Will the Big Ten be both legend and leaders when it comes to conference pride on busts in the NFL? I’ll say this–they will be tough to beat (which is to say, easy to beat). The SEC team and the Big 12 team had their strengths in some key spots, but the Big Ten has some pretty good balance and depth. Also, in case you forgot, Detroit was not very good for a while. After dominating the Big 12 team, Detroit also ties Chicago for most picks on the Big Ten team. What is it with the NFC North and Big Ten combining to create magic?
Drew Stanton? Here’s a piece of Big Ten QB Trivia: Did you know that the last Big Ten QB selected in the first round of a NFL Draft was Kerry Collins? I didn’t realize that until I was putting this together, but that is . . . wow. Next year will be 20 drafts without a Big Ten passer selected in the first round, unless Braxton Miller makes a big leap.
Only five have even been selected in the top 50 picks. Drew Brees and Kerry Collins are out. Tony Banks had a more memorable disappointing career, but did at least start 78 games. Todd Collins hung around for a backup and did more than Drew Stanton, so here we are. Maybe Stanton gets to throw a pass for the first time since 2010, backing up Carson Palmer.
Loaded Backfield: No conference can compete with the running back depth and quality of the Big Ten when it comes to busts. The top two are no-brainers because of how highly they were drafted, but the following guys could easily be in consideration in other conferences: Vaughn Dunbar, Chris Perry, T.J. Duckett, Tim Biakabutuka, Beanie Wells.
Umm, also Loaded at Receiver: The Big Ten does it right, top pick busts, followed by plenty of others. Desmond Howard doesn’t quite make the first team because he at least had some run as a punt returner. Same with Ted Ginn. I know it’s been only two years, but A.J. Jenkins gets the nod considering he has 8 career catches and was traded already by San Francisco. Thomas Lewis and Devin Thomas are on standby. Anthony Gonzalez has been put on the IR.
A Defensive Line Full of Choices: The defensive line is so loaded that we will move Vernon Gholston to OLB in a 3-4, since he played for the Jets (he contributed so little that he can be used anywhere). Courtney Brown was a disappointment as a #1 overall pick, but he has no chance here. Erasmus James and Jimmy Kennedy can’t crack the starting lineup. Michael Haynes and Aaron Maybin provide some Penn State bookends, while Dimitrius Underwood will leave a gaping hole in the middle.
Here’s the full Big Ten Bust Team: