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Big Ten NFL Draft Prospects and How Will They Be Replaced

How does that impact their teams? Who will replace them?

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl Game-Ohio State vs Washington Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The time for early draft entrants has passed, so lets take a look at who is leaving the conference early and how they’ll be replaced.

Iowa Hawkeyes

Noah Fant, TE, Projected Round: 1

T.J. Hockenson, TE, Projected Rounds: 1-2

Iowa loses both of their very, very talented tight ends. Hockenson won the Mackey Award for best tight end in the country, even though Fant is probably better. These two will be impossible to replace. However, at this point Iowa is Tight End U and has been cranking out high level players for long enough that I would expect Shaun Beyer and Drew Cook to be borderline all conference players next year. Still this is the type of production lost with these departures:

Amani Hooker, S, Projected Rounds: 3-4

Hooker continued a run of Iowa DBs winning the Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year Award. This year, Iowa transitioned to playing more of a base 5-2-5 with Hooker playing the star to great affect. He’ll be

Anthony Nelson, DE, Projected Rounds: 2-4

Anthony Nelson is a 4th year player and is graduating, so this isn’t really a surprise. Still, losing a 2 time all-conference DE is going to be tough. Luckily, Iowa has the best defensive end in the conference already in A.J. Epenesa and he has to wait another year before going to get paid. This is going to test the depth at DE as Parker Hesse (Can’t Lose) is also graduating, but John Waggoner was dressed for the bowl game, and was a somewhat bigger recruit, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he were headlining a depth chart come spring time.

Michigan Wolverines

Devin Bush, LB, Projected Rounds: 1-2

Brian: Bush may have been undersized at 5’11 and 233 lbs., but he was a ferocious hitter with the quickness that allowed him to play sideline-to-sideline and stay with most running backs. A consensus All American, Bush was an integral part of Michigan’s attacking defense and his presence will be missed as much as any of Michigan’s early entrants.

Rashan Gary, DE, Projected Round: 1

Brian: Rashan Gary was always going to be three-and-out. The top recruit in the country in his class, Gary teamed with Chase Winovich the past two years to form one of the nation’s best edge rush duos. An injury-plagued junior season limited his production, but Gary is a sure-fire first round pick, and after the NFL combine, he’ll will likely secure a spot in the top ten.

David Long, CB, Projected Rounds: 3-5

Brian: Michigan also loses junior cornerback David Long. Long allowed an absurdly low nine receptions for less than 100 yards in 2018 (yes, you read that right), and along with battery mate Lavert Hill, formed one of the best cornerback combinations in the nation. Hill returns, but Michigan will struggle to replace Long.

Michigan State Spartans

Justin Layne, CB, Projected Rounds: 5-7

Andrew Ksadroiusdnzizw: Justin Layne, CB, declared pretty early and skipped the glamorous Redbox Bowl, which RUSTLED DANTONIO’S JIMMIES if you can believe that. He was good enough for most of the season that he’s probably a 3rd or 4th rounder. MSU should be ok with Josiah Scott back for at least one more year, Josh Butler still around, and Kalon Gervin coming off his redshirt. In fact it probably helps MSU more to keep putting guys in the league than one more year of his services would have yielded.

Ohio State Buckeyes

Nick Bosa, DE, Projected Round: 1

The second best DE in the conference decided to stop playing school when he got injured this season. He’ll be a slam dunk first rounder, like his brother. But don’t cry for OSU, because they have terror-monsters aplenty.

Dwayne Haskins, QB, Projected Round: 1

Jimmy: Haskins will be the best NFL player ever from Ohio State, probably. As a general side note, I instantly lose respect for any kid that can make millions and comes back to school.

Stew: As to how OSU will get along without the Heisman Trophy finalist, well, they’ve got Justin Fields, the highest ranked QB in the 2018 class transferring from Georgia, and chances are he’ll be getting his eligibility waiver.

Dre’Mont Jones, DL, Projected Rounds: 1-2

Jones was a force inside for OSU for a couple years. However, they shouldn’t miss him too much, as OSU just reloads with 5* recruit after 5* recruit.

Michael Jordan, OG, Projected Rounds: 2-3

Michael Jordan is the best basketball player of all time, but being bored with his billions of dollars and middling NBA franchise, he decided to go back in time, put on 100 pounds, and play offensive guard. Bit of an odd choice, if you ask me.

Mike Weber, RB, Projected Rounds: 2-3

I kind of wonder if Weber is taking his talents to the NFL because he’s got more competition for touches at OSU. At any rate, Dobbins will still be at OSU, and they’ve got a few high level recruits waiting for carries in Brian Snead and Master Teague.

Penn State Nittany Lions

Ryan Bates, OT, Projected Rounds: 3-5

This was a bit of surprise, as he’s not projected to go very high, and really didn’t accumulate any accolades, and projects as more of a guard at the next level. So, uh, good job.

Kevin Givens, DT, Projected Rounds: 3-5

Givens is a bit undersized as a DT in the NFL, but his pass rushing prowess should get him a look in the mid to late rounds. PSU has recruited well enough that replacing him with the likes of Fred Hansard shouldn’t be that give of an issue.

Connor McGovern, OL, Projected Rounds: 3-5

Another PSU OL? Were they even any good? No? Hmm....

Shareef Miller, DL, Projected Rounds: 4-6

This just seems a bit low for someone who was as productive as Miller was in college. But he’s a bit undersized at only 256 lbs. Look for the incredibly named Yetur Gross-Matos to get into the race to replace him.

Miles Sanders, RB, Projected Rounds: 2-3

Sanders was really good, and now he’s going to go to the NFL. That sentence was really boring. Anyway, they’ve got former 5* RB, Ricky Slade waiting in the wings.

wisconsin badgers

David Edwards, OT, Projected Rounds: 2-3

Will he get away with holding as much in the NFL? Probably. But still, he’s no Joe Thomas, because no one is. Still, he had a down year, this last season, and has slipped a bit in the projections. As for likely replacements? Well, it’s wisconsin, they have someone, they will hold all the time, they will get hyped up unnecessarily.

Beez: Logan Bruss, who will be a redshirt sophomore next year, shoulllllld be next in line to take his place. Bruss started the final three games of the season at RT (including the DumbStripe YankeesSuck Bowl), and he performed just fine. The difficulty with his replacing Edwards is twofold: (1) He’s replacing a guy who’ll probably be taken in the first round of the NFL Draft, which is not an easy task, but then Edwards did it for Ryan Ramcyzk (I think); and (2) Bruss will be one of three new starters on Wisconsin’s O Line. It’s clear from this past season that the O Line had something very special in the run-blocking game, and losing 3/5 of that is going to hurt.

Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Maryland Terrapins, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Northwestern Wildcats, Purdue Boilermakers, rutger Scarlet Knights

These teams are all terrible and no one was good enough to leave early.


What team will be hurt the most?

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