Brent Yarina, BTN.com Senior Editor, July 30, 2012
Everyone, it seems, enjoys mock drafts. And it's easy to see why. Not only do they create interest and offer predictions, but they often elicit passionate responses. You know the complaints and arguments: that guy's too high, this guy's better than that guy, etc. Well, we thought it would be fun to do a 2012 Big Ten football mock draft. How does it work? We invited a writer from all 12 Big Ten teams to conduct the six-round draft, consisting of QB, WR, RB, TE, Defensive player and K.
We didn?t include offensive linemen (sorry!) because they aren?t stat-collectors, and we?re going to use the team?s weekly statistics as a fun new way to spotlight the week?s top Big Ten statistical performers throughout the season.
This is not a 2012 NFL mock draft and it is not fantasy football. There are no weekly standings, trades, points per reception or anything of that ilk. Instead, this is a feature that gives us a new way to showcase the Big Ten's top statistical talents each week. Plus, we hope the mock draft gets Big Ten fans debating the picks.
Editor's note: Because teams can have only one player from each position and all positions have varying degrees of depth, there will be examples of inferior players going before superior players.
3. Marc Morehouse (@marcmorehouse), TheGazette.com – Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State
My take: Can't complain about the selection, but it was a bit surprising an Iowa beat writer passed on James Vandenberg, perhaps the Big Ten's elite passer. The guy is underrated.
4. Kyle Meinke (@KMeinke), AnnArbor.com – John Simon, DE, Ohio State
My take: After hearing everyone with a pulse rave about Simon at media day, it's no surprise the Ohio State star was the first defensive player off the board. The real surprise: a Michigan beat writer took an "Ohio" player in Round 1.
5. Joe Rexrode (@joerexrode), Lansing State Journal – Le'Veon Bell, RB, Michigan State
My take: With Nebraska's Rex Burkhead available, this is an interesting pick. But it makes sense, both from the fact it's a Michigan State writer and that Bell is primed for breakout season.
6. Marcus R. Fuller (@GophersNow), Pioneer Press – Rex Burkhead, RB, Nebraska
My take: It's hard not to be shocked Burkhead dropped this far, and you know Brian Christopherson, of the Lincoln Journal Star, was hoping he would fall one more pick.
7. Brian Christopherson (@HuskerExtraBC), Lincoln Journal Star – Taylor Martinez, QB, Nebraska
My take: With Burkhead off the board, Christopherson stayed in state and scooped up a dual-threat quarterback who has been working hard and long on his passing and footwork.
8. Teddy Greenstein (@TeddyGreenstein), Chicago Tribune – Kain Colter, QB, Northwestern
My take: On the topic of dual-threat quarterbacks, Colter could be a very nice one in his first season as the full-time guy.
9. Kyle Rowland (@KyleRowland), ElevenWarriors.com – Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
My take: The third Buckeye selected, and the second from the defensive line. No wonder so many experts like Ohio State this year.
10. Ron Musselman (@rmusselmansc), StateCollege.com – Silas Redd, RB, Penn State
My take: High risk, high reward. If Redd rejects USC and stays at Penn State, he's one of the conference's best running backs. Editor's note: Due to Redd's transfer to USC, Ron's pick is Bill Belton.
11. Ryan and J (@BoiledSports), BoiledSports.com – Jared Abbrederis, WR, Wisconsin
My take: Considering the lack of proven playmakers at receiver, this is a great selection. There may be no bigger drop-off between the first couple of guys and the rest of the position than at receiver.
12. John Velduis (@JohnVeldhuis), BadgerBlitz.com – James Vandenberg, QB, Iowa
My take: About time! I truly don't understand how the senior is so underrated. The best pure quarterback in the Big Ten, Vandenberg is going throw the ball a lot this season.