Three B1G stars appear on Kiper's Big Board

Sure, it’s only mid-November, but whenever ESPN NFL draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. releases his initial NFL Draft Board, both college and NFL football fans across the nation take notice. Kiper Jr. recently released his updated big board, which features three Big Ten stars on it. Michigan senior OT Taylor Lewan headlines the list at No. 16 overall.

“Hasn’t had the best year, but he can’t fix a lot of mediocre play around him,” said Kiper Jr. regarding Lewan. “He’s been the steadiest player on a young line that has struggled some in Big Ten play”

Following Lewan is another talented offensive tackle prospect, Iowa’s Brandon Scherff. The Hawkeyes’ 6-foot-5, 315 pound junior comes in at No. 20 on Kiper Jr.’s list.

Rounding out the board is Ohio State junior linebacker Ryan Shazier (No. 25), who Kiper Jr. compares to former Nebraska standout Lavonte David.

“Shazier is a linebacker who looks like an oversized safety but does a great job of tracking and making tackles from the weak side,” Kiper Jr. says. “He shows better leverage than you’d expect when blockers get on him, and uses his quickness and instincts to shoot gaps and make plays.”

My take: Lewan has dropped because of his struggles this year, which I agree on. I was surprised not to see Minnesota DT Ra’Shede Hageman on this board. He has NFL-ready size and has been a force on Minnesota’s defensive front this season. The guy who I was surprised to see on this list was Branndon Scherff. He does have great size and power, but the same can be said for Ohio State’s Jack Mewhort, who was left off the list and has paved the way for one of the top offensive attacks throughout college football this season.

Other Big Ten players who deserve consideration: Darqueze Dennard (Michigan State), Max Bullough (Michigan State), Shilique Calhoun (Michigan State), Ra’Shede Hageman (Minnesota), Bradley Roby (Ohio State), Allen Robinson (Penn State), Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin), DaQuan Jones (Penn State), Jack Mewhort (Ohio State), Chris Borland (Wisconsin).

About Sean Merriman BTN.com web editor Sean Merriman covers football and men’s basketball and provides original content for BTN.com. You can follow him on Twitter @BTNSean.

Originally from Farmington Hills, MI, I have worked at the Big Ten Network since 2012 and took over my role as web editor and blogger in August, 2013. Follow me on twitter for constant Big Ten updates @srmerriman. Thanks and enjoy!!

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Dave on 11/14/2013 @ 6:07pm EDT Said:

Lewan is a dirty player. Any team that takes him should be prepared for a bunch of facemask penalties.

matt on 11/14/2013 @ 7:55pm EDT Said:

I’ll throw two more at ya…… James White…… underrated and underappreciated…… he should be on the big board ahead of even Melvin Gordon.

Jared Abbrederis, he flat out BEATS everyone he’s gone up against, including Roby. The only reason he does not have bigger numbers is because Stave is still learning to lead recievers and has inconsistent passing mechanics. but if you watch the film, he runs excellent routes and almost always beats defenders. The few times he actually IS covered or has to adjust back into coverage to catch an underthrown pass (happened at least 8 different times that ive seen alone, and I havent seen every game this year) he STILL comes up with the ball, out-working the defenders.

I think Kiper sees 3 highlights on each player and calls it research, given how often he’s wrong about players.

Grant on 11/15/2013 @ 11:47am EDT Said:

on your comment matt, Keiper is just like anyone else that works at ESPN, they have a biased view of players. They never really like guys from smaller schools or schools outside of the winning programs. Take a look at the draft the last few years, your best value, a mid-late round big 10 guy. Go ahead and take the SEC players upfront, they love to bust, especially at the skill positions.

delmar1950 on 11/15/2013 @ 1:57pm EDT Said:

Grant you hit the nail on the head. This love affair with the SEC has really gotten out hand yea it’s the best conference in college football but as for how good its players are after they get to the NFL well they don’t stack up any more then other players around the country. There are players all over the country that get to the NFL and are playing great so lets not get to rapped up in how great the players are in the SEC. GO BUCKS