ScherffRankings of 124 NFL prospects from the Big Ten conference based on the league configuration in 2013.  Prospects from the University of Maryland will be included in the ACC listing.

 

 

 

Illinois

There’s not much in the pipeline at Illinois as the program continues on the skids.

Jon Davis flashes much of what the NFL wants in today’s tight end; a big pass catcher who can get down the field and create mismatches. His play is sporadic and Davis needs to pull together a productive season for any chance of being drafted in 2015.

Indiana

The Hoosiers have the chance to pull some upsets and make a bowl this season if things fall their way. Otherwise they may be looking for a new coach at year’s end. The majority of next level talent resides on the offensive side of the ball.

Left tackle Jason Spriggs impresses on film. He’s a fundamentally sound pass blocker who makes great use of angles and body positioning to protect the edge. Spriggs is not the flashiest left tackle prospect but very dependable.

Quarterback Nate Sudfeld has next level size and arm strength but does not play in a pro-style offense and doesn’t project to a read option. That said Sudfeld has the tools necessary to play at the next level as a traditional drop back/pocket passer.

I like what I saw from Tevin Coleman on film and feel he comes with a large degree of upside. I’d like to see him move involved in the passing game but Coleman has a variety of next level skill.

Keep an eye on third year sophomore Ralph Green III. The defensive tackle showed a lot of ability last season and offers a good degree of upside potential. Presently graded as a free agent, Green will most definitely move up draft boards if he develops his game.

Iowa

As posted on twitter back in May, Brandon Scherff was graded as the top senior prospect in the nation by a number of scouts, though many in the scouting community challenge that ranking. I’ve been a fan of Scherff’s game since his sophomore season as he’s a complete tackle, efficient in all areas. Though I would not grade him as high as former Big Ten tackle Taylor Lewan, I do believe Scherff is a top twelve pick with immediate starting potential at the next level.

Carl Davis is very understated at defensive tackle. He plays hard on every down and is more athletic than he looks on film.

Iowa has a history of producing centers and interior offensive linemen who slip through the cracks then go on to have decent NFL careers. I believe this to be the case with Austin Blythe. He’s an efficient center in the Nick Mangold/Weston Richburg mold; a blocker who gets the most from his ability and does not make mental mistakes.

Michigan

I don’t know how I feel about the expected move from tight end to wide receiver by Devin Funchess. It will definitely help the Wolverines offense but will it help his draft stock? Funchess has established himself as a dominant pass catcher who makes the difficult reception down the field. His blocking is the question mark and though not terrible, it needs improving. Funchess has top 12 potential if the measurables are in line.

Watching Frank Clark on film reminded me of former Wolverine first round pick Brandon Graham. Clark, like Graham, is explosive, intense and constantly forcing the action. He’s also undersized and scheme-specific as Graham was. Its not worked out for Graham in the NFL for reasons which can be debated. Regardless, count me as a believer in Clark as a one gap/Dwight Freeney type of defensive end.

The Wolverines have a history of big defensive tackles who peter out as they move towards their NFL careers. Hopefully that won’t be the case with Willie Henry as the redshirt sophomore shows the makings of a top flight prospect if he continues to improve and develop his game.

Count me as a fan of all three Michigan linebackers and I expect the trio to play in the NFL.

James Ross III reminds me of Dhani Jones as he’s slightly undersized but explosive and fearless. Ross has the potential to develop into a three down defender at the next level.

Jake Ryan is a tough, slug it out defender with good measurables. A good senior campaign could push him into the top 120 picks.

Desmond Morgan lacks those measurables but plays smart football and is constantly around the action making positive plays.

Michigan State

If there’s a team that’s going to beat Michigan State for the Big Ten title it’s be news to me.

Shilique Calhoun is the top pro-prospect and has been a good player two years running. He’s an undersized defensive end and natural pass rusher who can come out of a three point stance or stand up over tackle. More than an up the field defender, Calhoun is terrific in pursuit, running down ball handlers from behind.

Kurtis Drummond was graded as one of our top safety prospects entering the 2013 season and while I still like his game I witnessed coverage limitations during film study this summer. Drummond will fit in as a traditional centerfielder but I just don’t know if he’s the type of safety who can be used over a slot receiver.

Taiwan Jones
may be the hidden gem on defense. Scouts grade him as a middle round pick but the 6-foot, 2.5-inch/250lbs linebacker plays with speed, athleticism and solid instincts. He’s not a flashy linebacker but at the same time does not make mental mistakes. I’m told Jones will move to middle linebacker this season which will reduce his playmaking opportunities in the defense run by Michigan State. In the end I think he’ll be under-drafted next April.

The two underrated prospects on offense are running back Jeremy Langford and receiver Tony Lippett.

Langford is a nice sized back (210lbs) with good speed and deceptive quickness. He’s a multi-cut ball carrier with the ability to swing it around the perimeter.

Lippett is also sized well and a natural pass catcher with a fluid style. He does not present himself as a downfield threat rather a reliable underneath receiver.

Minnesota

The Gophers program is headed in the right direction and we can only hope head coach Jerry Kill is able to stay healthy and on the field. There are no first or second day picks for 2015 but a pair of guys to keep an eye on.

Junior Theiren Cockran is slightly undersized but a terrific pass rusher who does not get the credit he’s due. He offers next level quickness, movement skills and the ability to be used, at worse, as nickel pass rusher.

I’m really surprised running back David Cobb gets little to no love in the scouting community as many scouts feel he’s barely camp worthy. Watching Cobb on film one sees a big back (220lbs) with deceptive speed and quickness. Cobb hits the hole hard and is able to make defenders miss. I really like his game and feel he’s a legitimate sleeper at the running back position.

Nebraska

I’m surprised Nebraska has not done better in the Big Ten. I really thought they would beat up on the conference upon arrival but it never happened. Of course the question must be ask; what percentage of the blame falls on the shoulders of coach Bo Pellini?

Randy Gregory is hands down the top prospect on the roster, news to no one. He’s a dominant defender with outstanding size, athleticism as well as explosion and speed. Gregory needs to refine his game but the junior college transfer caught many by surprise last season and has a bright NFL future ahead of him.

Though I like Ameer Abdullah, I don’t grade him as high as scouts, many who feel he’s fringe first round material. Abdullah is a creative runner who beats defenders into the open field but at barely 5-feet, 8.5-inches and 200lbs, is he anything more than a situational runner at the next level?

Northwestern

Northwestern has a history of producing well rounded fullbacks and that’s exactly what I see in Dan Vitale. He can block, catch the ball out of the backfield and looks to have the makings of a goal line ball carrier.

I’m hoping Venric Mark stays healthy this season as he looks like a terrific third down back for the next level. Mark is incredibly elusive handling the ball, shows skill as a pass catcher and should be able to return punts. Factor in the ability to throw the option pass on occasion and I think he’s a legitimate late round pick.

Though I think Ibraheim Campbell is a solid college safety he’s being overrated by many. The senior comes with poor size/speed numbers and a one-dimensional game.

Ohio State

Two juniors lead the list for the Buckeyes on my board, which should come as no surprise since top Ohio State prospects rarely play through their senior season.

Noah Spence is a long, athletic pass rusher who primarily comes out of a three point stance but also looks good off the line of scrimmage playing in space. He’ll miss the first two games this season with suspension but has tremendous upside and could develop into a first round pick.

Taylor Decker was one of the better blockers on a Buckeye line that was stacked last season. The athletic right tackle moves to the left side this year and could make a mad dash up draft boards with a big campaign.

I must say I’m really down on Braxton Miller as he showed me little in the way of development as a passer last year. He’s still more athlete than quarterback, more thrower than passer. Considering the ability he showed as a sophomore in 2012 and the reports from August camp last year its disappointing.

Penn State

Donovan Smith blew me away in 2012 but I did not think he improved all that much last year. Smith is a big, fluid blocker with upside but must start to put the pedal to the metal.

Kyle Carter has the makings of a big time prospect at tight end. He has nice size and the ability to get down the field and make the reception.

Purdue

Akeem Hunt measures just over 5-feet, 8-inches and weighs in the mid-180’s which could leave him on the outside looking in next April. Yet the diminutive ball carrier is a gamer who produces in a variety of ways. Hunt is a legitimate pass catching threat out of the backfield and comes with game breaking speed. Presently I feel he’s worth the roll of the dice in the last round.

Gabe Holmes return to the field is something to watch. The tight end was given a draftable grade by a number of scouts prior to the 2013 season, but was shelved for the year after suffering a dislocated wrist.

Wisconsin

Melvin Gordon ranks head and shoulders above all other Badger prospects. He’s a tremendous combination of size, strength and explosion. Scouts love Gordon and his next level potential. I really want to see how he responds now that James White has graduated to the NFL; if he plays with the same abandon and how he responds being the sole back.

There’s a bit of buzz in scouting circles around tight end Samuel Arneson, graded as a late rounder. Arneson is sized well and times faster in the forty than he plays. Arneson has a chance to prove his next level worth with Jacob Pedersen, last years starter, now in camp with the Atlanta Falcons

Rnd Full Name School Pos Yr

1st

Brandon Scherff

Iowa
T
5Sr

1st

Melvin Gordon

Wisconsin
RB
4Jr

1st

Randy Gregory

Nebraska
DE
4Jr

1st

Devin Funchess

Michigan
TE
3Jr

1st

Shilique Calhoun

Michigan State
DE
4Jr

1-2

Noah Spence

Ohio State
DE
3Jr

2nd

Taylor Decker

Ohio State
T
3Jr

2-3

Benjamin Bennett

Ohio State
DT
4Sr

2-3

Frank Clark

Michigan
DE
4Sr

3rd

Donovan Smith

Penn State
T
4Jr

3rd

Kurtis Drummond

Michigan State
S
5Sr

3rd

Taiwan Jones

Michigan State

OLB

4Sr

3rd

Jason Spriggs

Indiana
T
3Jr

3rd

Carl Davis

Iowa
DT
5Sr

3-4

Jeremy Langford

Michigan State
RB
5Sr

4th

Vince Biegel

Wisconsin

OLB

3So

4th

Nate Sudfeld

Indiana
QB
3Jr

4th

Ameer Abdullah

Nebraska
RB
4Sr

4th

Kyle Carter

Penn State
TE
4Jr

4-5

Jake Ryan

Michigan

OLB

5Sr

4-5

Braxton Miller

Ohio State
QB
4Sr

5th

Willie Henry

Michigan
DT
3So

5th

Jeff Heuerman

Ohio State
TE
4Sr

5th

Theiren Cockran

Minnesota
DE
4Jr

5th

James Ross III

Michigan

OLB

3Jr

5th

Tevin Coleman

Indiana
RB
3Jr

5th

Tony Lippett

Michigan State
WR
5Sr

5th

Blake Countess

Michigan
CB
4Jr

5th

Josh Campion

Minnesota
G
4Jr

5-6

Devin Smith

Ohio State
WR
4Sr

6th

Austin Blythe

Iowa
C
4Jr

6th

David Santos

Nebraska

ILB

4Jr

6th

Doran Grant

Ohio State
CB
4Sr

6th

Michael Caputo

Wisconsin
S
4Jr

6th

Jordan Walsh

Iowa
G
4Jr

6th

Michael Hunter

Indiana
CB
4Jr

6th

Dan Vitale

Northwestern
FB
3Jr

6-7

Erik Magnuson

Michigan
G
3So

6-7

Kyle Kalis

Michigan
G
3So

6-7

Trevon Pendleton

Michigan State
FB
5Sr

7th

Desmond Morgan

Michigan

ILB

4Sr

7th

Venric Mark

Northwestern
RB
5Sr

7th

Kenny Bell

Nebraska
WR
5Sr

7th

Jordan Lucas

Penn State
CB
3Jr

7th

Samuel Arneson

Wisconsin
TE
4Sr

7th

Akeem Hunt

Purdue
RB
4Sr

7-FA

Ryan Russell

Purdue
DE
5Sr
FA
Mark Weisman

Iowa
FB
5Sr
FA
Ibraheim Campbell

Northwestern
S
5Sr
FA
Robert Kugler

Purdue
C
4Jr
FA
Caleb Bak

Minnesota
G
5Sr
FA
Rob Havenstein

Wisconsin
T
5Sr
FA
Louis Trinca-Pasat

Iowa
DT
5Sr
FA
Jesse James

Penn State
TE
3Jr
FA
David Cobb

Minnesota
RB
5Sr
FA
Adrian Amos

Penn State
CB
4Sr
FA
Miles Dieffenbach

Penn State
G
5Sr
FA
Graham Glasgow

Michigan
C
4Jr
FA
Adolphus Washington

Ohio State
DE
3Jr
FA
Dallas Lewallen

Wisconsin
C
5Sr
FA
Raymon Taylor

Michigan
CB
4Sr
FA
C.J. Olaniyan

Penn State
DE
5Sr
FA
Kyle Costigan

Wisconsin
G
5Sr
FA
Sojourn Shelton

Wisconsin
CB
4Jr
FA
Tony Jones

Northwestern
WR
5Sr
FA
Devin Gardner

Michigan
QB
5Sr
FA
Shane Wynn

Indiana
WR
4Sr
FA
Evan Spencer

Ohio State
WR
4Sr
FA
Christian Jones

Northwestern
WR
4Sr
FA
Donnell Kirkwood

Minnesota
RB
5Sr
FA
Alex Lewis

Nebraska
G
4Sr
FA
Bobby Richardson

Indiana
DT
4Sr
FA
Curtis Grant

Ohio State

ILB

4Sr
FA
Joel Stave

Wisconsin
QB
4Jr
FA
Corey Cooper

Nebraska
SS
5Sr
FA
Bill Belton

Penn State
RB
4Sr
FA
Traveon Henry

Northwestern
S
3Jr
FA
Ralph Green III

Indiana
DT
3So
FA
Aaron Burbridge

Michigan State
WR
3Jr
FA
Chi Chic Ariguzo

Northwestern

OLB

5Sr
FA
Chance Carter

Northwestern
DT
5Sr
FA
Warren Herring

Wisconsin
DT
5Sr
FA
Andrew Donnal

Iowa
G
5Sr
FA
Jordan Fredrick

Wisconsin
WR
4Jr
FA
Josh Ferguson

Illinois
RB
4Jr
FA
Timothy Bennett

Indiana
CB
4Sr
FA
Ben Lauer

Minnesota
T
3So
FA
Peyton Eckert

Indiana
T
4Sr
FA
Nick Vannett

Ohio State
TE
4Jr
FA
Trae Waynes

Michigan State
CB
4Jr
FA
Justin Sinz

Purdue
TE
5Sr
FA
Nick VanHoose

Northwestern
CB
4Jr
FA
Mike Sadler

Michigan State
P
5Sr
FA
Jamal Turner

Nebraska
WR
4Sr
FA
Mike Hull

Penn State

OLB

5Sr
FA
Robert Ndondo-Lay

Minnesota
DE
4Jr
FA
Donovonn Young

Illinois
RB
4Sr
FA
John Lowdermilk

Iowa
S
4Sr
FA
Konrad Zagzebski

Wisconsin
DE
5Sr
FA
Jake Rudock

Iowa
QB
4Jr
FA
Zachary Zwinak

Penn State
FB
5Sr
FA
Mason Monheim

Illinois

ILB

3Jr
FA
Gabe Holmes

Purdue
TE
5Sr
FA
Jon Davis

Illinois
TE
4Sr
FA
Derek Landisch

Wisconsin

ILB

4Sr
FA
David Cooper

Indiana

OLB

5Sr
FA
Trevor Siemian

Northwestern
QB
5Sr
FA
Mark Murphy

Indiana
S
4Sr
FA
Quinton Alston

Iowa

OLB

4Sr
FA
Marcus Rush

Michigan State
DE
5Sr
FA
Joel Hale

Ohio State
DT
4Sr
FA
Derek Watt

Wisconsin
FB
5Sr
FA
Kevonte Martin-Manley

Iowa
WR
5Sr
FA
Brandon Vitabile

Northwestern
C
5Sr
FA
Taylor Richards

Purdue
S
4Sr
FA
Brennen Beyer

Michigan
DE
4Sr
FA
Jalani Phillips

Purdue
DE
4Sr
FA
Travis Jackson

Michigan State
C
5Sr
FA
Keith Mumphery

Michigan State
WR
5Sr
FA
Earnest Thomas

Illinois
S
5Sr
FA
Simon Cvijanovic

Illinois
T
5Sr
FA
Collin Rahrig

Indiana
C
5Sr
FA
Andrew Gleichert

Michigan State
TE
5Sr
FA
Landon Feichter

Purdue
S
4Sr
FA
Raymond Hamilton

Iowa
TE
4Sr
FA
Justin Duvernois

Illinois
P
4Sr