2014 NFL Draft: BIG Prospects

Jack Satzinger

The 2014 NFL Draft starts Thursday night. For all the prospects, the long waiting game will come to an end at some point in the next three days.

While the cream of the crop will be selected in the first round Thursday night, most players will go in the later rounds Friday and Saturday.

This year, the Big Ten has a bulk of players — anywhere from surefire first-round picks to third-day gems — who could make an NFL roster.

The Minnesota Daily listened in on conference calls with some top draft analysts to get a look at the best prospects the Big Ten has to offer:

Wisconsin

Chris Borland

Projection: late 2nd-round pick or early 3rd-round pick

“Chris Borland, to me, is one of the best pure football players in this draft.”

— NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr.

 

Jared Abbrederis

Projection: 4th-round pick or later

“Jared Abbrederis is a wide receiver that understands routes more than most wide receivers in college do.”

— NFL draft analyst Mike Mayock

 

Ohio State

Ryan Shazier

Projection: 1st-round pick

“Ryan Shazier will very likely be the first Ohio State player off the board. He’s got to continue to get bigger. He struggled to put weight on and keep weight on, but I love him as a football player.”

— NFL draft analyst Todd McShay

 

Bradley Roby

Projection: 1st-round pick

“I think he’s the most athletic cornerback in this draft. I think he can be as good as he wants to be at the next level, [but] discipline with him on and off the field is going to be really important.”

— McShay

 

Carlos Hyde

Projection: 2nd-round pick

“I think he’s the best back in this class. … He has quick feet for his size.”

— McShay

 

Michigan

Taylor Lewan

Projection: 1st-round pick

“He’s right there with [Greg] Robinson. You could make an argument, right now, he’s better than Robinson. … I don’t see him getting past sixth [overall].”

— Kiper Jr.

 

Jeremy Gallon

Projection: 4th-round pick or later

“Jeremy Gallon ran better than I thought he would. He made a lot of clutch catches.”

— Kiper Jr.

 

Michigan State

Darqueze Dennard

Projection: 1st-round pick

“He’s an in-your-face, tough, aggressive corner. … He plays with a chip on his shoulder.”

— Kiper Jr.

 

Nebraska

Stanley Jean-Baptiste

Projection: late 2nd-round pick or early 3rd-round pick

“[He’s] 6 feet 2 ½ inches [tall]. There are a bunch of long corners out there, and that’s kind of the flavor of the day.”

— Mayock

 

Penn State

Allen Robinson

Projection: late 2nd-round pick or early 3rd-round pick

“He made a lot of big catches down the field. … Had he gone back for another year, he probably would have been a late [first-round pick] or an early [second-round pick].”

— Kiper Jr.

 

Iowa

CJ Fiedorowicz

Projection: 3rd-round pick or later

“I know he’s got good hands. I just want to see the hands. I don’t want the ball to get in the body. I want him to catch everything away from his body.”

— Mayock

 

Indiana

Cody Latimer

Projection: late 1st-round pick

“I know a lot of teams need wide receivers. … I’d be shocked if he doesn’t go in the first round.”

— Kiper Jr.

 

Minnesota

Ra’Shede Hageman

Projection: late 1st-round pick

“He’s got freakish athletic ability. … If he’s still on the board, because he’s an explosive kid, he could play a couple different slots, and Coach [Bill] Belichick likes those versatile guys.”

— Mayock

 

Brock Vereen

Projection: 3rd-round pick or later

“He’s one of the most underrated players in this draft. … He’s fast, he’s physical, and he’s got good awareness. I think a team’s going to wind up getting a steal with him.”

— McShay

 

Note: These projections were calculated using multiple mock drafts as reference.