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We were officially in draft season after the Senior Bowl last week. Now, with teams starting to decide what to do at each position of need, it's a crucial part of the offseason.

Although it was tough to judge the talent to the best extent because of the shortened season, there is a fair share of elite talent coming out of the Big Ten from the 2020 campaign. The talent is scattered throughout both sides of the ball, with playmakers and heavy hitters being the outliers.

Here's a look at the top 10 players in the Big Ten, as we approach the 2021 NFL Draft and how their stock has risen or fallen throughout the 2020 season.

Top 10:

1. Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

A world-class college quarterback, Fields is poised to be a top 10 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. His accuracy and decision-making improved from his play in 2019, which is one reason the Buckeyes made it to the National Championship.

2. Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

Draft pundits still underrate the Minnesota pass-catcher but he is one of the top receivers in the NFL Draft. His size, skill set and athleticism all stand out on film. Look for a team to draft him in the top 20.

3. Rashawn Slater, OL, Northwestern

With many experts moving Slater to guard, it will be intriguing to see where he lands. His size and technical abilities show that it won't be such a tricky transition to another position.

4. Kwity Paye, DE, Michigan

A bit of an off-year for Paye from a production-standpoint has him falling below Slater but that doesn't mean he isn't dominant. Paye possesses all of the traits to be a premier pass-rusher in the NFL.

5. Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

Although he opted out of the 2020 season, Parsons is as dominant of a linebacker as there is in the draft. He can do a little bit of everything on the defensive side of the ball.

6. Josh Myers, IOL, Ohio State

The captain of the Ohio State offensive line, Myers had a tremendous season for the Buckeyes. He owns a big frame but has some athleticism to his games well.

7. Baron Browning, LB Ohio State

Dynamic linebackers are coveted in the NFL. Browning has the traits to become a superstar in the league for many years.

8. Nico Collins, WR, Michigan

After sitting out the 2020 season, Collins had an impressive Senior Bowl. Another strong showing at his pro day could potentially launch him up the big boards of NFL teams.

9. Wyatt Davis, G, Ohio State

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Just like his counterpart Josh Myers, Davis had a massive season for the Buckeyes in 2020. He’s as strong as a bull and demonstrates dominant blocking ability.

10. Daviyon Nixon, DL, Iowa

One of the many highlights of the defensive line class, Nixon was one of the best defensive tackles in 2020. He is nimble on his feet while also being dominant with his strength.

Dark Horses:

Justin Hilliard, LB, Ohio State

The St. Xavier high school graduate was a five-star prospect and the No.1 overall prospect in the state of Ohio for the 2015 recruiting cycle. He got to school, suffered a torn bicep muscle one year and then had the other tear the following year. Next, he suffered a torn achilles. It was great as a football fan to see him playing in the 2020 season and competing in Mobile last week. Hilliard possesses elite athletic ability that NFL teams love at linebacker and if he can stay healthy, he could be an absolute steal in the middle-to-late rounds.

Greg Newsome, CB, Northwestern

A prolific zone corner who can use his athleticism to cover many boundaries quickly, Newsome stood out in the 2020 season. Look for him to make an immediate impact with whichever team drafts him.

Ambry Thomas, CB, Michigan

While he looked rough at the Senior Bowl at times, Thomas has all the tools to succeed at the next level. He is a press, man corner who can dominate when he is on his a-game.

Shaka Toney, DE, Penn State

Blessed with impressive versatility, Toney has fallen into the ‘tweener’ category, which has somewhat had an impact on his draft grade. He clearly shows a high motor, along with the ability to get after the quarterback, it’s a matter of figuring how to utilize his diverse skill-set. A big pro day showing could serve as a much-needed boost.

For more on Toney, check this article out:


Jayson Oweh, DE, Penn State

At initial glance, Oweh doesn’t jump out on the stat sheet, coming off a season in which he recorded zero sacks. However, in the right scheme and fit for his development, Oweh could be an effective role player in certain situations.

Cameron McGrone, LB, Penn State

The Rodney Dangerfield of this year’s draft class, McGrone has been severely underrated by the draft community this season. He's a linebacker who packs a punch and can dominate at the point of attack. While he's not the flashiest athlete, McGrone is capable of keeping up with tight ends and running backs. If drafted in the right schematic fit, he could be one of the 2021 NFL draft gems.

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