ButtThe Big Ten offers a lot of next level talent with the Michigan program leading the way.  I stamped a half-dozen from league with first round grades and four more are on the fringe of breaking through.  Here are the grades for 146 next level prospects from the conference.

NFL Prospects from the Big 10

Rnd Full Name School Pos Yr
1st Jake Butt Michigan TE 4Sr
1st Josey Jewell Iowa OLB 4Jr
1st Taco Charlton Michigan DE 4Sr
1st Malik McDowell Michigan State DT 3Jr
1st Tyquan Lewis Ohio State DE 4Jr
1st Jabrill Peppers Michigan S 3Jr
1-2 Chris Wormley Michigan DE 5Sr
1-2 Dawuane Smoot Illinois DE 4Sr
1-2 Desmond King Iowa CB 4Sr
2nd Dan Feeney Indiana G 5Sr
2nd Jourdan Lewis Michigan CB 4Sr
2nd Jehu Chesson Michigan WR 5Sr
2-3 Raekwon McMillan Ohio State ILB 3Jr
2-3 Sam Hubbard Ohio State DE 3So
2-3 Amara Darboh Michigan WR 5Sr
3rd Miles Taylor Iowa S 3Jr
3rd Montae Nicholson Michigan State S 3Jr
3rd C.J. Beathard Iowa QB 5Sr
3rd Mason Cole Michigan T 3Jr
3rd Joshua Kalu Nebraska CB 3Jr
3rd Vincent Biegel Wisconsin OLB 5Sr
3rd Ryan Glasgow Michigan DT 5Sr
3-4 Pat Elflein Ohio State G 5Sr
4th Ra’Zahn Howard Purdue DT 4Sr
4th Riley Bullough Michigan State ILB 5Sr
4th Jackson Replogle Purdue DT 4Sr
4th Anthony Walker Northwestern ILB 4Jr
4th Simmie Cobbs Jr. Indiana WR 3Jr
4th Maurice Hurst Jr Michigan DT 4Jr
4th Billy Price Ohio State G 4Jr
4th Jalen Myrick Minnesota CB 4Sr
4th Jaleel Johnson Iowa DT 5Sr
4th Demetrious Cox Michigan State S 5Sr
4-5 Chris Godwin Penn State WR 3Jr
4-5 Garrett Sickels Penn State DE 4Jr
5th Corey Smith Ohio State WR 5Sr
5th Gareon Conley Ohio State CB 4Jr
5th Malik Turner Illinois WR 3Jr
5th Deangelo Yancey Purdue WR 4Sr
5th De’Veon Smith Michigan RB 4Sr
5th Daniel Voltz Wisconsin C 5Sr
5th Jon Reschke Michigan State OLB 4Jr
5th Matt Harris Northwestern CB 4Sr
5th Marcus Allen Penn State S 3Jr
5th Ike Boettger Iowa T 4Jr
5-6 Jason Cabinda Penn State OLB 3Jr
5-6 Jalen Brooks Maryland OLB 4Jr
5-6 Chikwe Obasih Wisconsin DE 4Jr
6th Corey Clement Wisconsin RB 4Sr
6th Danny Ezechukwu Purdue OLB 4Jr
6th Godwin Igwebuike Northwestern S 4Jr
6th Boone Myers Iowa G 4Jr
6th Ralphael Green Indiana DT 5Sr
6th Brandon Lingen Minnesota TE 3Jr
6th Austin Schmidt Illinois T 4Sr
6th Rodney Smith Minnesota RB 3So
6th Dante Booker Ohio State OLB 3Jr
6th Dontre Wilson Ohio State WR 4Sr
6th Sean Welsh Iowa G 4Sr
6th Nyeem Wartman-White Penn State ILB 5Sr
6th Weston Lunt Illinois QB 5Sr
6th Damarius Travis Minnesota S 4Sr
6-7 Justin Jackson Northwestern RB 3Jr
6-7 Kyle Kalis Michigan G 5Sr
6-7 Josiah Price Michigan State TE 5Sr
6-7 Greg Mabin Iowa CB 5Sr
6-7 Domonique Young Purdue WR 4Sr
6-7 Brandon Bell Penn State OLB 4Sr
6-7 Will Likely Maryland CB 4Sr
6-7 Dymonte Thomas Michigan S 4Sr
7th Dimitric Camiel Indiana T 5Sr
7th Micahel Deiter Wisconsin G 3So
7th George Kittle Iowa TE 5Sr
7th Cole Croston Iowa T 5Sr
7th J.T. Barrett Ohio State QB 4Jr
7th Dare Ogunbowale Wisconsin RB 5Sr
7th Hardy Nickerson Illinois ILB 5Sr
7th Christian DiLauro Illinois T 3Jr
7th Paris Palmer Penn State T 4Sr
FA Ben Niemann Iowa OLB 3Jr
FA Mitchell Leidner Minnesota QB 5Sr
FA Ben Braden Michigan G 5Sr
FA Matt VandeBerg Iowa WR 4Sr
FA Jordan Westerkamp Nebraska WR 5Sr
FA Beau Benzschawel Wisconsin T 3So
FA Channing Stribling Michigan CB 4Sr
FA Andrew Nelson Penn State T 4Jr
FA Jarrod Clements Illinois DT 4Sr
FA Jonah Pirsig Minnesota T 5Sr
FA Troy Fumagalli Wisconsin TE 4Jr
FA Jack Lynn Minnesota OLB 5Sr
FA Jesse Aniebonam Maryland DE 3Jr
FA Jamal Lyles Michigan State TE 5Sr
FA Erik Magnuson Michigan G 5Sr
FA Nathan Gerry Nebraska S 4Sr
FA Ifeadikachakwu Odenigbo Northwestern DE 5Sr
FA Leshun Daniels Iowa RB 4Sr
FA Chris Muller Rutgers G 5Sr
FA Sam Cotton Nebraska TE 5Sr
FA Carroll Phillips Illinois OLB 4Sr
FA Sebastian Joseph Rutgers DT 4Jr
FA Brandon Reilly Nebraska WR 4Sr
FA Jordan Roos Purdue G 5Sr
FA Kodi Kieler Michigan State T 5Sr
FA Scott Ekpe Minnesota DT 5Sr
FA Sojourn Shelton Wisconsin CB 4Sr
FA Ed Davis Michigan State OLB 5Sr
FA Darian Hicks Michigan State CB 4Sr
FA De’Mornay Pierson-El Nebraska WR 3Jr
FA Jeremy Clark Michigan CB 5Sr
FA Robert Wheelwright Wisconsin WR 4Sr
FA Nate Wozniak Minnesota TE 4Jr
FA Bo Bower Iowa OLB 4Jr
FA R J Shelton Michigan State WR 4Sr
FA Cethan Carter Nebraska TE 4Sr
FA Robert Gregory Purdue S 5Sr
FA Ian Park Northwestern G 4Sr
FA Rashard Fant Indiana CB 4Jr
FA Delano Hill Michigan S 4Sr
FA Reggie Spearman x-Iowa OLB 4Jr
FA T.J. Neal Illinois ILB 5Sr
FA Evan Jones Michigan State DE 4Sr
FA Ben Gedeon Michigan ILB 4Sr
FA Michael Dunn Maryland T 5Sr
FA Alonzo Moore Nebraska WR 5Sr
FA Jason King Purdue G 5Sr
FA Greg McMullen Nebraska DE 5Sr
FA Darius Hamilton Rutgers DT 5Sr
FA Joe Spencer Illinois C 4Sr
FA Hendrick Ekpe Minnesota DE 5Sr
FA Wesley Brown Maryland RB 5Sr
FA Malik Golden Penn State S 5Sr
FA Andre Patton Rutgers WR 4Sr
FA Terrell Newby Nebraska RB 4Sr
FA Leroy Clark Purdue S 4Sr
FA Jacob Hillyer Iowa WR 5Sr
FA Janarion Grant Rutgers WR 4Sr
FA T.J. Simmons Indiana ILB 4Sr
FA Drew Wolitarsky Minnesota WR 5Sr
FA Joshua Banderas Nebraska OLB 4Sr
FA Eric Olson Northwestern T 4Sr
FA Bart Houston Wisconsin QB 5Sr
FA J.J. Denman Rutgers T 5Sr
FA Bri’Onte Dunn Ohio State RB 5Sr
FA Taylor Barton Illinois S 5Sr
FA Mike Dudek Illinois WR 4Jr



Dawuane Smoot received a huge grade from a number of scouts and it’s easy to see why.  The senior is a natural pass rusher with an explosive style.  I’d like to see him add a bit more size (he tips the scales around 260lbs) but I see nothing but upside in Smoot’s game.

Conversely offensive tackle Austin Schmidt is considered nothing more than a street free agent by scouts but I think in the end he’ll be a late round prospect.  Schmidt is not a top athlete but a smart, tough blocker who gets the most from his ability.  Scouts have communicated to me they feel Schmidt may be a sleeper of sorts in 2016.


I’ve been very high on Dan Feeney for a while and feel he’s probably the best pure run blocker I watched this summer.  My one concern is he’s a bit one-dimensional as Feeney is only effective in a small area.  As a result zone-blocking offenses are likely to knock his grade down a bit.

In similar fashion I’ve graded Ralphael Green as a draftable prospect since his sophomore campaign but I feel he’s more of a gap occupier rather than a play maker, which limits his appeal.

Junior wide out Simmie Cobbs Jr is a play maker who flashes skill but needs a little more consistency in his game.  He has a ton of upside.


There is a lot to be excited about on the Hawkeyes roster, especially from the defensive side of the ball.  This is the team I feel will surprise in the Big Ten and could end up with the conference title.

Josey Jewell is a complete three down linebacker who stands out in every facet of the game.  He’s a tough run defender who sells out on the blitz while also showing skill in coverage.  As with every junior, Jewell’s true size/speed numbers are the “x” factor.  In the end it may not matter in 2017 as the Hawkeyes rarely have underclassmen depart for the NFL.

Entering the 2015 season I graded Desmond King as a first rounder and the senior was given a big preseason grade by a number of scouts.  And while King was opportunistic in 2015, I personally believe his 2014 tape was better.  Regardless, King is still a very good cornerback.

I liked what I saw on film from junior safety Miles Taylor as he’s a complete safety that can cover centerfield as well as defend the run.

Don’t be surprised if Jaeleel Johnson makes a dash up draft boards.  Presently graded as a last day pick, the defensive tackle is quick, explosive and fluid.  I’d like to see him add some power to his game and play like a 310lb defensive tackle but Johnson has a large upside and can line-up for a variety of defensive fronts.


Jalen Brooks has shown flashes the past two seasons and the athletic linebacker has the ability to develop into a three down defender and top 125 selection if he pulls together a complete game.

Were it not for being vertically challenged (5-feet/7-inches) its likely Will Likely would be considered a second round prospect.  He offers terrific cover skills, impacts games returning punts and lends a helping hand on offense.  Likely is still late round worthy and should thrive as a dime back/return specialist/special teamer on Sunday.


Ann Arbor is the place to be this year as I’m told almost a half dozen senior prospects from the Michigan program occupy the majority of the top ten slots on scouting lists.

Jake Butt would’ve been the first tight end selected had he entered the 20016 draft and barring injury he will be the top player on the tight end board next April.  He’s a tremendous pass catcher who does a solid job blocking.

Jourdan Lewis is rated as one of the best cornerbacks in the nation by scouts and has the cover skills to justify the ranking.  His size, which is almost 2.5-inches shy of the 6-foot demarcation line, will knock him down some draft boards.

The defensive line duo of Taco Charlton and Chris Wormley both receive high grades.  Wormley, who measures 6-feet/3.5-inches and just under 300lbs, offers potential in a variety of schemes.

Let’s keep an eye on Graham Glasgow’s brother Ryan Glasgow and see if he makes a similar move up draft boards as his sibling did last year.  Ryan plays on the other side of the ball but like his brother shows great power and intensity in his game.

Maurice Hurst Jr is one of those players who will make a big leap up draft boards if he continues to improve.  I probably should’ve given him a higher grade than the 4th round I stamped him with but I’d like to see a bigger body of work first.

Michigan State

Safety Demetrious Cox and linebacker Riley Bullough both received top 60 grades from scouts but I disagree.  I believe Bullough is more of a two down player while Cox doesn’t wow me on film.

Malik McDowell is a difference maker up front and justifiably draws praise from many circles but be aware. I’m told he has off the field/character issues which will raise red flags in war rooms.


Primarily last day picks coming from the Gophers though I do believe cornerback Jalen Myrick and safety Damarius Travis could move up boards.  Keep an eye on Myrick; he’s got excellent cornerback size and developing skills.

If tight end Brandon Lingen takes his game to the next level he will move into the early part of the third day should he decide to enter the draft and a second day selection is not out of the question.


The Cornhuskers won’t be well represented in next April’s draft unless junior corner Josh Kalu enters the event.  Kalu has shown the ability to shut down opponents and displayed consistent improvement with his ball skills.


Last year I graded Anthony Walker as a late rounder and the linebacker showed a lot of progress as a redshirt sophomore.  He lacks classic next level size but is a terrific pursuit linebacker who constantly makes plays on the ball.  He projects as a traditional weak side linebacker and may get consideration on the inside of a 3-4 alignment.

Matt Harris is well thought of in scouting circles and comes with the size and speed teams want.  Harris has a lot of ball production and the ability to line-up in nickel packages on Sunday.

Ohio State

Last year was a banner draft for the Buckeyes as the program put five players into the first round and placed another five into the draft’s second day.  Next April’s numbers will pale by comparison.

Tyquan Lewis is my number one rated Ohio State prospect. The junior defensive end is a terrific pass rusher that’s rarely knocked off his feet.  I noticed something watching film over the summer; it was Lewis who primarily lined up over the opponents left tackle in 2015, not Joey Bosa.

While some fawn over Raekwon McMillan I think he’s a solid prospect to this point and nothing more.  I also believe he falls way short of Darron Lee, the 20th pick of last April’s first round.

Penn State

Scouts love Nyeem Wartman-White and grade the linebacker as a potential second day pick but I’m not convinced.  He’s an athletic prospect with excellent playing speed but missed all but one game with an ACL injury last season.  He also suffered a knee injury as a freshman after appearing in just two games so besides needing work on his game, Wartman-White has major injury red flags.


The Boilmakers have three potential second day picks according to scouts, players I grade as mid to late round selections.

Defensive tackle Ra’Zahn Howard is a big space eater in the middle of the line, displaying terrific short area quickness and the ability to make plays down the line of scrimmage.  I feel he’s more a gap occupier rather than a playmaker which will depress his draft stock but in the proper system he can start on Sunday.

Jackson Replogle does make a lot of plays on the ball and comes with size and growth potential.  Replogle flashes power but needs to play to his size on a consistent basis.


I’ve thought highly of Vincent Biegel the past two seasons and feel he’s a terrific linebacker prospect.  He’s more of a 3-4 outside type, best making plays in the box or up the field.  Biegel is a tough defender with excellent instincts.

Dan Voltz is being overrated by a number of people in my opinion.  He’s a solid interior offensive line prospect but his injury history will raise red flags.