<
>

Big Ten on Mel Kiper's new Big Board

ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. has released his new Big BoardInsider for the 2012 NFL draft. While we're a long way away from April, it's interesting to see how Kiper views some of the Big Ten prospects.

Here are the players from the league he has in the first round of his latest mock draft:

No. 9: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa.

Kiper calls Reiff a dependable, durable, well-coached blocker with all the attributes of an NFL tackle.

No. 14: Jared Crick, DT, Nebraska

"The J.J. Watt of this class should be a good fit as a 3-4 defensive end in the NFL and a solid penetrator in that role," Kiper says.

No. 19: Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State

Kiper says Worthy has excellent size and strength but "must show more as a pass-rusher."

By the way, Big Ten teams will face a few of Kiper's projected first-rounders this weekend, including Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict (No. 10 overall; at Illinois this Saturday); Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o (No. 12; versus Michigan State); and Washington defensive end Alameda Ta'amu (No. 24; at Nebraska).