The Big Ten was in the spotlight last year at the NFL draft. Michigan's Jake Long went #1 and Ohio State's Vernone Ghoulston wasn't far behind. It looks like a little quieter this time around. No Big Ten player is in contention to be the top choice and it looks like a longshot getting anyone in the top five.
Aaron Maybin, the talented, albeit a little undisciplined, defensive end from Penn State, joins OSU corner Malcolm Jenkins as the top-rated prospects. Both have a good shot to go in the Top 10, although in neither case would it be a surprise if they fell further.
One place it's going to be more active for this year's draft is Columbus. Ohio State only had one more player picked last season, after Ghoulston. That won't be a problem this time around. After Jenkins, Chris Wells and James Laurinatius will be waiting as likely first-rounders. The fate of Wells is particularly interesting. His explosive speed and size could make him the top player to come out of the entire draft, especially given the weakness of this year's crop. But he's been injury prone in college and one wonders how much that will hurt him (no pun intended) at the draft. If a risk-taking GM who needs a running back is making the decisions high up on the board, Wells could be the pick that goes surprisingly quickly. If more conservative types make the decisions, he could fall.
Wells' position is analogous to that faced by defecting Soviet naval captain Marko Ramius (Sean Connery) in the movie The Hunt For Red October. In discussing his chances, Ramius says "We meet the right sort, this can work. But we meet some,..buckeroo?" Ramius' words might as well be those of Chris Wells' agent. Personally, I think it unlikely that Wells will stay healthy enough to be a force at the next level.
On that Hollywood note, maybe I'd better just watch the end of the Cubs-Brewers and go to bed. Everyone have a happy Easter tomorrow!