Best 2018 NFL Draft Prospects from the Big 10 Conference

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In the past at NFL Draft Geek we’ve done various College Football Previews leading up to the start of the season. Instead of doing team previews and doing more college football analysis, we’ve gone back to what we do best which is scouting and highlighting prospects for the draft. Listed below are our thoughts on the Big 10 Prospects for the 2018 NFL Draft and the 20 best prospects within the conference.

 

The poster child for the Big 10 prospects it is Penn State running back Saquon Barkley. Barkley is an elite running back in the same mold of an Ezekiel Elliott. Armed with speed and the ability to make explosive cuts there is not much Barkley cannot do with the ball in his hands. In the passing game Barkley can make catches outside of his frame making him a complete all around back. If Barkley declares it would be a shock to see him fall out of the top 10.

Where Barkley is the clear top prospect in this class, there is another running back that needs to be mentioned. Iowa’s Akrum Wadley is equipped with lightning fast quickness and change of direction ability. Difficult to corral Wadley creates big runs for the Hawkeyes running behind one of the top guards in the nation in Sean Welsh.

One position group that really stands out in the Big 10 are the linebackers. Jack Cichy, Josey Jewell, Chris Worley, Jerome Baker and TJ Edwards all are a talented in their own right. Cichy reminds me a little of a less athletic Luke Kuechly. Cichy has tremendous instincts putting him around the ball and is a good tackler who rarely misses. Jewell could be characterized very similarly as his instincts also really stand out. Baker on the other hand is a freak athlete who was just reportedly clocked at 4.37 in the 40 yard dash this summer. Baker and his teammate Chris Worley are your modern day NFL linebackers who thrive on speed and flying to the ball. Put on any Buckeye game and you’ll be sure to see Baker’s #17 all over the field.

One player to keep an eye on is Rutgers DE Kemoko Turay who athletically and size wise (6’5) has all the potential to be a top end pass rusher flashing back in 2015 with 7.5 sacks. A shoulder injury limited him last year and this spring. If he’s able to get healthy again he could be a sleeper to watch.

The best cornerback in this conference we are not likely to even see this season. Nebraska’s Chris Jones tore his meniscus this summer putting him likely out for the season. Jones is a dynamic athlete and shut down corner potential, who has an outside chance of returning for conference play, is likely a redshirt candidate.

 

Here are the top 20 prospects in for the 2018 NFL Draft in the Big 10 Conference.

1 Saquon Barkley RB Penn State
2 Jack Cichy ILB Wisconsin
3 Josey Jewell MLB Iowa
4 Akrum Wadley RB Iowa
5 Sean Welsh RG Iowa
6 Billy Price C Ohio State
7 Dre’Mont Jones DT Ohio State
8 Chris Worley MLB Ohio State
9 Jerome Baker WLB Ohio State
10 Jamarco Jones LT Ohio State
11 Jalyn Holmes DE Ohio State
12 Kemoko Turay DE Rutgers
13 TJ Edwards ILB Wisconsin
14 Dante Booker SLB Ohio State
15 Godwin Igwebuike S Northwestern
16 D’Cota Dixon S Wisconsin
17 Marcus Allen S Penn State
18 Troy Fumagalli TE Wisconsin
19 Denzel Ward CB Ohio State
20 Chris Jones CB Nebraska

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