INDIANAPOLIS — @Cantguardmike may have no idea of the angst he’s caused Browns fans.

Michael Thomas, the two-time Pro Bowl receiver for the New Orleans Saints, represents one of the most fatal mistakes when it comes to the expansion Browns’ paralyzing decisions in the NFL Draft.

They have avoided Buckeyes like Thomas has used his trademark stutter step to avoid defensive backs.

Since 1999, 130 Ohio State players have been drafted and the Browns have selected three — cornerback Denzel Ward (2018), receiver Brian Robiskie (2009) and tight end Darnell Sanders (2002).

In the last six drafts, now-retired Ohio State coach Urban Meyer had 40 players picked and the Browns tabbed only Ward.

According to the Cleveland media guide, the Browns have drafted 34 players from Ohio State. But since Hall of Fame receiver Paul Warfield was selected in 1964, there have been only 11.

Even when the Browns did pick a Buckeye, it was the wrong one. Only four of the 10 before Ward started a game for the Browns, led by running back/fullback Bo Scott (41 games). Sanders (15), Robiskie (14) and guard Mark Krerowicz (3) joined Scott.

Of late, the most stress-inducing blunder was Thomas, taken 47th overall by the Saints in 2016 after catching 110 passes and 18 touchdowns in his final two seasons at OSU. The receiver-needy Browns, armed with a bevy of picks, chose wideout Corey Coleman at 15 and linebacker Emmanuel Ogbah at 32, where they could have had Thomas.

But winds of change may start blowing from the south soon, thanks to Browns General Manager John Dorsey.

Picking Ward fourth overall last year might eventually be seen as an OSU-to-Cleveland breakthrough. Dorsey needed speed in the secondary and a cover corner and got both in Ward. Some believed the Nordonia High School product was a reach, but Ward made the Pro Bowl in his rookie season.

When he spoke Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine, Dorsey sounded like Ohio State is finally back on the Browns’ draft radar.

“Ohio State University puts out some very fine football players,” Dorsey said at the Indiana Convention Center. “I can hark back to the days of, where are we going here? We could go back to Bill Willis, we could go back to Paul Warfield.

"Anytime you get a chance to acquire a really good football player, I’m all about that. I thought Denzel was a really quality football player, and I think we’re very lucky to have a guy like that on our team.”

The 2019 draft offers several Buckeyes who could fit the Browns’ needs. OSU receivers Parris Campbell, Terry McLaurin and Johnnie Dixon may not start coming off the board until the second round. All were team captains, Campbell and McLaurin the last two years.

Campbell clocked 4.31 in the 40-yard dash Saturday, tied for the best at his position. A high school running back at Akron's St. Vincent-St. Mary, Campbell may be nowhere near his peak, with much to improve when it comes to his hands and route-running.

McLaurin, who graduated in 3½ years with a communications degree, was listed by Lindy’s Sports Pro Football Draft guide as the best receiver in this class in terms of intangibles. Dixon was plagued by tendinitis in both knees that nearly caused him to quit football, but said he was cleared in the extensive combine medical exam.

Dorsey has a track record of finding gems in later rounds and McLaurin might be the one who best fits that bill.

Dorsey also has a professed love for speed and of the Browns’ receivers under contract only 2018 pick Antonio Callaway measures up. All three Buckeyes cracked the top 10 in the 40 at their position group, with McLaurin fifth at 4.35 and Dixon eighth at 4.41.

“The more team speed you have, the better,” Dorsey said Thursday. “It shows on all three sides — offense, defense and special teams. You can't have enough because the game has changed — not only has it gone horizontal, but it's also gone vertical.”

The Browns also need a defensive tackle and could consider Dre’Mont Jones, a first-team All-American who played only two years of high school football at St. Ignatius. OSU defensive end Nick Bosa called Jones the best interior pass rusher in this draft, which might attract the Browns if Jones lasts until the second round.

“You just don’t see interior guys with the hips and hands that he has,” Bosa said of his best friend. “I’ve been talking him up to a bunch of teams. People have been asking, ‘Who would you bring to war? Who would you bring if you’ve got to pick one person from Ohio State?’ and that’s easily him.”

Bosa is clearly biased, but Jones sounds like Dorsey’s type.

When Dorsey took over in December 2017, he was aware of the Browns’ missteps since 1999, and the dearth of Buckeyes is a major one. But with Dorsey’s appreciation for Ohio State athletes, Ward may soon have company in Berea.

Marla Ridenour can be reached at mridenour@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Browns blog at www.ohio.com/browns. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MRidenourABJ.