The 2013 Big Ten Football Draft
By Tony Gerdeman
Welcome to the third annual Big Ten Football Draft. We started it way back in 2010, but missed 2011 because of a coaching scandal (you may have heard about it), and then brought it back in a strong way last year.
The rules remain the same. The draft order follows the reverse order of last season's standings, and once a player is selected, nobody else can be taken off of his team. And there's no drafting your own players, and no drafting anybody else's draftees (Tim Beckman!).
So with the rules in hand, the Illinois Fighting Illini are on the clock, and not even they can mess this pick up.
1. Illinois – Braxton Miller QB Ohio State
Tim Beckman is coaching for his life, so why not go out and draft the one player that could possibly overcome that coaching. Braxton Miller would instantly make Illinois an offensive threat, but his inability to play defense would ultimately doom Beckman anyway.
Braxton Miller: "I look forward to playing for Illinois. Sometimes it can get tiresome playing for a school where winning matters."
2. Iowa – Devin Gardner QB Michigan
It's no secret that Iowa needs a quarterback, and a running back, and receivers, and an offensive line, some defensive line, maybe a backup linebacker, and a secondary. In Devin Gardner they will get a very good quarterback and a sometimes above average wide receiver.
Kirk Ferentz: "If it were up to me, there would be no draft. We would never change anything. Ever. Like anything. I've got 80-year olds carrying Cokes up and down the stadium steps every week because they were here when I got here, and I don't like change, so I won't let them quit. You know my motto, 'Status quo for a status bro.'
3. Indiana – Chris Borland LB Wisconsin
The Hoosiers wanted a defensive tackle here, but there really aren't any. Their second choice would have been Ohio State's Ryan Shazier. Instead, they will select a reasonable facsimile in Chris Borland. They can plug him in at middle linebacker and let him go. Though he may have to change his last name to "Replogle" for legal purposes.
Owner John Mellencamp: "We liked Borland because when he's wearing his home jersey, if you squint, he looks like a little pink house. Plus, he grew up in a small town, which we also like. Also, Jack and Diane."
4. Minnesota – Allen Robinson WR Penn State
With an up-and-coming quarterback in Philip Nelson, the Gophers need a receiver for him to throw to. While you can argue that Allen Robinson is a product of Bill O'Brien's offense, you can't argue that there's really no other receiver to draft here.
Jerry Kill: "We like that Allen is okay with not going to bowl games."
5. Purdue – Venric Mark RB Northwestern
Since new head coach Darrell Hazell couldn't bring Kent State running back Dri Archer with him, the Boilermakers decided to go out and get the Big Ten's version of him. The good news for Hazell is that Mark has proven that he can handle 200+ carries.
Former head coach Danny Hope: "Anybody can win. It takes a real man to win inexplicably amid constant losing. That's where the real talent lies, and that's why I'll be back in the Big Ten very soon. I'm watching you, Illinois."
6. Michigan State – Ameer Abdullah RB Nebraska
The Spartans were hoping for Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon here, but they were forced to go with Plan B. Their hope is that Abdullah will be able to handle 350 carries. However, if he can't, they still plan to have him carry it 350 times regardless. Mark Dantonio don't currrr.
Ameer Abdullah: "As a running back, you want as many carries as you can get. However, when I was a kid I always wanted candy for dinner, so one day I ate seven Snickers instead of my mom's meatloaf. It didn't go well. So yeah, I have this troubling feeling that I'm going to miss Coach Pelini's meatloaf."
7. Wisconsin – Anthony Hitchens LB Iowa
The Badgers probably would have gone with a cornerback here, but they lost linebacker Chris Borland to Indiana, so they had to find a replacement. For the purposes of vengeance, they would have preferred to take somebody off of Indiana's team, but there was nobody there that they wanted. In Hitchens, however, they got the Big Ten's leading tackler, so that's not a bad consolation.
Gary Andersen: "We're gonna 'hitch' our trailer to Anthony Hitchens, if you will. I know I'm new here, but you're gonna find out that I love puns, so just get ready. I'm pretty 'hil-Gary-us', as I like to tell people."
8. Northwestern – Ra'Shede Hageman DT Minnesota
Who would have thought that the Gophers would have a defensive player stolen from them before the Spartans? But here we are. There was no running back here worth taking, so they'll worry about replacing Venric Mark in the second round. Besides, this team will always need defensive help.
Ra'Shede Hageman: "I'm just happy to go to a football program that knows how to win bowl games."
9. Michigan – Denicos Allen LB Michigan State
Obviously, this is only assuming his credits transfer, but Denicos Allen could give the Wolverines the type of disruptor that they will miss due to Jake Ryan's injury. This is all provided that they drafted the 2011 Denicos Allen and not the 2012 version.
Denicos Allen: "I am now a Michigan Man. Pardon me while I spend the next four months vomiting blood."
10. Penn State – Jonathan Brown LB Illinois
Penn State maybe should have gone with Indiana quarterback Carson Coffman here, but there was no way that Bill O'Brien wasn't going to get some measure of revenge on Tim Beckman for trying to legally steal his players last year. Plus, Penn State did lose some linebackers, so drafting Jonathan Brown will actually help, which is nice.
Tim Beckman: "Pretty classless of Bill O'Brien, if you ask me. At least come to our town and spend a few days courting him like a MAN would do."
11. Nebraska – Ted Bolser TE Indiana
The Huskers lost their top two tight ends to graduation, and since they're choosing from Indiana and Purdue, getting Ted Bolser (41 rec. 445 yards) is actually a pretty nice pick here. Of course, there could be a difficult transition for Bolser going from the quiet solitude of Bloomington to the hustle and bustle of Lincoln.
Ted Bolser: "Coach Pelini told me they had horseless carriages in Nebraska!"
12. Ohio State – Cody Webster P Purdue
Aside from losing Braxton Miller, this draft couldn't have fallen much better for the Buckeyes. Cody Webster was the top player on their board, and they now have their punter.
Cody Webster: "Imagine being a logger sent to work in the desert. There are no trees to cut down. That's what it's like to be a punter who is sent to Ohio State's offense."
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