Clayborn, Boren lead 2011 BT draft hopefuls


The general belief among college football observers is that the Big Ten will be even stronger in 2010, especially at the top.

So will better teams mean better NFL prospects for the 2011 draft?

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. takes an early look, breaking down the top five juniors and rising juniors at each position. Here's how the Big Ten hopefuls fare heading into the 2010 season.

Evan Royster, Penn State: No. 5 running back

Justin Boren, Ohio State: No. 2 guard

Stephen Schilling, Michigan: No. 4 guard

Stefen Wisniewksi, Penn State: No. 2 center

Adrian Clayborn, Iowa: No. 1 defensive end

Cameron Heyward, Ohio State: No. 4 defensive end

Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue: No. 5 defensive end

Greg Jones, Michigan State: No. 2 inside linebacker

Ross Homan, Ohio State: No. 4 outside linebacker

Chimdi Chekwa, Ohio State: No. 5 cornerback

Ryan Donahue, Iowa: No. 1 punter

I was a little surprised to see Heyward listed down at No. 4, as I think he'll climb up the board by the end of the 2010 season. I also wouldn't be shocked to see Wisconsin running back John Clay on Kiper's list in the future.

Kiper, by the way, lists four Big Ten players in his mock first-round selection for this year's draft: Iowa LT Bryan Bulaga (No. 18, Steelers), Penn State LB Navorro Bowman (No. 24, Eagles), Penn State DT Jared Odrick (No. 31, Saints) and Michigan DE Brandon Graham (No. 32, Colts).