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Scouting The Big Ten

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I am always seeing some bias in mocks and rankings since most of y'all are SEC fans or ACC fans and don't watch much B1G Football. So I thought I would share my thoughts with the B1G players I have watched the past couple of seasons. Disclaimer: I am an Indiana fan, so I have watched those players the most and am trying not to be bias.

If you want to know more about a player or one that I did not do, just reply. The ones I did not do I have not seen enough to form an opinion.

Joey Bosa DE - He is worth a top 3 pick. He doesn't have great speed or anything, but great technique and power. He would excel in a similar role to JJ Watt. (Ranked 1st by CBS)

Adolphus Washington DT - He is one of my favorite players and is in my mind very much underrated. Hes without a doubt one of the top run stopping DL in college. Does a good job fighting off blocks and taking on double teams. (Rated 36th by CBS)

Taylor Decker/Jack Conklin OT - Grouping both of these guys together cause I have a similar feeling. Both can overpower and dominate defenses at times. But they also can get beat. Decker can sometimes "lose focus" and get beat when he shouldn't. Conklin can struggle with speed rushers and does not fit ZBS imo. (Decker ranked 16th by CBS; Conklin ranked24th by CBS)

Connor Cook QB - Man there are some definite questions about his leadership. He can get rattled pretty easily. He has made his name for throwing touch passes. Not a huge arm and can be inaccurate at times. In the right situation he could succeed, it would be best for him to sit at least his first year. (Rated 18th by CBS)

Ezekiel Elliot RB - He lives up to the hype. Great athlete, great hands, great competitor. 3 Down back. (Rated 20th by CBS)

Michael Thomas WR - With the offense OSU ran this season he could sometimes go unnoticed. He is a 2nd round pick imo and has good speed and elusiveness in the open field. (Rated 31st by CBS)

Jason Spriggs OT - I would take him over Decker or Conklin. I have watched him for a long time. He doesn't give up sacks and has great athleticism. He would fit very nicely in the ZBS and I think he could play OG for us if needed. (Rated 32nd by CBS)

Shilique Calhoun DE - I would stay away from him. He doesn't really have a great quality that makes you really want him. I really haven't seen him make too many plays. Technique is pretty bad and can be overpowered. (Rated 40th by CBS)

Vonn Bell SS - He is only 5'11 which might turn Quinn and Co away. He is a big hitter and can also fly to the ball. His coverage can be suspect at times. I would rather have Cash or someone. (Rated 47th by CBS)

Carl Nassib DE - I think he will struggle for a while on the next level. He does not have great strength or speed and he will need to develop better rush moves to have an affect in the NFL. He plays all out though and is very lengthy so he could definitely become a good pass rusher down the road. (Rated 56th by CBS)

Leonte Carroo WR - I think he is really underrated. Great route runner and athlete. He could really be a steal for us in the 2nd round. (Rated 76th by CBS)

Jordan Howard RB - Another guy that a lot of people haven't heard about. He is a power runner and I mean he can lay people out. Does a nice job finding the hole and bursting through it. He could fit in the ZBS but I doubt we select a RB this high. (Rated 80th by CBS)

Dan Feeney OG - He is my top OG. Fits the ZBS to a T. Great run blocker that can pull and get to the 2nd and 3rd levels successfully. Does not make mistakes in pass pro. He has yet to decide on the NFL as he is a junior but he will likely be 2nd round pick.

Cardale Jones QB - He has a rocket for an arm, but struggles with accuracy and decision making. I would stay away from him. (Rated 81st by CBS)

Braxton Miller WR - I wouldn't take him before the 4th round. He is a great athlete and everything, but he's transitioning to a new position and has disappeared in games for tOSU. I am not confident he will be able to put it together at WR. (Rated 95th by CBS)

Aaron Burbridge WR - Sure handed WR and is a great route runner. He reminds me a bit of Roddy in that he doesn't have great speed but can make the contested catches. (Rated 122th by CBS)

Anthony Zettel DE - I think he will be better than his teammate Nassib on the next level. He is a great run stopping DE and can also rush the passer. Good size and technique to get the job done. (Rated 127th by CBS)

Jack Allen C - He is consistent and plays very smart. I question if he would fit the ZBS and sometimes I see some Peter Konz in him (getting overpowered). (Rated 138th by CBS)

Nate Sudfeld QB - I see a lot of people on the Coker bandwagon. Here is a much better QB that can be had around the same time. He takes care of the ball, has mobility, good decision maker, good deep ball, and good accuracy. If given time to continue to develop he will be a good backup or starter. (Rated 147th by CBS)

Jake Butt TE - Sure handed TE that is also a great blocker. I would LOVE to have him.

Christian Hackenberg QB - He will be a bust. He can't handle pressure. Struggles with accuracy at times and decision making. He is slow in making a decision.

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Did you observe/ any thoughts on Ohio St TE Nick Vannett?

yes. First off I want to say that for all offensive skill players on Ohio State, it's hard to judge them with the OC being a complete dumbass. They had one of the most talented rosters and had terrible play calling. So in short, the production we saw was not indicative of the talent. With vannet the was primarily used as a blocker. Really Ohio State TEs have been used this way for a longtime. He was never the starter until this season. Blocking wise he is willing and capable to do so. When you look at him as a receiver, there isn't too much tape but he has good speed, hands, and size. I'm not sure about his route running in regards to which he can do. I'd definitely take him 6th and on and might even in the 5th
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Thanks for the write up. I am disappointed about Calhoun. I thought he might be a good player to look for in the second round. After reading your insight, I would pass on him.

Jake Butt is a terrific TE, but will return to school.

I thought he could be like Chandler Jones but I am not so sure anymore. I watched him 3 times this season and he was held basically useless in all 3. When I say he can get overpowered, I mean he was pushed 10 yards away from the play on some runs. He struggles to get off blocks. He doesn't have the pass rush moves needed to succeed on the next level. To me I would rate him around the 4th round as a project type of player.

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I don't mind Calhoun, really quick off the edge, but man is he inconsistent. He flashed a lot to me, but I have dropped him considerably after watching 3 more of his games and his bowl game. He isn't even the best player on that defensive line, but I really like his quickness and length. Other than that, he doesn't offer much else. Seems to only give effort when he wants to and to me, that is one of the biggest red flags.


+ Good body and length that a prototypical defensive end should have.

+ Quick off the edge with a good first step.

+ Good upper body strength, can bullrush at times.

+ Can anchor against the run.

+ Does a nice job of keeping his arms extended, keeping tackles off of him so he can contain and read where the run is going.


- Inconsistent, especially with the last two points mentioned in the "Pros" section (holding up versus the run).

- Motor runs cold, a faucet player (off and on).

- Doesn't have many pass rush moves, relies on athleticism too much (he tries to use other moves and I appreciate he tries other moves, but his technique is awful).

- Inconsistent leverage, comes out of his stance high at times.

- Inconsistent off the snap, sometimes just casually gets off the snap with no burst or quickness.

- Due to his inconsistent leverage and effort off the snap, can get blown up by stronger tackles.

Overall: It boils down to Calhouns "want to". If he put in the work and effort, he could be good, but he gets too complacent and hasn't improved his game over the years. Can display great athleticism and strength at times, but his motor and inconsistent effort are major red flags. He is solid as a run defender and flashes great pass rushing ability, but his overall technique leaves a lot to be desired. Understands he is strong and quick, but this hinders his ability to develop as he thinks he can just rely on this.

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What are your thoughts on Darron Lee and Austin Johnson?

I'll preface talking about Lee by saying that I would not select him at the 17th pick. I'd value him more around 28-34. He has some speed to cover backs and make plays in the backfield. He is a really good blitzer, but we don't use LBs to blitz often. His tackling will need to improve. I would compare him to Ryan Shazier, however Shazier is a better downhill tackler and in coverage than Lee.

Haven't seen much of Johnson.

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What are your thoughts on Darron Lee and Austin Johnson?

Wasn't intended for me but I will chime in.

Darron Lee, kind of like Ryan Shazier coming out of OSU as far as athletic and coverage ability. Exceptional athleticism and range for a linebacker. Great closing speed and overall speed, solid blitzer, and very good at reading passing plays whether he is roaming the middle of the field or sniffing out screen plays. However, I think he's a weak run defender, especially if a lineman gets a hold of him. He is not particularly stout or strong, but understands how to avoid blocks. However, this can take him out of the play. He has shown he can attack the LOS but also see him hesitate and take false steps. As a traditional LB, I like Perry better, but I think Lee could be a great WLB, he just needs to get stronger versus the run and he needs to be more willing to stick his nose into the action on run plays.

Austin Johnson is a very strong defensive tackle. I think he could be very good as he has quickness and strength. Has strong hands and a great initial punch, but he can disappear during games / stretches. I think he is the rock of that defensive line and he is not the type of tackle to get pushed around and he anchors very well. Also offers help as a pass rusher but I would like to see him develop his pass rushing moves better, particularly his hand usage and leverage off the snap. Overall, even in this LOADED defensive tackle, he can easily be a day 2 pick.

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