2016 Big Ten spring football season is over and the 2016 NFL Draft is here. As recent Big Ten football stars move on to their pro careers, new names line up to take their place next fall. BTN.com's Tom Dienhart watched plenty of spring football and he names the offensive players who caught his eye.
There are five schools to have a football player drafted every year since 1967, and three of them are in the Big Ten. Also, Ohio State is primed for a big NFL Draft night, too. Also, today's headlines digest has the final ranking of attendance at Big Ten spring football games. Dive on in.
In his fifth season in Bloomington, Indiana, Kevin Wilson enjoyed a breakthrough by leading the Hoosiers to their first bowl since 2007. Now, he wants to take the program another step foward: winning a bowl. Wilson and Co., are on track. But work needs to be done to move up the pecking order in the rugged Big Ten East. [ MORE: Watch replay of the Indiana spring game on BTN2Go ] The offense loses some key players but should be OK with Wilson’s steady hand guiding things. The defense? It remains an albatross around the neck of the program, ranking
Purdue has had some surprising success in the last 10 NFL drafts, with 19 overall selections and three first-round picks. Not bad for a program that has been to just four bowls in the last 10 years and none since 2012. Linemen have been the most common picks, with seven coming on defense and five on offense. The Boilermakers’ ability to produce defensive ends/outside linebackers has been remarkable, with the likes of Ryan Kerrigan, Anthony Spencer, Cliff Avril, Ray Edwards, Rob Ninkovich and Ryan Russell coming off the board in recent years. Purdue is billed as the “cradle of quarterbacks”
Wisconsin is aiming to get back to the summit in the Big Ten West. But there is work to do as Paul Chryst begins his second season in Madison coming off a 10-3 debut and second-place finish in the West. [ MORE: Watch replay of the Wisconsin spring game on BTN2Go ] Key personnel is gone. And the coaching staff has been impacted with defensive coordinator Dave Aranda leaving for the same post at LSU. Chryst tabbed Justin Wilcox from USC to take over. How will that impact the defense, which was excellent under Aranda? Having a healthy Corey Clement
The NFL draft starts on Thursday. And, know this: Michigan State’s Connor Cook won’t be intimidated, according to Mark Dantonio. “Connor will not be intimidated in the NFL — he won’t,” Dantonio said following the team’s banquet. “When you play on the big stages we’ve played on, the next stage is just another stage. “Connor makes plays, he’s got great touch on the ball, he throws guys open, he has good arm strength and he studies. No one is perfect, but I think he’s resilient.” How high will Cook be picked? Second round? Third round? Later? *** More draft: The
The NFL draft has been good to Penn State the last 10 years, as the Nittany Lions have produced 39 picks. The program has lived up to its billing as “Linebacker U,” producing nine picks at that storied position in State College, Pennsylvania. No other position has produced as many NFL picks over the last 10 years for PSU. The Nittany Lions also have been fertile on both lines and in the defensive backfield. The offensive skill spots? Not so productive. Christian Hackenberg will be the first Penn State QB picked since Wally Richardson in 1997. In addition to Hackenberg,
Prolific. There is no other way to describe Ohio State’s performance in the last 10 NFL drafts. It’s a proverbial football factory in Columbus.
Iowa, fresh off one of the school’s greatest seasons in which it raced to a school-record 12-0 start, capped a successful spring practice Saturday afternoon. Don’t’ look now, but Kirk Ferentz 18th edition of the Hawkeyes could have a shot to repeat as West champs. [ MORE: Watch replay of the Iowa spring game on BTN2Go ] Iowa welcomes back a strong corps of players on both sides of the ball, led by QB C.J. Beathard on offense and CB Desmond King on defense. But there are some concerns as the Hawkeyes. The defense could be a cut-above if the front
How about this: an anonymous scout has blasted Christian Hackenberg. Pennlive.com notes that while the scouts managed to highlight Hackenberg’s upside, they also blasted him for a lack of production and his role in taking 104 career sacks. But those criticisms were tame compared to this scorcher on Hackenberg’s leadership: “He was a Bill O’Brien guy and he had some issues with Franklin,” the scout said. “He hangs out more with managers than he does teammates. It tells me he likes to be king of the little people rather than king of the big people.” Wow. Seems kind of unfair.