Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Poll: Best outlook for B1G early entrants
By Brian Bennett
Yesterday, we recapped the Big Ten's early entrants into the NFL draft. The league saw just six underclassmen declare for the draft this year. Now we're wondering which of them will have the best pro career.
- Michigan State RB Le'Veon Bell: There's no question that Bell has the body to handle the rigors of the NFL, and he led the nation with 382 carries and finished third in the FBS rushing yards per game in 2012. The concerns are whether he has the quickness and breakaway speed to flourish at the next level.
- Ohio State DT Johnathan Hankins: He has been projected as a potential top-15 pick, which is understandable given his physical tools. He wasn't always dominant in college but should face fewer double teams in the pros.
- Wisconsin C Travis Frederick: He has a chance to go in the first couple of rounds and be one of the first centers selected in the draft. Badgers offensive linemen have fared well in the NFL.
- Illinois DT Akeem Spence: He did not have the breakout junior year that many expected, but the Illini were a mess in many ways. His stock has probably fallen, but Spence still has the strength and athleticism to make an impact.
- Michigan State DE William Gholston: He's a physical freak at 6-foot-7 and 280 pounds and has long been viewed as an NFL player. But after a year in which he recorded just 4.5 sacks, Gholston will have to prove he has the motor to put his skills to the best use.
Apologies to Michigan State tight end Dion Sims, whom we left off because our polls allow for only five possible options. He could have a great pro career, but with two Spartans already on the list, we wanted to spread things out a bit.
Vote now in our poll.