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The NFL draft starts on Thursday night, with the highly anticipated first round, and more than 20 Big Ten players figure to be selected by the time the draft comes to an end Sunday.
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports
BTN’s Rosevelt Colvin and Russ Lande were in Indianapolis tracking the Big Ten players who participated in the 2013 NFL Combine leading up to the NFL Draft in April. See a full gallery of Big Ten players in action and watch our collection of interviews with a handful of the Big Ten players.
The official list of players invited to the NFL Combine is out. And the Big Ten is well represented with 32 invitees. Ohio State leads the way with seven players invited.
BTN is at the Senior Bowl tracking the progress filing reports on a number of players. In their latest report, Rick Pizzo and Gerry DiNardo focused on two defensive lineman: Illinois’ Michael Buchanan and Penn State’s Jordan Hill.
It was a surprise to some that Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan opted to return for his senior season. But it’s great news for the Wolverines, as Lewan will be among the top linemen in the nation in 2013.
Michigan State defensive end William Gholston will forgo his senior season and enter the 2013 NFL Draft. He wrote a letter to the Michigan State faithful, which the athletic department released Saturday night. Read the full letter in this post.
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Andrew Weber-US Presswire
Please tell me you aren’t shocked by news that Michigan State running back Le’Veon Bell is going pro a year early. Running backs have only so many carries in their body. And Bell already has used up a lot of them at Michigan State. In three years, he ran 671 times for 3,346 yards and 33 touchdowns. He also caught 78 passes, which surely will impress NFL scouts.
It was no surprise to see Ohio State defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins announce he’s bypassing his senior season to turn pro. He’s a likely first-round draft choice, and he spent most of the season atop BTN NFL draft expert Russ Lande’s Big Board.
One draft expert, ESPN’s Todd McShay, fell in love with Mike Martin before the 2012 NFL Draft. Apparently, the Tennessee Titans were fond of him, too. Tennessee selected the former Michigan defensive tackle in the third round of last week’s draft. Martin’s YouTube account, GoMikeMartin, chronicled the defensive tackle’s draft party, and it includes its share of raw emotion. Watch the video now and see more all-access draft videos in this post.
The 2012 NFL Draft came and went this past weekend, with a grand total of 41 Big Ten products being selected during the three-day event. Iowa’s Riley Reiff was the first player off the board, at No. 23, while Illinois, believe it or not, accounted for four of the Big Ten’s first six draft picks. But what about those players who went undrafted? They began signing contracts immediately following the draft. Here’s a complete list of Big Ten free-agent signees. In this post, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart compiles his All-Big Ten Undrafted Team.
Michigan State safety Trenton Robinson didn’t expect to last until the final rounds of the 2012 NFL Draft. That’s what happened, though, and it made for some frustration and tense moments at his draft watching party. Eventually, Robinson heard his name — in the sixth round, to be exact. And while it came later than expected, Robinson is thrilled to be a San Francisco 49er. Watch a YouTube video of his draft watching party in this post.
Immediately following the 2012 NFL Draft on Saturday night, undrafted players began inking free-agent deals. The list of players continues to grow, but see the Big Ten products who have signed and check out some of their tweets in this post. Here’s the official list from NFL.com. And don’t forget about the 41 Big Ten players who were drafted during the three-day event.
Former Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus didn’t have to wait long to hear his name called during the 2012 NFL Draft. With the 26th pick of Thursday night’s first round, the Houston Texans selected Mercilus, the first of four Illinois players taken in the opening 48 picks. Check out all the Big Ten draft picks and see who inked free-agent contracts. BTN cameras were at Mercilus’ family draft watching party in Akron, Ohio, to capture the nerves and jubilation of the memorable night. Watch the behind-the-scenes feature now.
The 2012 NFL Draft came to a close Saturday night. Forty-one former Big Ten stars were selected during the three-day event in New York, including four first-rounders: Iowa’s Riley Reiff, Illinois’ Whitney Mercilus, Wisconsin Kevin Zeitler and Illinois’ A.J. Jenkins. Mercilus and Jenkins were the first of four Illini drafted in the first 48 picks. Even more impressive, four of the Big Ten’s first six players off the board were Illini. Catch up on the entire draft with FoxSports.com’s Draft Tracker and see all the Big Ten picks in this post.
The NFL draft starts at 8 p.m. ET Thursday with the first round, continues Friday with rounds two and three before finishing Saturday with the final four rounds. For Big Ten players, questions linger. Which one will be the first off the board? Iowa offensive tackle Riley Reiff? Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus? Someone else?
If NFL teams are looking for linemen, they may look to the Big Ten often when the draft kicks off with the first round at 8 p.m. ET Thursday. The Big Ten’s top prospects with the best chance to hear their names called on Thursday are linemen: Iowa offensive tackle Riley Reiff; Wisconsin center Peter Konz; Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler; Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy; Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus.
With 10 Big Ten spring games down, it will be the inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game participants closing out the spring football slate Saturday. On Tuesday night’s “Big Ten Football Report,” Mark Dantonio, the coach of the reigning Legends Division champs, joined BTN host Dave Revsine to talk about Michigan State’s spring. Catch the Spartans spring game at 1 p.m. ET Saturday live on BTN/BTN2Go. Also Saturday, BTN2Go will stream Wisconsin’s spring game at 5 p.m. ET. Watch our interview with Dantonio now and hear from Kirk Cousins on his NFL draft stock in this post.
The 2012 NFL Draft kicks off Thursday night and runs through Saturday afternoon at Radio City Music Hall in New York. To get our readers excited for the three-day marathon of analysis and predictions, we’re taking you on a trip down memory lane. With the help of NFL.com, we’ve linked to the site’s school-specific all-time draft results. Wondering which Illinois players have been selected since the draft’s inception? Find the answer for every Big Ten school in this post. Also, watch our Russ Lunde talk about the NFL draft now.
It’s no secret ESPN and NFL Network attend the NFL draft and offer analysis and updates live from New York City. But did you know Penn State students do the same? That’s right, starting Thursday and running through the final pick Saturday, the school will air its seventh ComRadio NFL Draft Show live from Radio City Music Hall. You can listen live here and follow all the activity on the show’s Twitter handle: @NFLDraftShow.
On Tuesday’s Big Ten Football Report with Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith, we aired the second part of DiNardo’s two-part interview with new Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer. Also on tonight’s show, our crew gave an update on Big Ten players at the Senior Bowl. The folks over at SeniorBowl.com have complete rosters – one for the North team and one for the South team. There are Big Ten players on both squads. Watch our Meyer interview now and also check out great bonus content in this post.
College football players had until Jan. 15 to declare for the NFL Draft, which begins Thursday, April 26 and continues through Saturday, April 28 (get more info at NFL.com). The Big Ten saw five players (Illinois’ Whitney Mercilus, Iowa’s Riley Reiff, Michigan State’s Jerel Worthy and Edwin Baker and Wisconsin’s Peter Konz) opt for the pros, so here’s my quick look at each one along with some handy links.