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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?
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.
The Big Ten has churned out plenty of successful NFL football players over the years. Names like Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Charles Woodson top the list of Big Ten football icons. But what about recent Big Ten stars who have made a splash in the NFL? Here is a list of my top 10 Big Ten draft picks over the past five years, counting down from No. 10 to No. 1. The criteria included a combination of on-field production, potential and exceptions based on where they were drafted. I state my case for each one.
We all have professional athletes who we have looked up to at one point or another. Well, former Wisconsin star J.J. Watt took that to a whole new level by posting the following video to his Instagram account.
Former Wisconsin star and current Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt is without question one of the most intimidating Big Ten players in recent memory. But this post-workout video, posted by Watt on his Instagram account, takes the whole “intimidation factor” to another new level.
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Anybody who knows J.J. Watt is well aware that the ex-Wisconsin star defensive end is an incredible athlete. He can even skate and play some hockey, as he showed in a recent YouTube video. Check out Watt’s hockey skills in this post.
J.J. Watt is now a superstar in the NFL, but it wasn’t long ago that he was just a small-town kid from Pewaukee, Wisc., daring to dream of one day suiting up as a professional football player. Watt’s journey to stardom, a bumpy road that didn’t include any big-time college scholarship offers as a senior in high school, has given him perspective.
J.J. Watt is a freak. There’s really no other way to describe the former Wisconsin standout defensive lineman. The guy is as athletic as they come – yes, even with a 6-5, 289-pound frame – and the 2012 NFL Defensive Player of the Year proved it in a quick YouTube video that captures him nailing a 59.5-inch box jump.
Is it possible not to like Wisconsin product J.J. Watt? Not after watching the video above. Watt, an NFL superstar who does as much good off the field as on it, recently reminded us how likeable he is. After hearing the story of a local leukemia fan who named the robot that goes to school for him “Watt,” the former Badger defensive lineman paid the boy, Cristian Beasley, a surprise visit.
Wired for sound during an NFL game this season, Wisconsin product and current Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt famously told Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice: “I’ve eaten burritos bigger than you.” It was funny, because Watt, 6-5, 295 pounds, dwarfs Rice, 5-8, 212 pounds. On Tuesday, it was Watt’s turn as the burrito, if you will.
How do you know you’re a big deal? When your likeness is plastered on a vending machine, that’s how. Former Wisconsin defensive end and current Houston Texan J.J. Watt now knows the feeling. The ex-Badger is featured on a vending machine that @JJWFoundation tweeted Thursday. Watt’s Twitter response: “Wow. I hope it dispenses sacks at will.”