Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer, April 22, 2018
When it comes to producing offensive linemen, no Big Ten school can match Wisconsin. But Iowa isn't far behind.
The Badgers have seen 10 o-linemen selected in the NFL draft since 2008, while the Hawkeyes have had nine. Those schools rank 1-2 among Big Ten teams in offensive linemen picked in the last 10 years. The conference has seen 64 linemen taken since 2008.
The Big Ten has had 12 offensive linemen taken in the first round since 2008. Wisconsin leads the way with four, while Iowa has had three. The Big Ten o-lineman picked highest over the last 10 years? Michigan tackle Jake Long, who went No. 1 in 2008 to the Dolphins. The only year since 2008 when no Big Ten offensive linemen were picked in the first round was 2009.
Wisconsin long ago developed a reputation for producing heavy-duty road-graders who pave the way for a fleet of great running backs in Madison. Thank current A.D. and former coach Barry Alvarez for giving the program that tough, physical style. It has become the trademark of the Badgers.
The Wisconsin offensive lineman picked highest since 2008: Guard Kevin Zeitler, who was selected 27th overall by the Bengals in 2012.
The Hawkeyes are every bit as tough and physical as the Badgers, thanks to Kirk Ferentz. Iowa is a program whose offense is built around a strong run game-often times to a fault, as the passing game has been known to struggle for consistency.
The highest-picked Iowa offensive lineman taken in the last 10 years: Tackle Brandon Scherff, who was selected No. 5 overall by the Redskins in 2015.
But the first Big Ten offensive lineman off the board in this year's draft doesn't figure to be a Badger or Hawkeye. Instead, it should be Ohio State center Billy Price-a likely first-rounder. Iowa center James Daniels also could be a first-round selection. Other Big Ten offensive linemen who could be selected are Ohio State OT Jamarco Jones; Iowa OT Ike Boettger; Nebraska OT Nick Gates; Penn State OT Brendan Mahon; Iowa G Sean Welsh; Michigan OT Mason Cole; Michigan State C Brian Allen.
Here is a look at the offensive line production for the Big Ten in the last 10 NFL drafts.
1. Wisconsin: 10
2. Iowa: 9
3. Michigan; Nebraska; Ohio State: 7
6. Penn State: 6
7. Illinois: 5
8. Indiana: 4
9. Purdue: 3
10. Maryland; Michigan State; Rutgers: 2
13. Minnesota; Northwestern: 0
First-round Big Ten offensive linemen picked since 2008.
- Michigan OT Jake Long, Dolphins (1)
- Rutgers OT Anthony Davis, 49ers (11)
- Iowa OT Bryan Bulaga, Packers (23)
- Wisconsin OT Gabe Carimi, Bears (29)
- Iowa OT Riley Reiff, Lions (23)
- Wisconsin G Kevin Zeitler, Bengals (27)
- Wisconsin C Travis Frederick Cowboys (31)
- Michigan OT Taylor Lewan, Titans (11)
- Iowa OT Brandon Scherff, Redskins (5)
- Michigan State OT Jack Conklin, Titans (8)
- Ohio State OT Taylor Decker, Lions (16)
- Wisconsin OT Ryan Ramczyk, Saints (32 overall pick)