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Big Ten Football: Top 25 2022 NFL Draft Prospects to Watch

Big Ten Football: Top 25 2022 NFL Draft Prospects to Watch

Big Ten Football: Top 25 2022 NFL Draft Prospects to Watch

The Big Ten continues to show it has a solid pool of talent for the NFL draft. The Big Ten supplied the second-most players (44) in this year's draft, and scouts are probably already hard at work gathering as much information on 2022 draft prospects to be found in the conference.

Next year's crop of Big Ten players will certainly have some attractive options for teams in need of a wide receiver with Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, Ty Fryfogle, and Jahan Doton all expected to be available. And there is no doubt the Big Ten will have plenty of linemen to scout on both sides of the line of scrimmage.

Here are 25 Big Ten players NFL teams will be scouting in the coming year, listed in alphabetical order. How many of these players will hear their names in the 2022 NFL Draft?

Sevyn Banks, CB, Ohio State

Ohio State has developed a track record of sending defensive backs off to the NFL. Banks will be the next to carry on that tradition.

David Bell, WR, Purdue

After watching Rondale Moore head to Arizona, Bell will be the Boilermakers' next big-play wide receiver to go through the draft.

Tariq Castro-Fields, CB, Penn State

Castro-Fields put off his shot at the NFL for a chance for some redemption in 2022.

Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State

One of the Big Ten's leading receivers could be in for a big season in 2021. And that could see his draft profile continue to improve.

Ty Fryfogle, WR, Indiana

One of the top players for Indiana is back for more in 2021, and Fryfogle will once again show what he can do in a big way for the Hoosiers while catching the eyes of the NFL.

Jake Ferguson, TE, Wisconsin

Wisconsin's big tight end target will benefit from a solid season this fall. Ferguson was  the Badgers' leading receiver in 2020 but will need to put together some more production to move up the big boards.

Zach Harrison, DE, Ohio State

If he decides to go pro after next season, Harrison could do so as an early-round draft pick. He is expected to play a big role on Ohio State's defensive line, which has turned out NFL prospect after NFL prospect.

Peyton Hendershot, TE, Indiana

Another big tight end is back in the Big Ten this fall. Hendershot may get a few more passes his way this season after hauling in four touchdowns for Indiana last season.

Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan

One of Michigan's top defensive linemen, Hutchinson is on the rise and could make a big move with a strong 2021 season. He has started to attract some recognition around the Big Ten, and that should continue in the fall.

Mohamed Ibrahim, RB, Minnesota

Teams in need of a running back would be wise to give Ibrahim a deep look. He was the only 1,000-yard rusher in the Big Ten in 2020, with 15 touchdowns on the ground in just seven games.

George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue

Purdue has a defensive star in the making in Karlaftis. His 2020 season took a hard detour but he should bounce back in a big way in 2021 to regain some momentum. Will it be enough to declare for the draft early?

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Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa

We all know Iowa pumps out linemen, and Linderbaum is no exception. Teams in need of protecting their franchise quarterbacks will be watching him closely in 2021.

Micah McFadden, LB, Indiana

McFadden made a big splash last season by leading the Big Ten in sacks (6), more than a handful of players that entered the 2021 NFL Draft. Do that again this fall and McFadden will be moving up the mock drafts.

Thayer Munford, OT, Ohio State

Ohio State's offensive line in 2021 is about to turn out a few potential NFL players. Mumford will be among them.

Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

The Big Ten will have a handful of wide receivers getting looks from the NFL. Olave has proven more than capable of making big catches that are NFL-ready. He'll have plenty of opportunities to improve his draft stock in the fall.

Michael Penix Jr., QB, Indiana

It will be interesting to see how Penix is viewed by analysts and scouts. The ability to make plays with his arm and his feet will be received well if he can stay healthy in 2021.

Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State

Another Buckeye linemen expected to come off the board pretty early next spring could be Petit-Frere. One of the top tackles will be tough to get around for opposing defensive linemen.

Jeremy Ruckert, TE, Ohio State

Catch volume may be an obstacle for Ruckert, but his ability to block and contribute in the red zone is what will be valued more by NFL scouts. Ruckert can do both as well as any of his peers.

Jack Sanborn, LB, Wisconsin

The Badgers have developed some reliable linebackers over the years. Sanborn will be the next in line coming out of Madison ready to prove his worthiness at the next level.

Brandon Smith, LB, Penn State

Smith is the next linebacker to watch at Penn State after first-round selection Micah Parsons. A big year on the Penn State defense could lead to Smith entering the 2022 NFL Draft.

Tyreke Smith, DE, Ohio State

Another strong defensive end coming out of Columbus, Smith will quickly make a name for himself this fall. In doing so, he will be viewed as a potential pro.

Master Teague III, RB, Ohio State

If an NFL team needs a tough and physical running back to add to their offense, they can find it inTeague. Expected to be the leading back in Columbus this season after Trey Sermon's departure, Teague was tops on the team with eight rushing touchdowns in 2020.

Zach Van Valkenburg, DL, Iowa

Another in the line of Iowa defensive linemen, Van Valkenburg will benefit from one final year in Iowa City. He compiled 8.5 tackles for a loss last season with 3.5 sacks. If he improves on those numbers he should be in good shape for a draft pick next year.

Rasheed Walker, OT, Penn State

It's been more than a decade since Penn State had a first-round offensive lineman, but that could change next season. Walker is being touted as one of the best up front in the Big Ten going into the 2021 season.

Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

Perhaps the best player in the Big Ten on the big board in 2022, Wilson is already being projected as an early first-round draft pick. Wilson was among the Big Ten leaders in receiving yards last season, trailing only Jahan Dotson (Penn State) and teammate Chris Olave.

— Written by Kevin McGuire, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Follow him on Patreon, on Twitter @KevinOnCFB, on Instagram, and Like him on Facebook.