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.
The NFL Combine will run from Feb. 22-28 in Indianapolis. It will be the chance for college players to work out and impress NFL executives in anticipation of the draft from April 26-28. The official list of Combine invitees has yet to be released by the NFL, but CBSSports.com has a list of 231 players who reportedly have received initial invites. This initial list includes seniors only and more players are expected to be invited in coming weeks.
Wisconsin junior center Peter Konz announced Tuesday that he will forgo his senior season and enter his name into the 2012 NFL Draft. A Rimington Trophy finalist this season, Konz started 31 games at center for Wisconsin over the last three years. This year he was named first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches’ Association and Pro Football Weekly. He was also a first-team All-Big Ten choice by the league’s media.
Edwin Baker says he’s skipping his senior season at Michigan State to enter the NFL draft. Baker tells The Associated Press he told Spartans coach Mark Dantonio of his decision Friday, a day after defensive tackle Jerel Worthy declared himself eligible for the draft. Baker ran for 665 yards and five touchdowns last season, sharing carries with Le’Veon Bell. Read more here and look at Baker’s season’s stats here. On the same day the school announced defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi would be staying at the school.
Michigan State consensus All-American Jerel Worthy announced Thursday that he will forgo his senior season and enter the 2012 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-3, 310-pound junior defensive tackle produced a tackle for loss in nine of MSU’s 14 games. Read the full report at MSUSpartans.com.
Wisconsin junior running back Montee Ball is returning for his senior season with the Badgers. Ball made the announcement in a Thursday afternoon press conference in Madison. Ball added he plans to add at least 10 pounds in the offseason to get stronger while increasing his speed in order to raise his stock in the NFL Draft after next season. “I believe I’m making the right decision,” Ball said.
The Big Ten already has seen two top underclassmen officially declare for the draft: Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus and Iowa OT Riley Reiff. And one report has Michigan State DT Jerel Worthy bolting (read the report), while many speculate that Wisconsin RB Montee Ball will opt for the NFL, too.
Iowa junior offensive tackle Riley Reiff, a 2011 first-team All-Big Ten performer, announced Wednesday that he will enter the 2012 NFL Draft.
Illinois junior defensive end Whitney Mercilus announced Tuesday that he will forgo his senior season and enter the 2012 NFL Draft. Mercilus entered the season as a relative unknown and finished it as one of the nation’s elite defensive players. During his breakout campaign, he led the nation with 16 sacks, forced a Big Ten-record nine fumbles and registered a Big Ten-leading 22.5 tackles for loss.