A couple days ago I outlined the 50 best players that would be returning to Big Ten teams next fall. It was a long, exhaustive list that, thanks to the wonders of a mid-January deadline to declare for the NFL draft, was a little too inclusive. Since then both Riley Reiff and Jerel Worthy have declared for the draft, as has Whitney Mercilus. Meanwhile, the initial reports that Montee Ball was leaning toward declaring were proven false as the running back will rejoin his teammates in Madison next year. Such is the folly of talking about returning players in the first week of January, but what's the fun in a "wait and see" approach. Fortune favors the bold.
Now, its time to look at some of the best players from the Big Ten who will be plying their trade on Sundays next fall. The conference, as one would expect, is heavy on wide receivers and defensive players—especially linemen—but light on quarterbacks and running backs.
Here are the players that have the best chance of getting their name called early in the draft.