After the 2010 NFL Draft, there were plenty of talented players headed to NFL teams that prospered on one of the Big 10’s many outstanding football programs. Here is a list of the schools, a couple of the players from each of those schools, and what they bring to the team that drafted them.
Arrelious Benn, Wide Receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Benn is a big time play-maker who could add an instant impact to the Buccaneers offense. He has good speed and can make plays after the catch, which should be a be pleasant surprise for quarterback Josh Freeman.
Jon Asamoah, Offensive Guard, Kansas City Chiefs
With a combination of good strength and plenty of technique to go along with it, Asamoah should be able to push for playing time right away for the Chiefs. Needs to work on his footwork and knee bend in order to be as efficient as he can be.
Rodger Saffold, Offensive Tackle, St. Louis Rams
With the chance to be a starter right away for the Rams, Saffold steps in at St. Louis and could be a huge help in keeping Bradford on his feet. Plays with intelligence and does a good job of reading blitzes and stunts, but needs to work on his strength.
Jammie Kirlew, Defensive End, Denver Broncos
Although Kirlew doesn’t have the ideal athleticism for a linebacker or the size for a defensive end, his positional projection is bit of a question mark. Should end up competing for time as one of the Broncos’ outside linebackers.
Bryan Bulaga, Offensive Tackle, Green Bay Packers
The Packers addressed their most glaring need with their first pick in Bulaga. He should be able to come in right away and at least provide quality depth to a line that struggled to keep its star quarterback off the ground. One of the most promising late first-round picks.
Pat Angerer, Inside Linebacker, Indianapolis Colts
A very tough, hard-nosed linebacker who is severally underrated due to his lack of standout physical numbers. However, he plays faster than his numbers would suggest due to his instincts and tenacity.
Brandon Graham, Defensive End, Philadelphia Eagles
Graham could be one of the most NFL-ready players in the 2010 NFL Draft. He is a disruptive force that can be a matchup nightmare for any team. Should bring instant aide to the Eagles’ pass rush.
Zoltan Mesko, Punter, New England Patriots
Mesko is a strong punter who excels at pinning the opponent deep in their own territory. Despite not having elite strength or hang time, he should be valuable to the Patriots due to his fimiliarity with harsh weather conditions.
Jeremy Ware, Cornerback, Oakland Raiders
The Raiders turn to the thing that appears to mean the most to them at any position: speed. Ware is a small, but blazing fast corner who could provide depth to an already crowded defensive backfield.
Eric Decker, Wide Receiver, Denver Broncos
Decker could be one of the most overlooked receivers in the 2010 NFL Draft. He has very consistent hands and has a knack for coming down with the ball. Look for him to be an immediate impact for the Broncos offense and could even become the number one receiver before Demaryius Thomas.
Nathan Triplett, Inside Linebacker, Minnesota Vikings
With uncertainty surrounding the middle linebacker position, the Vikings take Triplett as an insurance policy for E.J. Henderson. A tough, physical linebacker who should strictly be used in run and pass rushing situations.
Corey Wootton, Defensive End, Chicago Bears
Wootton should be a solid defensive end that could eventually become a real threat with Julius Peppers and the Bears’ defense. Needs to either work on his strength or agility in order to be effective at the next level, but has the raw potential to be a play-maker.
Mike Kafka, Quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles
A big quarterback with underrated athletic ability, Kafka has the potential to be a starter in the distance future. He is going to need a lot of work on mechanics and technique, but with plenty of work and proper coaching, he could eventually be at least a quality backup.
Thaddeus Gibson, Defensive End, Pittsburgh Steelers
A promising pass rusher, Gibson uses a good combination of strength and technique to win his battles in the trenches. He needs to continue working on his arsenal of moves and put on bulk in order to reach his potential.
Kurt Coleman, Safety, Philadelphia Eagles
Coleman seems to be more of a special teams player rather than a safety or corner due to his lack of elite size or speed. Has a great motor and should be a productive special teamer who may someday make a solid backup in the defensive backfield.
Jared Odrick, Defensive Tackle, Miami Dolphins
Odrick has great strength and bulk to be a disruptive force on the edge of the defense. The Dolphins need more big bodies on the defensive line and Odrick should be able to make a big difference even in his first year on the field.
Navorro Bowman, Inside Linebacker, San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers get another steal with an outstanding linebacker in Bowman. Although there are concerns about some off-field issues, his on-field work and big-play ability make him worth the risk.
Mike Neal, Defensive Tackle, Green Bay Packers
With some work on his conditioning and ability to stay on the field, Neal could be a big force on the Packers’ defensive line. He has a good combination of strength and quickness that can make him a great player in the NFL.
Garrett Graham, Tight End, Houston Texans
Graham has great hands and good route running skills, but is lacking in the blocking department. He will work as an insurance policy for Owen Daniels, and should contribute in goalline passing situations.
O’Brien Schofield, Defensive End, Arizona Cardinals
His draft stock fell when he was hurt during the Senior Bowl, but if he can have a timely recovery then the Cardinals should end up with an outstanding physical specimen as pass rushing outside linebacker. Has all the physical tools to be an excellent contributor.
So there are some of the key former Big 10 players who are testing the NFL waters in hopes of making a name for themselves. Only time will tell if they can handle the challenge.