The 2016 NFL Draft is Thursday-Sunday in Chicago, marking the second consecutive year that the highly anticipated event will call the Big Ten’s backyard home. [ MORE: Get all of our 2016 NFL Draft coverage ] This draft figures to be a big one for the Big Ten, in particular perennial power Ohio State. The Buckeyes could flirt with a pair of modern day draft records: most first-round picks (6; Miami in 2004) and most overall picks (14; Ohio State in 2004). With the draft just a couple of days away, we wanted to share and relive some previous BTN
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,
Jack Conklin didn’t expect to be here. With no Division I scholarship out of Plainwell High School in Plainwell, Michigan, Conklin has defied odds en route to becoming one of the Big Ten’s premier offensive lineman and a likely first round NFL draft pick. Here he is, though, just days away from being a high pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, which starts with the first round Thursday night in Chicago. Before Conklin hears his name called in Chicago, BTN host Mike Hall profiles the former Michigan State walk-on-turned-star’s story, one that would make a great movie script. Watch the
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.
The best way to describe Northwestern’s NFL draft success the last 10 years? Modest.
Few Big Ten schools can match the production that Nebraska has had in the NFL draft the last 10 years. The Cornhuskers have had 36 picks—almost four per draft. And the program also has had three first-rounders. The most prolific position has been defensive back with nine selections. The offensive line, defensive line and linebacker (each with six picks) also have been productive positions for producing pros in Lincoln. Nebraska will add to its impressive array of NFL draftees in 2016, with offensive tackle Alex Lewis, defensive tackles Vincent Valentine and Maliek Collins and fullback Andy Janovich most likely to
Minnesota hasn’t been a hot-bed for producing NFL talent the last 10 years with just 14 draft choices in that span. But that could change in coming years, beginning with this year’s draft. The Golden Gophers did not have any players drafted four times in the last 10 years—2013, 2012, 2011 and 2009. And check this out: The last time Minnesota had a quarterback drafted was 1972, when Craig Curry went in the 8th round. Minnesota could have a few picks in this year’s draft, highlighted by defensive backs Briean Boddy-Calhoun and Eric Murray. Linebacker De’Vondre Campbell also has a
Michigan State has been one of the Big Ten’s top programs in recent years, winning 11 or more games five times in the last six seasons. But the NFL draft doesn’t reflect that success. Instead, it reinforces the notion that Mark Dantonio and his staff have few peers when it comes to developing talent to fit their system. [ MORE: Watch the Michigan State spring game at 3 p.m. ET Saturday on BTN2Go ] The results are prodigious, with nine bowl trips including an appearance in the College Football Playoff last season under Dantonio, who routinely turns three-star recruits into
Michigan hasn’t won the Big Ten since 2004, but the program still has churned out some top talent over the past 10 seasons. The Wolverines have had a storied reputation for producing receivers—and that bears out in the numbers, as Michigan has seen seven wideouts picked since 2006. But where are all of the quarterbacks (one)? There was a time when this program churned out signal-callers, including the likes of Brian Griese, Tom Brady, Elvis Grbac, Chad Henne and Jim Harbaugh, among others. The absence of NFL running backs also is noticeable, as just two Wolverine backs have been selected
The NFL draft has not been kind to Maryland of late. To wit: The Terps have had a total of only eight players drafted in the last six years.