Big Ten links: 2016 NFL draft analysis, reaction and notes

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Big Ten links: 2016 NFL draft analysis, reaction and notes

B1G FEATURE - BTN camera followed around Braxton Miller before the 2016 NFL Draft.

The 2016 NFL draft is in the books. And no school dominated like Ohio State.

Three players were picked in the top 10. Five players in the top 20. Ten players in the first three rounds, an NFL Draft record. Twelve players in the first four rounds, another NFL Draft record. But OSU fell short of breaking its modern draft record for most picks (14 in 2004) in one draft. Ohio State finished with 12 picks in the 2016 NFL Draft. That was the most of any school this year. Ohio State is the 23rd team in the history of the NFL Draft to have at least 12 selections, and the first since that Buckeyes team in 2004.

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This time last year, who would have envisioned Jake Rudock being an NFL pick? This is a testament to the coach of Jim Harbaugh and his staff. And, Rudock.

Detroit selected the former Iowa and Michigan signal-caller on Saturday afternoon in the sixth round. The pick came in at 191 overall, and just two rounds behind Connor Cook, Rudock’s far more highly regarded counterpart from Michigan State. Rudock will compete with Dan Orlovsky for the backup quarterback job in Detroit. I bet Rudock makes a roster.

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The great Mike Griffith of Mlive.com takes a look at 30 years of the Big Ten quarterbacks in the NFL draft in draft show format. And, there have been some good ones, like guys named Brady and Brees.

The conference had five QB selections in the 2016 draft: Nate Sudfeld (Redskins), Christian Hackenberg (Jets), Jake Rudock (Lions), Connor Cook (Raiders), and Cardale Jones (Bills).

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The slide of Michigan State QB Connor Cook was a bit vexing … but not a total shock. Some wondered about his attitude and leadership ability, often citing the fact the senior wasn’t voted a captain by his peers last season. Finally, in Round 4, Cook was picked by the Raiders, where he can learn behind Derek Carr.

“Everybody in their right mind knows if there is one leader on your football team, it’s your quarterback,” said Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi, who recruited Cook to MSU. “I just know this from my experiences at Michigan State, from some of the big games we played in, if there was one guy that was going to step in that huddle that was going to turn and make 10 other guys play a lot better, it was number 18.”

Maybe this will motivate Cook.

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The Jets may have gotten a steal in tabbing Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg in the second round. One thing is for sure: New York did its homework on Hackenberg.

This could be the steal of the draft.

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Bet you didn’t know this: When corner Anthony Brown got picked by the Cowboys on Saturday, Purdue kept intact a streak of having an NFL draft selection for 19 years in a row.

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Hey, former Rutgers QB Gary Nova has a tryout with the Packers! Never give up the dream.

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Here are five things about Michigan State and the 2016 NFL draft.

Despite this being the winningest senior class in school annals, Michigan State had just five players picked. And only Jack Conklin (No. 8 overall) exceeded his NFL draft expectations. All-American center Jack Allen and freakish athlete Lawrence Thomas were surprisingly not drafted, while QB Connor Cook slid to the fourth round. Next year, DL Malik McDowell could be a top five pick.

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Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer

About Tom Dienhart: BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, and send him questions to his weekly mailbag.

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