The All-Ohio NFL Team

By Adam Bennett, @HFSCleveland
Yesterday’s Browns Recap: The Browns Are Building It Wrong

Ohio has produced some amazing football talent over the years. So that led us here at Hard Foul Sports to think … what if the Browns had first rights to any player born in the state of Ohio? What would the team look like today?

Here’s a positional breakdown of what the Browns starting lineup would look like if it featured current players from the best state in the land:

COACH

John Harbaugh hails from Toledo. Because of course. (Photo via USAToday)

John Harbaugh hails from Toledo. Because of course. (Photo via USAToday)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Harbaugh (Toledo)

Let’s start things off with a common theme – many of the people you’ll see on this list are really good players and play on teams that routinely beat the Browns. Go Browns.

 

QUARTERBACK

Via BestSportsPhotos

Via BestSportsPhotos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ben Roethlisberger (Lima)

One of the best quarterbacks in the modern NFL era of course was snatched up by the Steelers after playing high school and college ball in Ohio.

 

TAILBACK

Le'Veon Bell at Grover Midport High School (via BuckeyePlanet)

Le’Veon Bell at Grover Midport High School (via BuckeyePlanet)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Le’Veon Bell (Reynoldsburg)

One of the most promising RBs in the game.  Again, plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Go Browns.

 

WIDE RECEIVER

Ted Ginn, Jr. at Ohio State (via ESPN)

Cleveland’s own Ted Ginn, Jr. at Ohio State (ESPN)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cecil Shorts (Cleveland)
Ted Ginn, Jr. (Cleveland)
Brian Hartline (Canton)
Lance Moore (Columbus)
Nate Washington (Toledo)

Much like the Browns’ current roster, this would be one of the weaker position groups. Many reliable options, but no real elite playmakers.

 

TIGHT END

Cleveland Heights' Travis Kelce (via NEOMG)

Cleveland Heights’ Travis Kelce (via NEOMG)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travis Kelce (Cleveland Heights)
Jeff Cumberland (Columbus)

Kelce has been tearing it up with the Kansas City Chiefs, and Cumberland is a backup for the Jets. Let’s not talk about the Jets.

 

OFFENSIVE LINE

Centerville's Nick Mangold at Ohio State (Dayton Daily News photo)

Centerville’s Nick Mangold at Ohio State (Dayton Daily News photo)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nick Mangold (Centerville)
John Greco (Youngstown)
Jeff Likenbach (Sandusky)
Jack Mewhort (Toledo)
Zach Strief (Cincinnati)

A solid group of linemen come from the Buckeye State.

 

DEFENSIVE LINE

Trent Cole at Cincinnati (Photo from Mike Simons)

Trent Cole at Cincinnati (Photo from Mike Simons)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trent Cole (Xenia)
John Hughes (Columbus)
Whitney Mercilus (Akron)
Barry Cofield (Cleveland)
Michael Bennett (Centerville)

Another one of the weaker position groups, highlighted by Xenia’s Trent Cole.

 

LINEBACKER

Luke Kuechly at Cincinnati's St. Xavier (ESPN)

Luke Kuechly at Cincinnati’s St. Xavier (ESPN)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luke Kuechly (Cincinnati)
Preston Brown (Cincinnati)
AJ Hawk (Kettering)
Jonathan Newsome (Cleveland)

Of course one of the best linebackers in the game is from Ohio, and of course he doesn’t play for the Browns.

 

CORNERBACK

Aqib Talib was born and raised in Cleveland until leaving for Texas in high school. (SI Photo)

Aqib Talib was born and raised in Cleveland until leaving for Texas in high school. (SI Photo)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aqib Talib (Cleveland)
Will Allen (Dayton)
Micah Hyde (Toledo)
Bradley Fletcher (Cleveland)

We could get by with this group, led by perennial All-Pro Aqib Talib.

 

FREE SAFETY

Charles Woodson (HE STILL PLAYS!) attended Fremont Ross in the 90s. (ToledoBlade photo)

Charles Woodson (HE STILL PLAYS!) attended Fremont Ross in the 90s. (ToledoBlade photo)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charles Woodson (Fremont)

Charles may wind up playing until he’s 60. Who knows. Until then, we’ll take him as our free safety.

 

STRONG SAFETY

The Browns' Donte Whitner (Getty Images)

The Browns’ Donte Whitner (Getty Images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Donte Whitner (Cleveland)

Donte Whitner joins John Hughes as the only two Browns on the All-Ohio NFL team.

 

KICKER

Mike Nugent has played his entire football career in the state of Ohio (Photo via ElevenWarriors)

Mike Nugent has played his entire football career in the state of Ohio (Photo via ElevenWarriors)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mike Nugent (Centerville)

This team wouldn’t plan on kicking many field goals, but if it did, Mike Nugent is the guy to get the job done.

 

PUNTER

Cincinnati native and now Bengals punter Kevin Huber (via BSO)

Cincinnati native and now Bengals punter Kevin Huber (via BSO)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kevin Huber (Cincinnati)

Huber is another local Cincinnati kid now playing for his hometown team. 

 

 

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