Thursday, April 24, 2014
B1G should be bigger factor early in draft
By Adam Rittenberg
Remember the angst felt around the Big Ten on the night of April 25, 2013?
OK, maybe you weren't nervous. But they were a bit skittish at Big Ten headquarters as the first round of the NFL draft unfolded at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Thirty names were called, none from the Big Ten, which found itself in danger of being excluded from the first round for the first time since 1953. Then, Dallas drafted Wisconsin center Travis Frederick and his prodigious beard at No. 31.
Could Indiana receiver Cody Latimer be picked in the first round of the NFL draft?
The Big Ten shouldn't be nearly as concerned as the 2014 NFL draft approaches next month. In fact, the league could have one of its better first round showings in recent years.
Shazier is another Big Ten early entrant whose draft stock seems to be surging in recent weeks. Many have the former Buckeyes standout going late in the first round.
One good sign: the group of potential first-rounders includes two cornerbacks and a wide receiver. The Big Ten has struggled to produce elite players at both positions in recent years.
If the list of player invites proves prophetic, the SEC and ACC both will have a sizable presence early on May 8. But after quite possibly the worst draft in Big Ten history, the league should have more to celebrate this time.