Big Ten Draft Tracker: The Latest on League Players in Thursday's NFL Draft

The Big Ten Conference is full of talent heading to the NFL this season, headlined by Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, Northwestern offensive tackle Rashawn Slater and Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons.
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The NFL Draft is finally here, and there are talented players all across the Big Ten Conference that will await being selected into the professional ranks. 

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields was among a group of signal-callers poised to be taken in the first round. Clemson's Trevor Lawrence and BYU's Zach Wilson were selected with the first two picks. Behind them was Fields, Alabama's Mac Jones and North Dakota State's Trey Lance. All five found new homes Thursday night. 

We'll be tracking each Big Ten player picked throughout every round of this year's draft. Below is a list of the top prospects from the conference, and the 2021 NFL Draft schedule which includes dates, start times and how to watch or listen. 

Here's the latest:

Ravens take their second Big Ten player in a row

With their second pick in the first round, the Baltimore Ravens added Penn State defensive end Jayson Oweh. In 2020, Oweh recorded a career-high 38 total tackles but was unable to register a sack along the defensive front. 

Back in 2019, alongside Parsons, Oweh finished the season with five sacks, two forced fumbles and 21 total tackles. At 6-foot-5, 232 pounds, he'll make an athletic edge defender for the Ravens. 

Baltimore Ravens add a Big Ten receiver to help Lamar Jackson

Right after Big Ten opponent Greg Newsome II from Northwestern was selected by the Cleveland Browns, Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman joins the AFC North. The two go from sharing the same conference as student-athletes to the same division as professionals. 

Bateman has great size at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds and will fit in nicely with the Ravens, who were lacking a consistent pass-catcher on the outside. In three seasons with the Golden Gophers, he snatched 147 passes for 2,395 yards and 19 touchdowns. 

Greg Newsome II taken by the Cleveland Browns

For the first time in program history, the Northwestern Wildcats had two players selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Cornerback Greg Newsome II was the fourth defensive back taken on Thursday, going 26th overall to the Cleveland Browns. 

Newsome is a lengthy, 6-foot-1 cornerback that registered 24 pass deflections in three seasons at Northwestern. He also accounted for 71 total tackles in his college career while also adding a single interception to resume in 2020.

Indianapolis Colts select edge defender Kwity Paye

Michigan defensive end Kwity Paye exploded during his junior season with the Wolverines, accounting for 50 total tackles and 6.5 stats. As a senior, he only registered 16 tackles and two sacks. But he presents the ability to play up and down the defensive line at the professional level. 

With the 21st pick in the first round of the NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts took him for his versatility along the defensive front. 

Rashawn Slater picked by Los Angeles Chargers

 At Northwestern, Rashawn Slater immediately made his mark as a true freshman and started all 12 games at right tackle. He then started 14 games in his second collegiate season en route to being named Third-Team All-Big Ten. 

Slater was a Big-Ten Honorable Mention after 11 starts as a junior but decided to opt out of the 2020 season to prepare for the NFL Draft. Now, he'll be put on the offensive line protecting the Chargers' first pick a year ago, quarterback Justin Herbert. 

Dallas Cowboys select Micah Parsons

As one of the best defensive players in all of college football, Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons decided to opt out of his final season of eligibility due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus and prepare for the NFL Draft. 

Parsons tallied 191 total tackles, 6.5 sacks and 18 tackles for loss in just two seasons with the Nittany Lions. The Cowboys traded out of the 10th overall pick with an NFC East rival, the Philadelphia Eagles and selected the versatile Penn State linebacker with the 12th overall pick. 

Bears trade up and select Justin Fields

Before the start of the NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears were in possession of the 20th pick of the first round. They said goodbye to former No. 2 overall pick Mitchell Trubisky this offseason and brought in Andy Dalton, who would compete with Nick Foles for the starting job. 

But in a trade with the New York Giants at the 11th overall pick, the Bears move up and select their perceived quarterback of the future. Fields was a two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year with the Buckeyes. 

In two years at Ohio State, Fields totaled 82 touchdowns and just nine interceptions. 

Three quarterbacks off the board

It was no surprise to see Clemson's Trevor Lawrence and BYU's Zach Wilson get taken back-to-back to begin the 2021 NFL Draft. Both the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets are hopeful they grabbed their quarterback of the future. 

This left San Francisco with the choice between North Dakota State's Trey Lance and Alabama's Mac Jones for the third overall pick. The 49ers elected to draft Lance, an FCS signal caller with 17 career starts. But he threw for 30 touchdowns and just one interception with the Bison despite eventually opting out of the 2020 season. 

Herbstreit: Dream scenario is Rondale Moore to Chiefs

6:25 p.m ET – ESPN college football analysts were doing extensive pre-draft work and in one segment, they were talking about the best marriages for some unsung prospects. Kirk Herbstreit, the former Ohio State quarterback, thought that Purdue wide receiver would be great teaming up with Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City.

"Why not give Patty Mahomes one more piece?'' Herbstreit said. "Give him Rondale Moore. Monster year in '19, a superstar, and could you imagine Rondale Moore as one more featured option in that offense? They said dream scenario. That's one.''

Desmond Howard likes the idea of Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith reuniting with his Alabama quarterback, Tua Tagavailoa, in Miami. David Pollak liked nasty lineman Landon Dickerson going to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Big Ten players selected in the first round

PlayerPositionTeam

Justin Fields, Ohio State

Quarterback 

Chicago Bears — Round 1, Pick 11

Micah Parsons, Penn State

Linebacker

Dallas Cowboys — Round 1, Pick 12

Rashawn Slater, Northwestern

Offensive Tackle

Los Angeles Chargers — Round 1, Pick 13

Kwity Paye, Michigan

Defensive End

Indianapolis Colts — Round 1, Pick 21

Greg Newsome II, Northwestern

Cornerback

Cleveland Browns — Round 1, Pick 26

Rashod Bateman, Minnesota

Wide Receiver

Baltimore Ravens — Round 1, Pick 27

Jayson Oweh, Penn State

Defensive End

Baltimore Ravens — Round 1, Pick 31

Top prospects available from the Big Ten

PlayerPositionSchool

Jalen Mayfield

Offensive Tackle

Michigan

Rondale Moore

Wide Receiver

Purdue

Pat Freiermuth

Tight End

Penn State

Nico Collins

Wide Receiver

Michigan

Trey Sermon

Running Back

Ohio State

Benjamin St-Juste

Cornerback

Minnesota

Wyatt Davis

Guard

Ohio State

Shakur Brown

Cornerback

Michigan State

Jamar Johnson

Safety

Indiana

Pete Werner

Linebacker

Ohio State

Baron Browning

Linebacker

Ohio State

Shaun Wade

Corner Back

Ohio State

Daviyon Nixon 

Defensive Tackle

Iowa

2021 NFL Draft Schedule

Day 1: Round 1

  • When: Thursday, April 29
  • Start time: 8 p.m. ET
  • Channels: NFL Network, NFL Deportes ESPN, ABC
  • Live stream: NFL.com, NFL mobile app, ESPN.com, ESPN app
  • Radio: ESPN radio

Day 2: Rounds 2-3 

  • When: Friday, April 30
  • Start time: 7 p.m. ET
  • Channels: NFL Network, NFL Deportes ESPN, ABC
  • Live stream: NFL.com, NFL mobile app, ESPN.com, ESPN app
  • Radio: ESPN radio

Day 3: Rounds 4-7 

  • When: Saturday, May 1
  • Start time: Noon ET
  • Channels: NFL Network, NFL Deportes ESPN, ABC
  • Live stream: NFL.com, NFL mobile app, ESPN.com, ESPN app
  • Radio: ESPN radio

This story will be updated. 


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