The 2022 college football season is nearing the start. The Big Ten will no doubt finish with a large number of drafted prospects.
Today, I will look at the ten most intriguing prospects in the Big Ten. This is not necessarily the best prospects in the conference. These are just the players that are the most fascinating to me.
MOST INTRIGUING PROSPECTS IN THE BIG TEN
Tiawan Mullen, CB, Indiana
I was the rare analyst who wasn’t down on Mullen prior to his injury last season. I saw a great cover corner with good ball skills. Mullen was tried often as a true freshman and had 13 PBUs. He then picked off three passes the following season. If Mullen can show those ball skills this year he should be a Top 100 selection.
Sam LaPorta, TE, Iowa
I will assume LaPorta will be one of the most athletic tight ends at the combine. He follows the tradition of George Kittle, Noah Fant, and TJ Hockenson. LaPorta caught 53 passes for 670 yards in 2021. The intrigue around the Hawkeye is if he can be as athletic as the other tight ends that came before him.
Dontay Demus, WR, Maryland
Demus was one of my favorite wide receivers to watch. Not just in the Big Ten but anywhere. Then he suffered a serious knee injury on a kick return. Demus can be a top WR prospect if he can show he has recovered from the injury.
Jarek Broussard, RB, Michigan State
The Spartans struck gold last year in the RB transfer market with Kenneth Walker III. Now, they hope they can do the same with the former Colorado Buffalo. Broussard has the ability, averaging nearly 150 yards per game during the COVID-shortened season of 2020.
John Michael Schmitz, C, Minnesota
The center class isn’t overly strong this year. There is a growing consensus that Schmitz could be at the top of the group by the season’s end.
Ochaun Mathis, EDGE, Nebraska
Nebraska is hoping they are getting the explosive pass rusher that was at TCU in 2020. Mathis wasn’t nearly as productive a year ago.
Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern
Can Skoronski be OT1 at the season’s end? It is going to be something to watch. Skoronski is overwhelmingly loved in draft evaluator circles. However, the intrigue comes if he will even finish the process as OT1 in the Big Ten. Jaelyn Duncan (Maryland) and Paris Johnson Jr (Ohio State) could have a say in that.
C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
C.J. Stroud is potentially the favorite to be the 1st overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. He couldn’t have asked for a much better redshirt freshman season. Can Stroud somehow be even better in 2022?
Joey Porter Jr, CB, Penn State
The most intriguing part with Porter Jr is whether I can evaluate him without considering how much I dislike his father. Just kidding, I always evaluate unbiasedly. However, I am not kidding when I say how much I loathe the elder Joey Porter.
Aidan O’Connell, QB, Purdue
O’Connell is picking up buzz heading into the 2022 season. He has prototypical size and completed 71% of his throws a year ago. I look forward to watching if he can continue to grow as a prospect.