Le’Veon Bell, Russell Wilson and J.J. Watt. All three are former Big Ten standouts, and all three are current stars in the NFL. With the 2014 NFL Draft starting Thursday night, I was wondering if there any future NFL stars in this year’s Big Ten draft class? If so, how does this year’s class compare to recent Big Ten classes? Here is a position-by-position breakdown of the top prospects in this year’s NFL Draft and a look at how they stack up to the past three Big Ten NFL Draft classes. [ MORE: Dienhart: My Top 10Big Ten NFL Draft
With the 2014 NFL Draft set to begin on Thursday, let’s look back at how some of the players we have featured this year continue to represent their alma maters well on – and off – the football field. Tom Brady (Michigan) continues to be active with Best Buddies in Hyannis Port. Their annual Best Buddies Challenge is coming up at the end of this month! Since we featured Matt Light (Purdue), his foundation added a new event – Fool’s Night Out. Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould (Penn State) continues to make an impact on communities in Illinois with his Goulden
The Big Ten is set to make a splash in this week’s NFL Draft, which will kick off at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday at Radio City Music Hall. ESPN NFL Draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. has six Big Ten prospects being selected in his most recent mock draft. Here is a photo gallery of the Big Ten’s top 25 prospects in the 2014 draft class.
The NFL draft is quickly approaching – May 8-10, to be exact – and it looks like there could be plenty of Big Ten love in the first round. We have all heard the names like Taylor Lewan, Darqueze Dennard and Ryan Shazier. We know their strengths, and we know their weaknesses. But, which current NFL players do draft experts compare these incoming rookies to? Here’s what BTN NFL draft guru Russ Lande says. [ MORE: Top Big Ten NFL-Producing teams of last 5 years ] 1. Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan Comparison: Nate Solder, New England Patriots 2. Darqueze Dennard,
If you’re on Twitter, you can vote in our ongoing series of Big Ten social media polls for our weekday show #BTNLive. On tonight’s episode of #BTNLive at 6 p.m. ET, our experts discuss this question: How many schools should qualify for the college football playoff? On tonight’s show, our experts talk about how the new college football playoff committee set parameters for its inaugural season. We’ll debate what makes sense and what needs some tweaking. How do you vote via social media? It’s simple. On Twitter, just use any of the above hashtags and we will tabulate them. There’s
The NFL draft begins a week from today. The build up has been lengthy. The anticipation is great. Intrigue dominates the top picks, as no one is sure what the Houston Texans will be do with the No. 1 overall pick. The Big Ten has to hope this year’s draft is more productive than last year’s, which was largely forgettable. How forgettable? The conference had only 22 picks, the conference’s lowest total since 1994, when it had 21 from a then 11-team conference. The Big Ten had fewer selections in the first three rounds (seven) than any of the power
Recruiting is the lifeblood of a good football program. Ask any coach. The team with the best players typically wins the game. Well, when it comes to an investment in talent procurement, the Big Ten is upping its ante. According to a story in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Big Ten public schools have increased their football recruiting expenses by 57 percent in a two-year period. The Big Ten’s current 11 public schools combined to spend nearly $6.47 million in football recruiting in fiscal year 2013. That’s up from $4.1 million in 2011. Big Ten Recruiting Costs School 2011 2012 2013
As we should see in next month’s NFL draft, the Big Ten is losing some serious talent. From the offensive side of the ball to the defensive side, there are plenty of All-Big Ten honorees and superlative winners to replace. Which NFL-bound players will be missed the most? See my top candidates, listed in alphabetical order, in this post. [ MORE: View all of our NFL draft coverage ] Jared Abbrederis, WR, Wisconsin. It’s been talked about at length, that the Wisconsin passing game wasn’t exactly stellar in 2013. In fact, the unit’s 2,562 passing yards ranked 82nd in FBS.
The Big Ten spring football season is officially in the books, which means it’s time to point out those who stood out and made an impact for their respective teams. I reached out to writers from every Big Ten school and asked them who they were most impressed with in their team’s spring football game and why. [ MORE: Dienhart: My 2014 All-Spring Football Team ] Illinois: Matt Daniels (@mdaniels_NG), News Gazette – WR Justin Hardee Based strictly on the spring game, which the Blue easily won 38-7 with Reilly O’Toole and Wes Lunt receiving roughly the same snaps at
Remember, not so long ago, when Purdue was deemed the name “The Den of Defensive Ends” for producing a massive amount of top-notch defensive ends who went on to play in the NFL? Names like Rosevelt Colvin, Chike Okeafor, Shaun Phillips and Anthony Spencer struck fear in opposing Big Ten quarterbacks throughout the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Even before that, Penn State became known as “Linebacker U” because of dominant linebackers such as Shane Conlan, LaVar Arrington and Paul Posluszny, all of whom had or are currently having success in the NFL. This year’s NFL Draft is loaded with