Sean Merriman, web editor, April 9, 2015

The NFL Draft is just three weeks away, which means experts are putting the final touches on their 2015 mock drafts.

ESPN NFL Draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. recently released his 4.0 mock draft, which features five Big Ten players in the first round. The first Big Ten star Kiper Jr. projects to be off the board is Iowa offensive tackle Brandon Scherff, who he has going No. 6 overall to the New York Jets.

"The new threats in the passing game are nice, but given the QB options on the roster, this team needs to be able to run the ball," Kiper Jr. says. "Scherff is a possible starter immediately at right tackle, and is a clear upgrade at either guard spot. It might not be exciting for the fans, but for immediate impact this could be the best pick to make."

Scherff is the only former Big Ten standout who Kiper Jr. lists in his top 10 picks, but Michigan State CB Trae Waynes falls right outside that group, going No. 11 to the Minnesota Vikings.

"I've said before I also think the Vikings could look at a receiver here, but with the top three off the board in this scenario, Waynes becomes a pretty decent value as the top cornerback in the draft," Kiper Jr. says of the former MSU standout defensive back. "The Vikings have a need there and, at a position where I feel like the transition from college to pro is as pronounced as it is at any place on the field, Waynes has the range of skills that add up to a guy who can help out early in his career."

Here is a look at where Kiper Jr. has other Big Ten players slotted in the upcoming draft.

13. Nebraska DE Randy Gregory: New Orleans Saints

21. Michigan TE/WR Devin Funchess: Cincinnati Bengals

24. Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon: Arizona Cardinals

Other players to consider: DT Carl Davis (Iowa), WR Devin Smith (Ohio State), Maxx Williams (Minnesota), Ameer Abdullah (Nebraska), Tevin Coleman (Indiana).