Brent Yarina, BTN.com Senior Editor, October 5, 2011
A trio of Big Ten products land on ESPN.com's Rookie Watch, which ranks the NFL's top 10 rookies every week. Ryan Kerrigan (Purdue) leads the group, at No. 3, up four spots form last week, J.J. Watt (Wisconsin) comes in at No. 7 and Adrian Clayborn (Iowa) rounds out the contingent, at No. 9. Kerrigan skyrocketed up the list after recording another sack Sunday, his third sack in as many games. Here's what Matt Williamson said about Kerrigan: "Kerrigan continues to make big plays. He is a game-changer. And Kerrigan now has a sack in three straight games. Having Brian Orakpo on the opposite side certainly helps Kerrigan's cause, but this guy is a fine player already in his own right."
The list shouldn't come as a big surprise. All three players were absolute studs last season, to the point that their respective NFL teams decided to take them in the first round. As Williamson wrote, Kerrigan is off to a tremendous start – he even has an interception return for a touchdown – and with him and Orakpo on opposite ends, the Redskins will feature quite the pass rush. The same goes for Watt, who plays with Mario Williams, one of the best pass-rushers in the game. You'll be a lot more from all three of these guys throughout the season.
Every Sunday use our Big Ten NFL Stat Tracker to see the stats of your favorite Big Ten products. Also, if you like keeping up with former Big Ten players, you need to check out "The Next Level," our weekly Tuesday show that covers the Big Ten football stars from the past, present and future by tracking our shining professional players as well as those current Big Ten athletes poised to make the leap.
See the complete top 10 list here.