Sean Merriman, web editor, April 16, 2015

The NFL draft kicks off on Thursday, April 30 at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University in Chicago.

There is a long list of former Big Ten football standouts who expect to hear their name called in the upcoming draft. So, we ask, what can NFL teams expect from some of the top Big Ten prospects in this year's draft class?

I teamed up with senior writer Tom Dienhart to answer that question.

Here is a list of 10 superlatives to get you ready for the much-anticipated NFL Draft.

[ MORE: Five Big Ten players in first round of ESPN Mock Draft ]

1. Best passer: Gary Nova, Rutgers

2014 passing stats: 187-of-327 (57 percent), 2,851 yards, 22 TD, 12 INT
Projected draft round: Late to undrafted

2. Best hands: Maxx Williams, Minnesota

2014 receiving stats: 36 rec, 569 yards, 8 TD
Projected draft round: 2

3. Best speed: Trae Waynes, Michigan State

40-yard dash time: 4.31
Projected draft round: 1

4. Best pass rusher: Randy Gregory, Nebraska

2014 stats: 54 tackles, 7 sacks
Projected draft round: 1

5. Best cover-man: Trae Waynes, Michigan State

2014 stats: 46 tackles, 3 INT
Projected draft round: 1

6. Best hitter: Mike Hull, Penn State

2014 stats: 138 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 INT
Projected draft round: 4-5

7. Best leader: Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska

2014 rushing stats: 264 carries, 1,611 yards, 19 TD
Projected draft round: 2

8. Best blocker: Brandon Scherff, Iowa

NFL Combine results: 5.05 40-yard dash, 23 bench press reps
Projected draft round: 1

9. Best deep threat: Devin Smith, Ohio State

2014 stats: 33 rec, 931 yards, 12 touchdowns
Projected draft round: 1-2

10. Best athlete: Devin Funchess, Michigan

NFL Combine results: 4.7 40-yard dash, 17 bench press reps, 38.5 inch vertical jump
Projected draft round: 2