL veteran has been a serviceable receiver throughout his career as he has caught a total of 23 touchdowns while playing for the Falcons and Vikings.

At 35 years old, Antoine Winfield is one of the Vikings veteran leaders. Winfield has been with the team since 2004 and has been selected to the Pro Bowl three times (2008-2010). One of the top NFL corners throughout his career, Winfield has terrorized opposing quarterbacks by picking off a total of 24 passes and recording seven sacks.

Green Bay Packers:

Brandon Saine (2007-2010), Running Back - Season Stats: None

Ryan Pickett (1998-2000), Defensive End - Season Stats: 1 tackle (1 solo)

A.J. Hawk (2002-2005), Linebacker - Season Stats: 14 tackles (10 solo)

Brandon Saine enters his second season with the Packers and is listed as the third string running back. Saine did not play in the season opening loss to San Francisco as he has been battling a hamstring injury.

Ryan Pickett, who left Ohio State after his junior season, has been a solid run stopper throughout his career. Pickett has never received any prestigious individual honors, but he was part of the Packers team who won Super Bowl XLV.

A.J. Hawk was drafted 5th overall in the 2006 NFL Draft and has been one of the Packers stalwarts on defense since day one. After being a two time All-American in college, Hawk has gone on to win a Super Bowl with the Packers and has been selected to one Pro Bowl (2010).

New Orleans Saints:

Will Smith (2000-2003), Defensive End - Season Stats: 4 tackles (1 solo)

Malcolm Jenkins (2005-2008), Safety - Season Stats: 5 tackles (3 solo)

After being involved with the "Bounty Gate" scandal, Will Smith recently had his suspension overturned and was able to play for New Orleans this past weekend. The former first-round pick was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2006 and helped the Saints to win Super Bowl XLIV.

Malcolm Jenkins has found his spot in the NFL at safety after playing cornerback in college. Jenkins was a key contributor to the Saints' defense last year as he recorded 77 total tackles. Jenkins, as a rookie, helped the saints win Super Bowl XLIV. 

Carolina Panthers:

Ben Hartsock (1999-2003), Tight End - Season Stats: None

Chris Gamble (2001-2003), Cornerback - Season Stats: 1 pass defended

The ultimate do-it-all player at Ohio State, Chris Gamble has gone on to become a top corner in the NFL. Gamble has recorded 27 career interceptions and returned two for touchdowns.

Ben Hartsock has been a journeyman throughout his nine-year NFL career as he is already with his fifth team. Hartsock has found his spot as a blocking tight end; he hasn't caught a pass in a regular season game since 2010.

Arizona Cardinals:

Chris “Beanie” Wells (2006-2008), Running Back - Season Stats: 7 carries, 14 yards

Beanie Wells, one of the most popular Buckeyes in recent memory, has had a solid career with the Cardinals so far. Though he has battled injuries since his rookie season, Wells was still able to record 1,047 rushing yards to go along with 10 touchdowns in 2011.

San Francisco 49ers:

Ted Ginn Jr. (2004-2006), Wide Receiver - Season Stats: None

Alex Boone (2005-2008), Offensive Guard - Season Stats: 1 game, 1 game started

Larry Grant (2006-2007), Linebacker - Season Stats: 1 tackle (1 solo)

Donte Whitner (2003-2005), Safety - Season Stats: 4 tackles (3 solo)

After his career at Ohio State ended with an injury on the opening kickoff return for a touchdown against Florida in the 2007 National Championship Game, Ted Ginn Jr. was drafted in the first round by the Miami Dolphins and has struggled to become a consistent contributor ever since. Now with the 49ers, Ginn is still one of the most dangerous return men around.

Alex Boone was a four year starter for Ohio State and has finally found his way into the starting lineup for the San Francisco 49ers. Un-drafted in 2009, Boone has steadily progressed throughout his NFL career.

Larry Grant is another former Buckeye who has surprised in the NFL. Now with his second team after originally playing for the Rams, Grant has recorded 88 career tackles.

After recording his first career interception in his first career game (off of former Michigan Wolverine Tom Brady), Donte Whitner has become one of the hardest hitting safeties in the NFL.

St. Louis Rams:

James Laurinaitis (2005-2008), Linebacker - Season Stats: 9 tackles (5 solo)

Jake McQuaide (2006-2010), Long Snapper - Season Stats: None

James Laurinaitis was one of the best linebackers in Ohio State history and is now one of the top linebackers in the NFL. The former three-time All-American has already recorded 385 career tackles, including 142 in 2011. After falling to the second round in the 2009 NFL Draft, an argument could be made that Laurinaitis is now the best former Buckeye in the NFL.

Jake McQuaide was the Buckeye's long snapper for three seasons before finding his way with the Rams. He is now in his second season in the NFL and second as the Rams' full-time long snapper. McQuaide appeared in all 16 games as a rookie.

Next: AFC >>

AFC:

New York Jets:

Santonio Holmes (2002-2005), Wide Receiver - Season Stats: 4 receptions, 68 yards

Nick Mangold (2002-2005), Center - Season Stats: 1 game, 1 game started

Santonio Holmes was the Super Bowl XLIII MVP. So far, that is the highlight of a strong NFL career. With 34 receiving tochdowns, Holmes has been a consistent threat throughout his time player for Pittsburgh and New York. The former first round pick has lived up to the hype.

But Nick Mangold takes the cake as the best former Buckeye in the NFL. Mangold's extremely impressive career can be summed up with two stats, 4-time Pro-Bowler, 3-time All-Pro. Mangold has started each of the 94 games that he has appeared in throughout his career.

New England Patriots:

Jake Ballard (2006-2009), Tight End - Season Stats: None

Nate Ebner (2008-2011), Safety - Season Stats: 2 tackles (2 solo)

As an un-drafted rookie in 2011, Jake Ballard recorded 38 receptions for 604 yards and four touchdowns. After a strong rookie campaign, during which he helped the Giants claim the Super Bowl title, it came as a surprise when he was released by the New York Giants during the offseason. Luckily he was picked up by the Patriots, even though he will likely miss the season after suffering a torn ACL in the Giants' Super Bowl win.