10 Big Ten Players Who Will be Drafted in 2014
Top 10 Big Ten 2014 NFL Draft Prospects
Every year one of the measuring sticks for an NCAA football program and its conference is how many of its players get drafted into the NFL. The Big Ten over the years has contributed more than its fair share of quality products to the professional ranks. Current Big Ten alumni who are household NFL names include Tom Brady (Michigan), Drew Brees (Purdue) and Russell Wilson (Wisconsin).
2014 should be no exception for quality draft classes from the Big Ten. At a variety of positions, the Big Ten will have players who are ready to contribute in major and minor roles for NFL teams. Depending on where certain teams end up selecting and the needs of teams come May, the Big Ten could have multiple first-rounders.
The 2014 NFL Draft prospects from the Big Ten have proven on the field that they can perform under pressure and stay away from injuries. They have shown that they have the agility, intelligence, speed and talent that playing football in the NFL requires. They are ready to step right in and become active contributors to a franchise.
Many current juniors and seniors from the various Big Ten schools have established themselves as NFL prospects over the course of their collegiate careers, but ten especially stand out. Teams that find themselves in need of and in the position to take a quality player at wide receiver, tight end, guard, offensive tackle, along the defensive line, at linebacker or cornerback would be well served to look the way of one of these ten players.
10. CJ Fiedorowicz, TE Iowa
At 6-foot-7 and 265-pounds Fiedorowicz has the size and speed that NFL offenses are looking for in the tight end position.
9. Spencer Long, G Nebraska
Despite his recent season-ending knee injury, Long is still the best guard in the Big Ten. Scheduled for surgery this week, Long should be able to fully participate in all pre-draft workouts.
8. Daquan Jones, DT Penn State
Jones is a skilled player that should be able to step into almost any NFL team's rotation of defensive ends. He has a 400+ bench and his agility for being over 300-pounds is remarkable.
7. Jared Abbrederis, WR Wisconsin
What Abbrederis lacks in size he makes up for in grit. The former walk-on has come off an All-Big Ten season to lead the Badgers in receptions and receiving yards and could fill the role of slot receiver for a lot of NFL teams.
6. Darqueze Dennard, CB Michigan State
While there may be some off the field concerns about Dennard, there aren't any on the field. Dennard has been a big part of what has made the Spartans' defense the best in the nation. His 22 passes defended in 34 career games should be enough to get his name called come May.
5. Allen Robinson, WR Penn State
Considered by many to not only be the best wide receiver in the Big Ten but among the best in the nation, Robinson has the size and speed NFL teams want. His ability to make big catches when needed despite seeing the opposition's best coverage makes him an ideal target for a team needing wide receiver help.
4. Ra'Shede Hageman, DT Minnesota
One of the hardest objects to move in the Big Ten, Hageman's 6-foot-6 311-pound frame has become notorious for wreaking havoc in the backfield of opponents. His athleticism for his size is impressive, as evidenced by a blocked kick earlier this season.
3. Bradley Roby, CB Ohio State
Roby has all the physical attributes that NFL teams will want in a cornerback at 5-fpot-11 and running a 4.3 40-time. An All-American coming into the season, Roby has consistently made plays for the Buckeyes defense.
2. Ryan Shazier, LB Ohio State
Shazier finished his junior season ranked in the top ten of the Big Ten in five different statistical categories and has only built upon that in his senior year. A consistent 100 plus tackles a year guy, he should be on a lot of teams' draft boards.
1. Taylor Lewan, OT Michigan
Lewan is not only the best tackle in the Big Ten, but many say the most NFL-ready at any position in the entire conference. His 6-foot-8 315-pound body makes him a prototypical NFL tackle, and his string of 34 consecutive starts at left tackle gives him the consistency NFL teams want at that position.