Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ranking the Big Ten's top NFL Draft prospects

One former Big Ten football beat writer's list of the conference's top 10 NFL Draft prospects:

1. Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State: The best player on the Big Ten's best team. An immediate starter with Pro Bowl potential.

2. Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan: Showed little improvement as a senior, but should be the third tackle selected behind Auburn's Greg Robinson and Texas A&M's Jake Matthews.

3. Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State: 143 tackles and a 4.38 40-yard dash time. He's rated behind Buffalo's Khalil Mack because...

4.  Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota: Anybody who stands 6-foot-5, weighs 310 pounds and runs the 40 in under 5.0 seconds is a load to block.

5. Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State: Those OVI charges aren't helping his cause. His senior film isn't raising his stock, either.

6. Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State: Could be the first running back selected, which means he's likely to go in the second round.

7. DaQuan Jones, DT, Penn State: Next up in an impressive group of defensive linemen coached by new Ohio State assistant Larry Johnson. 

8. Chris Borland, LB, Wisconsin: Forget his height, weight and 40 time. This guy can play.

9. Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana: Rising on everybody's draft board and could surpass Penn State's Allen Robinson as the first Big Ten receiver drafted.

10. C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa: Any NFL offense is more imaginative than what Iowa runs, which should maximize Fiedorwicz's underrated talents.

-- Guy Cipriano | @newsheraldguy

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