2013 Big Ten Football Defensive Stars Sure to Succeed in the NFL

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2013 Big Ten Football Defensive Stars Sure to Succeed in the NFL
Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Big Ten Football has seen better days. The conference struggled through its second consecutive poor postseason last year, going 2-5 in bowl games after a 4-6 showing in 2011.

But even as its teams struggle to peak at the right time, the Big Ten continues to be a steady pipeline of NFL talent. Forty-one Big Ten players were drafted to the NFL in 2012 (per Phil Steele's College Football Preview), second in the NCAA and first among conferences not named the Southeastern.

Even after losing so many draft picks from last year, the Big Ten is loaded once again with pro-caliber players in 2013—especially on defense, the conference's long-time strength. The offenses may struggle, at times, but that has a lot to do with the pro-level players they play against. 

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