- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Ranking the Big Ten's top 30 players ...
Bryan Bulaga, LT, Iowa, Jr., 6-6, 315
Why he's here -- One of the surprising things about these rankings is the lack of offensive linemen. It partly relates to the fact that we usually judge offensive lines as groups rather than as individuals. On the other hand, the Big Ten seems to lack many truly elite offensive linemen heading into 2009.
There are several solid players around the league -- Penn State's Stefen Wisniewski, Iowa's Kyle Calloway, Wisconsin's Gabe Carimi, Ohio State's Justin Boren and Mike Brewster, Michigan's Stephen Schilling -- but right now Bulaga is in a category of his own. He's the Big Ten's top left tackle and a player who will be on the NFL draft radar very soon.
Bulaga earned second-team All-Big Ten honors last season and created lanes for the nation's top rushing back, Shonn Greene, while protecting quarterback Ricky Stanzi. Iowa ranked 26th nationally in rushing and 33rd in scoring despite some ups and downs in the passing game.
If Bulaga continues on this trajectory, he'll likely have a decision to make next year regarding the NFL draft. He boasts the size and the skill to do some damage at the next level, and Iowa's normally tight-lipped coaching staff can't hide its excitement for what Bulaga brings to the table.
No. 5 -- Bryan Bulaga, LT, Iowa
No. 6 -- Navorro Bowman, LB, Penn State
No. 7 -- Sean Lee, LB, Penn State
No. 8 -- Terrelle Pryor, QB, Ohio State
No. 9 -- Corey Wootton, DE, Northwestern
No. 10 -- Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan
No. 12 -- Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State
No. 13 -- Kurt Coleman, S, Ohio State
No. 14 -- Juice Williams, QB, Illinois
No. 15 -- Amari Spievey, CB, Iowa
No. 19 -- Jammie Kirlew, DE, Indiana
No. 20 -- Pat Angerer, LB, Iowa
No. 21 -- Brad Phillips, S, Northwestern
No. 23 -- Ricky Stanzi, QB, Iowa
No. 24 -- Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
No. 25 -- Traye Simmons, CB, Minnesota
No. 26 -- Thaddeus Gibson, DE, Ohio State
No. 27 -- Stefen Wisniewski, C, Penn State
No. 28 -- Matt Mayberry, LB, Indiana
No. 29 -- Martez Wilson, LB, Illinois
No. 30 -- Trevor Anderson, DE, Michigan State
1dSam Khan Jr.