- Adam Rittenberg, College Football
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There's little doubt that the first Big Ten player drafted in April will be a defensive lineman.
(Not including Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara, who played his entire career in the Big 12.)
I'll have more on the hopefuls as we get closer to draft night, but colleagues Todd McShay and Mel Kiper are always dissecting the draft and have come out with their latest three-round mock selections.
Here's McShay's mock draft and where the Big Ten players fall:
Illinois DT Corey Liuget, No. 14 overall to St. Louis
Purdue DE Ryan Kerrigan, No. 16 overall to Jacksonville
Wisconsin DE J.J. Watt, No. 17 overall to New England
Wisconsin T Gabe Carimi, No. 21 overall to Kansas City
Iowa DE Adrian Clayborn, No. 24 overall to New Orleans
Ohio State DE Cameron Heyward, No. 32 overall to Green Bay
Illinois RB Mikel Leshoure, No. 45 overall to San Francisco
Iowa DL Christian Ballard, No. 53 overall to Indianapolis
Illinois LB Martez Wilson, No. 54 overall to Philadelphia
Wisconsin TE Lance Kendricks, No. 68 overall to Buffalo
Indiana WR Tandon Doss, No. 86 overall to Kansas City
Wisconsin G John Moffitt, No. 87 overall to Indianapolis
Indiana T James Brewer, No. 90 overall to Buffalo
Here's a look at Kiper's mock draft and where the Big Ten prospects fall:
Watt, No. 10 overall to Washington
Liuget, No. 14 overall to St. Louis
Kerrigan, No. 20 overall to Tampa Bay
Carimi, No. 23 overall to Philadelphia
Clayborn, No. 27 overall to Atlanta
Heyward, No. 30 overall to New York Jets
Wilson, No. 34 overall to Buffalo
Leshoure, No. 53 overall to Indianapolis
Doss, No. 64 overall to Green Bay
Ballard, No. 67 overall to Denver
Kendricks, No. 68 overall to Buffalo
Moffitt, No. 77 overall to Tennessee
Ohio State CB Chimdi Chekwa, No. 81 overall to Oakland
Ohio State LB Ross Homan, No. 85 overall to Philadelphia
Penn State G Stefen Wisniewski, No. 93 to Chicago
Some interesting stuff here. Both McShay and Kiper think the Colts' Big Ten pipeline will continue, and both also like Buffalo to draft Big Ten players. Kiper includes three players McShay leaves out -- Chekwa, Homan and Wisniewski -- while McShay includes one player (Brewer) who Kiper leaves out. It also stands out how teams like Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin have more high-level draft prospects this year than Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Nebraska.
Amukamara is the only Nebraska player included in both mock drafts. Both McShay and Kiper have Amukamara going 13th overall to Detroit, where he'll reunite with former Huskers' teammate Ndamukong Suh.
There's little doubt that the first Big Ten player drafted in April will be a defensive lineman.(Not including Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara, who played his entire career in the Big 12.