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2011 NFL Draft News: Talking Big Ten Prospects With Big Ten Nation


In conjunction with Big Ten Nation, NFL Mocks is going to take a look at some of the top prospects coming out of the Big Ten conference this year. As we know, the Big Ten is typically an NFL pipeline, and this year is no different. As many as ten players could be picked in the first two days, and the list that we compiled as a little tough to make up.

Nick Hlebichuck and Austin Bramley are the co-editors and co-founders of Big Ten nation along with myself, and we bring some of the freshest Big Ten content on the web.We each took a few prospects we thought were the best in the Big Ten coming out, gave who we thought would be a solid NFL fit, and said a little bit about each guy.

From Nick:

Ryan Kerrigan-Vikings Pick 12

The Vikings need to rebuild their defensive line as they struggled to get consistent pressure on the quarterback last season.  Also, with both Newton and Gabbert off the board it would be to much of a reach to go with any of the other quarterbacks here.

Martez Wilson- Saints pick 24

The Saints defense back slid last season, and with all the weapons the Saints have on offense they do not need anymore.  Wilson provides the perfect type of linebacker to play in this defense. He would be the perfect pick to come in and replace the aging Vilma in a few years, and is raw enough to use that time behind Vilma to find some untapped talent.

Carimi- Patriots pick 28

The Patriots crave high character players and Camiri fits that. However, if the Patriots don’t pick him up here, expect the Packers to pick him up with the 32nd overall pick. The offensive line for the Patriots is also becoming a concern as most of the players are getting up there a bit in age.  Camiri could come in and push for a starting job right away on either team, but especially the Packers considering how many sacks have been given up the past few seasons.

From Austin:

With the  11th pick in the 2011 NFL draft the Houston Texans select J.J Watt, DE, Wisconsin. With the assumption that Robert Quinn will have already been selected I predict that J.J Watt will land in Houston. Houston will likely select a DE to rush the passer on the opposite side of Mario Williams. A lot of draft annalists suspect the Texans to select Aldon Smith from Missouri but Rick Smith, the GM for the Texans has Big Ten roots as he was a Safety and a coach for the Purdue Boilermakers. Their numbers are almost identical in which case I am following my gut.

With the 17th pick in the 2011 NFL draft the New England Patriots select Cam Heyward, DE, Ohio St. In a DE heavy draft the Big Ten dominates the draft with that potion. It hurt the Patriots to lose Ty Warren last season in which case they need a DE that can step up and play right away. What better fit than a member from the Big Ten conference? Heyward has the ability to be the next Richard Seymour. He can play all across the line in multiple different packages. Plus does Bill Belichick and Jim Tressel not share resemblances? They both look like each other in certain ways and they both cheat, in different ways.

With the125th pick in the 2011 NFL draft the New England Patriots select Ricky Stanzi, QB, Iowa. Ricky Stanzi has drawn comparisons to Tom Brady ever since he emerged into the spotlight in his junior season. With out looking at any numbers in his senior season there are a couple things that lead him to Foxboro. The Current head coach of the Hawkeyes, Kirk Ferentz, coached under Bill Belichick in the Browns organization. Bryan Ferentz (Kirks son) currently coaches the Patriot Tight Ends. Not to mention Brady and Stanzi have the same hair. Stanzi also is a very smart QB, he scored a 30 on the Wonderlic test. There are too many things in common here for Stanzi not to be in New England

Sayre Bedinger:

With the 14th pick in  the 2011 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams Select…Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois

Liuget is one of the top defensive line prospects in the draft. He is a quick guy who has solid upside as a pass rusher and would fit perfectly in Steve Spagnuolo’s offense. He really came on as a junior in 2011 and some scouts believe he has as high of an upside in a 4-3 alignment as Gerald McCoy, the third overall pick in last year’s draft.

With the 46th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos select…Mikel LeShoure, RB, Illinois

Yet another Illinois kid off the board here, and this one arguably my favorite. LeShoure runs extremely hard, has a second gear that you don’t see in guys his size, and is a one-cut kid with power and toughness. Oh, and by the way, he never fumbled at Illinois. He has a first round grade in my opinion, and will be a steal in the 2nd round.

With the 20th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select…Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

Clayborn is a classic power defensive end who has great athleticism and burst off the line of scrimmage. Some of the best hand placement I have scouted, and he is willing to let his numbers drop to absorb double and triple teams. Clayborn is a great athlete who will only become better with solid coaching, and will be a steal at this juncture of the draft.