Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Draft experts differ on B1G prospects
By Adam Rittenberg
If you believe Todd McShay, Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan didn't hurt his draft stock by staying in Ann Arbor for his senior season.
If you believe Mel Kiper, Lewan probably should have left a year ago and won't be the first or second Big Ten player drafted in April.
Lewan's forecast is one of several differences between McShay's first mock draft for 2014 and Kiper's latest Big Board.
Let's dive in to each:
McShay's Mock Draft 1.o
McShay has three Big Ten players going in the first round, Lewan at No. 9 to Buffalo, Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard at No. 26 to New England and Minnesota defensive tackle Ra'Shede Hageman at No. 28 to San Francisco. Although Dennard won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back, McShay has two cornerbacks -- Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert and Oregon's Ifo Ekpre-Olomu -- going ahead of him.
Hageman has ridiculous physical gifts for a defensive tackle and, as McShay notes, could be a better pro than a college player (I agree).
Kiper's Big Board
Kiper doesn't have a Big Ten player in his top 15. His first Big Ten player off the board is Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier at No. 16. A first-team AP All-American, Shazier has a year of eligibility left, but he will assess his draft prospects after the Discover Orange Bowl.
Another Buckeye follows Shazier as running back Carlos Hyde comes in at No. 19. Hyde is the only running back listed on the Big Board, as his powerful running style will translate well to the NFL. He's a fascinating prospect.
Lewan comes in at No. 20, the third offensive tackle on the board behind Texas A&M's Jake Matthews and Auburn's Greg Robinson. Dennard rounds out the Big Ten contingent at No. 25.
Kiper's list includes seven fewer players than McShay's, so players like Hageman could be slotted toward the end of the first round.