Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Big Ten rankings: Bryan Bulaga, No. 4
By ESPN.com staff
The Big Ten postseason player rankings, based on past performance and future potential, continue with ...
Bryan Bulaga, LT, Iowa, Jr., 6-6, 312
Preseason rank: 5
Why he's here: After putting himself on the NFL radar in 2008, Bulaga endured a few speed bumps this fall. He missed three games in September because of a thyroid condition and took a while to fully get comfortable at the end of Iowa's line. Some even termed 2009 a disappointing season for Bulaga in mid-October.
That was before the Orange Bowl took place. Bulaga showed in Miami why he'll be the first Big Ten player drafted in April, and why he's one of the nation's best offensive tackles. He essentially shut Georgia Tech superstar defensive end Derrick Morgan, kept quarterback Ricky Stanzi clean and helped Iowa to a big win. Bulaga was a consensus first-team All-Big Ten selection and named the league's Offensive Linemen of the Year by the coaches.
Pro potential plays a major role in these rankings, and Bulaga certainly has what NFL teams desire. He's big, smart and physical, and anchored an Iowa offensive line that turned things around after an uncharacteristically poor 2007 season. Kirk Ferentz has produced a string of elite linemen in Iowa City, and Bulaga certainly deserves to be mentioned among the best.