2011 NFL Mock Draft: Power Ranking the Best Big Ten Prospects

Ross ColemanAnalyst IJanuary 2, 2011

2011 NFL Mock Draft: Power Ranking the Best Big Ten Prospects

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    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    2011 NFL Mock Draft: Power Ranking the Best Big Ten Prospects

    The Big Ten has had a miserable bowl season but the real question is how does that affect the draft stock of some of the conference's best players?

    Who are the top 10 draft prospects in the conference and where are they going?

    Read on to find the answers to these questions and let us know what you think.

10. John Moffitt, OG, Wisconsin

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    Round Projections: Third to Fifth

    Analysis: John Moffitt is a typical offensive lineman from Wisconsin. He has prototypical size and strength. While he isn't as consistent as his coaches would like, he could develop into a solid NFL player.

9. Christian Ballard, DT, Iowa

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    Round Projections: Third

    Analysis: Christian Ballard is a load in the middle of the Iowa defensive line. He might not have the same type of production that he has last year, but that is due in large part to increased attention. Ballard could jump up to the second round if he has a great combine but I think he ends up in the third round.

8. Stefan Wisniewski, C, Penn State

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    Round Projections: Second

    Analysis: Stefan Wisniewski is one of the best centers in all of college football. He is a little undersized, but he makes up for it by playing smart football. Wisniewski has the look of a guy that will have a long and fruitful NFL career.

7. Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State

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    Round Projections: Top 20

    Analysis: Cameron Heyward is a guy that could play end in a 3-4 or he could put on a little bit of weight and become an inside pass rusher in a 4-3. Heyward might not have the motor of some other defensive linemen, but when he wants to be, he is a dominant defensive player.

6. J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin

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    Round Projections: Late first

    Analysis: J.J. Watt has been one of the fastest risers in the NFL draft. He is a prototypical defensive end for a 3-4 scheme and he has one of the highest motors in the Big Ten.

    The only reason he gets a higher rank than Cameron Heyward, who will likely be drafted ahead of Watt, is because I think Watt becomes the better NFL player.

5. Cory Liuget, DT, Illinois

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    Round Projections: Late first

    Analysis: Cory Liuget has flown under the radar for most of the season because he played at a school that has not gotten a lot of football attention recently. However, he has been one of the best defensive players in the Big Ten.

    He is another guy that will have a great NFL career and will end up being picked lower than he deserves.

4. Greg Jones, MLB, Michigan State

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    Round Projections: Top 20

    Analysis: Greg Jones is one of the premier linebackers in the draft. He is listed as a middle linebacker but he might be better suited to play outside. He has the speed and smarts to play in the middle but he is not the ideal size for the position.

    Whatever position he plays, Jones will be a great fit to any NFL team looking for a linebacker with a nose for the ball.

3. Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

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    Round Projections: Top 20

    Analysis: Adrian Clayborn is one of the marquee defensive players in college football. He has shown the ability to be dominant at times, but he has struggled against extra attention as well.

    He will be a nice fit as a big defensive end in a 3-4.

2. Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

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    Round Projections: Top 15

    Analysis: Gabe Carimi won the Outland Award presented to the top lineman in college football this year. He has NFL size and strength and could be the first offensive lineman taken in the draft this year. He is a surefire starting left tackle and he will be one of the best linemen in the NFL in no time.

1. Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

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    Round Projections: Top 15

    Analysis: In a draft stacked with defensive talent, Ryan Kerrigan will be one of the top defensive prospects in April. He has outstanding pass rushing skills and he is has been one of the most dominant defensive players in the entire Big Ten for more than just this season.

    He will be the first Big Ten player drafted, hands down.