Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, May 9, 2016

Is Minnesota QB Mitch Leidner a first-round pick?

?Leidner shows some upside as a passer, but I?ll be looking to see if he can improve his accuracy (59.5 completion rate and 14/11 TD/INT ratio in 2015),? ESPN Todd McShay writes in an early look at the 2017 draft, tabbing Leidner the 25th pick in the draft. ?Listed at 6-foot-4 and 237 pounds, Leidner has ideal size and has shown the ability to make plays with his legs off designed runs and scrambles. He?s a late riser to keep an eye on, similar to Blake Bortles and Carson Wentz.?

I still can?t believe Leidner would be a first-rounder.


This is believable: Northwestern LB Anthony Walker projected as a first-round pick.

The Wildcats haven?t seen a player drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft since 2005, when former Northwestern defensive end Luis Castillo. Todd McShay's "Way-too-early 2017 NFL Mock Draft," which includes just a first round, didn't list Walker's name. Neither did Sports Illustrated's mock. Or that of Pro Football Focus. But what the way-too-early mock drafts that include Walker do tell us is what Northwestern fans know: the guy is a beast and has a very good shot to come in as one of the top linebackers in either 2017 or 2018.


How about this: Le?Veon Bell and Snoop Dogg could mix on a hip-hop record. What until Jim Harbaugh hears about this.

"I'll make it happen; I want to make sure his leg's back right," Snoop said in a TMZ video. "He's a Steeler. He gets that love.

"Twenty-six, get at me, cuz, so we can make some music."


Who are Penn State?s 2016 wild-card players? has ?em.

Carl Nassib was just such a guy last year. WR Saeed Blacknall could be a guy this year for a Nittany Lions squad with a lot to prove in 2016.


Dan Duggan of looks at how much each Big Ten lost to the NFL.

We all know Ohio State lost a lot. But Indiana?s draftees may hurt IU even more. QB Nate Sudfeld, RB Jordan Howard and OT Jason Spriggs leave big holes for a program that isn?t blessed with a lot of blue-chip talent to take over. Plus, DT Darius Latham left early but wasn?t drafted.

*** has ranked the Big Ten schools by NFL draft choices.

Each school had at least one pick, with Ohio State leading the way with 12 and Iowa having just one.


Speaking of Iowa and its low draft total, the Hawkeyes could have a boatload of picks in 2017. has early projections of five Iowa seniors-to-be in line to hear their names called during the 2017 NFL Draft, led by all-American cornerback Desmond King. Hawkeyes offensive line coach/run game coordinator Brian Ferentz threw a sixth possibility into the mix on Wednesday?s ?Hawk Central? radio show in tight end George Kittle. And that?s not even factoring in the possibility that someone such as ball-hawking linebacker Josey Jewell may choose to turn pro after their junior season.


Michigan has some nice wideouts in Jehu Chesson and Amara Darboh. But, Freddy Canteen?s status is TBD after a pair of shoulder surgeries. With or without Canteen, this wideout corps should be ok. says Canteen — 6-foot-1, 182-pound junior receiver/corner — is still not listed on Michigan's roster and was not with the team with it closed spring practice. Jim Harbaugh said Thursday in Ann Arbor that Canteen has had a pair of shoulder surgeries and he's still not sure what his status will be moving forward.

"I don't know yet," Harbaugh said.


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