With 233 former Big Ten standouts on the opening day rosters of National Football League (NFL) teams, conference student-athletes have a major impact on the road to the Super Bowl. Every Wednesday, the Big Ten football blog will highlight the top conference performers in the previous week of NFL action. Below is the list of top performers from the previous week.
Cliff Avril, DE, Detroit (Purdue): Recorded seven tackles and a sack in the Lions' 26-0 loss at Green Bay.
Jonathan Babineaux, DT, Atlanta (Iowa): Had three tackles with 0.5 sacks and a forced fumble in the Falcons' 21-14 win over Chicago Sunday night.
Tom Brady, QB, New England (Michigan): Completed 29 of 34 passes for 380 yards and six touchdowns, including a record five in one quarter, in the Patriots' 59-0 win against Tennessee.
Steve Breaston, WR, Arizona (Michigan): Had seven receptions for 77 yards and a touchdown in the Cardinals' 27-3 win at Seattle.
Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans (Purdue): Was 23 of 30 for 369 yards and threw four touchdowns in the Saints' 48-27 win against the New York Giants.
Owen Daniels, TE, Houston (Wisconsin): Caught seven passes for 78 yards and two touchdowns in the Texans' 28-17 victory at Cincinnati.
Lee Evans, WR, Buffalo (Wisconsin): Made four catches for 68 yards and had a touchdown in the Bills' 16-13 win against the New York Jets.
Larry Foote, LB, Detroit (Michigan): Made five tackles and had a fumble recovery in the Lions' 26-0 loss to Green Bay.
Tamba Hali, LB, Kansas City (Penn State): Recorded four tackles to go along with a sack as the Chiefs' defeated Washington, 14-6.
David Harris, LB, New York Jets (Michigan): Made 17 tackles and 0.5 sacks in the Jets' 16-13 loss to Buffalo.
James Laurinaitis, LB, St. Louis (Ohio State): Had five tackles and an interception in the Rams' 23-20 loss to Jacksonville.
DeAndre Levy, LB, Detroit (Wisconsin): Recorded seven tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery in the Lions' 26-0 loss to Green Bay.
Mario Manningham, WR, New York Giants (Michigan): Had four receptions for 50 yards and one touchdown in the Giants' 48-27 loss to New Orleans.
Laurence Maroney, RB, New England (Minnesota): Ran for 123 yards on 16 carries and had a touchdown in the Patriots' 59-0 win over Tennessee.
Derrick Mason, WR, Baltimore (Michigan State): Caught seven passes for 97 yards and a touchdown in the Ravens' 33-31 loss in Minnesota.
Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Pittsburgh (Illinois): Rushed for 62 yards on 17 carries and scored a touchdown in the Steelers' 27-14 win against Cleveland.
Chike Okeafor, LB, Arizona (Purdue): Recorded two tackles and a sack in the Cardinals' 27-3 win against Seattle.
Kyle Orton, QB, Denver (Purdue): Threw for 229 yards and two touchdowns on 20 of 29 passing in the Broncos' 34-23 win at San Diego on Monday night.
Bernard Pollard, S, Houston (Purdue): Recorded six tackles and recovered a fumble in the Texans' 28-17 win over Cincinnati.
Darrell Reid, DE, Denver (Minnesota): Had two tackles with a sack and a forced fumble in the Broncos' 34-23 win over San Diego on Monday night.
Julian Peterson, LB, Detroit (Michigan State): Recorded 10 tackles with 2.5 sacks in the Lions' 26-0 loss to Green Bay.
Paul Posluszny, LB, Buffalo (Penn State): Made nine tackles and had an interception as the Bills' defeated the New York Jets, 16-13.
Mike Vrabel, LB, Kansas City (Ohio State): Recorded five tackles with a sack, forced a fumble and recovered another in the Chiefs' 14-6 victory against Washington.
Stylez White, DE, Tampa Bay (Minnesota): Had eight tackles with a sack in the Buccaneers' 28-21 loss to Carolina.