Almost all Division 1 college football players must at some time dream of hearing their names called on NFL draft day. All of the hype regarding recruiting, coaching, and television exposure for a class ends on draft day. This year, 34 Big Ten players realized the dream of becoming NFL draft picks.
While recruiting rankings are strong predictors of the talent level that can be expected from a class, results in the NFL draft ultimately determine how talented a class actually was. Here's how the Big Ten teams stacked up in the 2010 NFL draft:
Iowa and Penn State dominated the Big Ten in the 2010 NFL draft with six lottery picks apiece. Overall, the Big Ten had a poor performance with only 8 players taken in the first two rounds.
Let's take a look at 2009 and 2010 combined:
In the last two years Penn State, Ohio State, and Iowa have dominated the NFL draft amongst Big Ten teams. It should be no surprise that they have also fielded the best teams over those same two seasons. Michigan State and Minnesota only had two players apiece drafted over the last two seasons.
For Minnesota fans, 2010 marks the final season for which the non-JUCO seniors eligible for the draft will be comprised fully of Glen Mason recruits. Gophers who should be eligible for the 2011 draft will likely be a mixture of the Mason/Brewster 2007 class, a few redshirts from Mason's 2006 class, and a couple of JUCO transfers.