2017 NFL draft: Top prospects from Penn State, Michigan, Ohio State and the Big Ten
Ohio State’s Malik Hooker (24) hits Penn State’s Mike Gesicki (88) as he tries to catch a pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game in State College, Pa., Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Chris Knight)
The Big Ten has a number of the top prospects in this year’s NFL draft — the be held in Philadelphia later this month — and a group of the top prospects all has something in common: They’re all defensive backs from Ohio State. There’s plenty of Buckeyes in the mix, but there’s also Wildcats, Badgers, Wolverines and more. Here are the 16 Big Ten players ranked in the top 100 of Bleacher Report analyst Matt Miller’s overall rankings.
Michigan Wolverines defensive end Chris Wormley (43) plays against the Maryland Terrapins in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Rank: No. 95
Wormley was a stalwart on the interior for stout Michigan defenses during his career in Ann Arbor. The 23-year-old appeared in 51 games in four years and finished with 18 sacks and 33 tackles for loss. In 2015, Wormley was a force with 14.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks.
Illinois defensive lineman Dawuane Smoot (91) encourages the fans during an NCAA college football game against North Carolina Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill. North Carolina defeated Illinois 48-23. (AP Photo/Bradley Leeb)
Rank: No. 92
While playing under the radar with the Illini, Smoot was able to rack up the stats with 29.5 tackles for loss and 12 sacks over the past two seasons. He appeared in 40 games in his college career and could make for some miserable days for opposing quarterbacks.
Wisconsin’s Vince Biegel (47) celebrates after breaking up a third down play during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Georgia State Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Rank: No. 88
Biegel made headlines for his toughness and durability last season when he missed only two games with a broken foot. He appeared in a school-record 54 games and was part of the winningest class in Wisconsin history. For his career, he recorded 21.5 sacks and 39.5 tackles for loss, marks that rank No. 7 and No. 10 in program history.
Michigan tight end Jake Butt (88), sit on the snow-covered field after an NCAA college football game against Indiana in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. Michigan won 20-10. (AP Photo/Tony Ding)
Rank: No. 75
Butt’s stock took a hit when he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the Orange Bowl in December, but he’s still seen highly as a tight end prospect. He caught 138 passes for 1,646 yards and 11 touchdowns in his career, with high marks coming in a 2015 season when he caught 51 passes for 654 yards while snagging three touchdowns.