Mel Kiper Jr. has revealed his first Big Board for the 2013 draft, and it looks very promising for the Big Ten and for one school in particular.
Michigan State is the only team with three players listed among Kiper's top 25 for 2013.
Here's the full Big Ten contingent:
No. 11: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State (underclassman)
No. 12: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan (underclassman)
No. 14: Johnny Adams, CB, Michigan State
No. 15: Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
No. 17: William Gholston, DE, Michigan State (underclassman)
No. 21: Le'Veon Bell, RB, Michigan State (underclassman)
No. 24: Ricky Wagner, OT, Wisconsin
A very interesting list indeed. While Kiper sees the Big Ten's drought of top-10 picks continuing for another year, he has seven players from the league in the top 25. Four of the selections are underclassmen, including Hankins, who Ohio State players and coaches raved about this spring. At 6-foot-3 and 335 pounds, Hankins is the type of defensive tackle who boasts the size and quickness combo that makes NFL personnel evaluators drool.
Kiper and Todd McShay have very different views of Wisconsin's Wagner, who McShay pegs at No. 2 overall in his 2013 rundown. Michigan's Lewan is getting a lot of love from the draft analysts and will enter the season with some lofty expectations.
While Gholston and Adams appear on a lot of mock drafts for 2013, Bell's inclusion is interesting. Bell has impressed me ever since his freshman year at Michigan State, and his size-speed combo projects well to the next level. But to see him pegged in the first round -- ahead of Wisconsin running back Montee Ball and others -- is noteworthy.
Kiper also runs down his top 5 seniors by position for the 2013 draft. Some interesting notes: Wisconsin's Ball is the top senior running back, while Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson is the No. 5 senior wide receiver. Ohio State's John Simon and Illinois' Michael Buchanan are the top two senior defensive ends.