Top 7 Draftable Players in the Big 10

Taylor Lewan OT, Michigan – It seems like such a waste to me that Taylor Lewan is in such a unique offense. With a signal caller that projects better as a WR/RB than as a QB, the Michigan offense isn’t showcasing what an asset they have in their colossal left tackle. While he still has a lot to prove, Taylor Lewan is one of the best offensive linemen in the country, and if can dominate defensive ends this year he has a great chance of being the first or second offensive tackle off the board.

Kawann Short DT, Purdue - Kawann Short is one of the most polarizing figures in college football. Some people think that he is too soft with his hands and that he takes too many plays off to warrant a high draft pick. Others (me included) think that he is a dominant interior defender that provides great pressure and that he forces running backs to make their first cut in the backfield. The old saying goes it only takes one team to fall in love with you to be drafted highly, and I will be shocked if he doesn’t come off of the board in the first 16 picks.

Johnathan Hankins DT, Ohio State - Hankins is a wide-bodied defender that has more quickness and athleticism than his height and weight would lead you to believe at 6’3” 317. He plays extensively as a defensive end despite his listing as a defensive tackle and I can’t help but think he will be a very effective 5-technique/nickel DT for an NFL team in the very near future.

Jack Mewhort OG, Ohio State – Say what you will about his off the field conduct, but Mewhort played very well against Michigan tackle Mike Martin, and the previously mentioned Kawann Short from Purdue.  One of the bigger question marks on this list, Mewhort can either push for an early second round grade or he could see his stock plummet if he can’t overcome his early suspension.

Jonathan Brown OLB, Illinois – Another Illinois defender that has a chance to make a splash in the draft, Jonathan Brown is a splashy player that has very good short area quickness. If he can develop some pass rush moves, or show that he can cover “Joker” tight ends, Brown may be one of the top OLBs of this year’s draft. If he can’t then his instincts and ability to fight through traffic should still warrant a medium to early round grade.

Ricky Wagner OT, Wisconsin – Ricky Wagner is in a tough spot when I look at where he stands among offensive linemen this year. He is a solid run blocker who can seal an edge and dig a defender out of a running lane, however I am left a little disappointed by his pass blocking. I trust the offensive coaching staff of Wisconsin to help him correct this problem, but if they can’t I’m not sure how many NFL coaches will be able to. In the “new” NFL pass blocking is more important to teams than run blocking and while he has the measurable and talent to be a second round pick, I’m not sure he will be taken that early if he can’t polish himself up a little.

William Gholston DE, Michigan State – This final spot was hard for me, but it is hard to leave Gholston off of this list due to his freakish size/speed combination. As a 6’7” DE/OLB that can close as quickly as he can you would expect more than five sacks, however he hasn’t really developed much of a punch at the line of scrimmage and his run defense leaves something to be desired. If Gholston can ever put it all together then I think he could be a dangerous player, but just like LSU’s Brockers last year even if you have a huge frame you have to show that you can use it to your advantage for it to mean something.

About Will Lomas

Grew up in a town in Tennessee named Dyersburg, and played ball there. When I realized I was too small to play college ball, I found my passion in breaking down game film, analyzing athletes, and finding the little things that decides whether a player is good, bad, or great.

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