Colleague Mel Kiper Jr. recently compiled his list of top seniors and juniors for the 2012 NFL draft. Kiper breaks down the top five players at each position in each class.
Quite a few Big Ten players made the rundown, and there were some surprises.
Let's check it out.
No. 2 quarterback: Kirk Cousins, Michigan State
No. 2 running back: Dan Herron, Ohio State
No. 2 fullback: Bradie Ewing, Wisconsin
No. 5 fullback: Joe Suhey, Penn State
No. 1 guard: Kevin Zeitler, Wisconsin
No. 1 center: Michael Brewster, Ohio State
No. 5 center: David Molk, Michigan
No. 5 defensive end: Vince Browne, Northwestern
No. 1 defensive tackle: Jared Crick, Nebraska
No. 5 defensive tackle: Devon Still, Penn State
No. 1 inside linebacker: Lavonte David, Nebraska
No. 2 cornerback: Alfonzo Dennard, Nebraska
No. 3 kicker: Derek Dimke, Illinois
No. 4 kicker: Philip Welch, Wisconsin
No. 4 running back: Edwin Baker, Michigan State
No. 3 fullback: Zach Boren, Ohio State
No. 3 tight end: Jake Stoneburner, Ohio State
No. 3 offensive tackle: Riley Reiff, Iowa
No. 4 offensive tackle: Ricky Wagner, Wisconsin
No. 1 center: Peter Konz, Wisconsin
No. 1 defensive tackle: Jerel Worthy, Michigan State
No. 3 defensive tackle: Kawann Short, Purdue
No. 4 defensive tackle: John Simon, Ohio State
No. 5 defensive tackle: Baker Steinkuhler, Nebraska
No. 4 outside linebacker: Craig Roh, Michigan
No. 2 kicker: Dan Conroy, Michigan State
No. 4 punter: Ben Buchanan, Ohio State
Thoughts: Some interesting selections for both classes. Players like Cousins, Herron, Stoneburner and Roh project a little higher than I thought they would. Players like Molk and Reiff came in a little lower than I thought. Several players I expected to see but didn't include: Ohio State senior LT Mike Adams, Michigan DT Mike Martin, Illinois senior LT Jeff Allen, Penn State senior WR Derek Moye, Nebraska junior TE Kyler Reed, Penn State junior LB Michael Mauti and Iowa senior CB Shaun Prater. The Big Ten is absolutely loaded at defensive tackle, especially in the junior class. The league also continues to dominate the fullback position -- no surprise there.