National Football League Selects 32 Big Ten Student-Athletes in 2007 Draft
April 29, 2007
Thirty-two Big Ten Conference student-athletes were selected during the 2007 National Football League (NFL) draft held over the weekend, including two of the first five selections. The Big Ten boasted six first-round draftees from five different conference institutions while nine schools produced at least one selection during the seven rounds. The Big Ten was one of only three conferences to feature more than 30 draftees along with the ACC (31) and SEC (41).
Ohio State led the way for the Big Ten with eight draft picks on the weekend, including two first-round choices, followed by seven selections from Michigan. The Buckeyes and Wolverines were two of only five teams with seven or more draftees last weekend along with Florida (9), Notre Dame (7) and Texas (7). In addition, OSU was one of only six schools to feature two or more first-round selections along with Florida (2), Louisiana State (4), Miami (Fla.) (3), Tennessee (2) and Texas (2).
Six conference student-athletes were selected in the first round of the 2007 NFL draft, highlighted by two offensive linemen among the top five. Wisconsin's Joe Thomas, the Outland Trophy winner as the nation's top interior lineman, was the first Big Ten player chosen at third overall by Cleveland. Penn State's Levi Brown joined Thomas among the top five after being selected fifth overall by Arizona. Thomas and Brown give the Big Ten six top-five picks in the last five drafts, joining Ohio State's A.J. Hawk (5th in 2006), Michigan's Braylon Edwards (3rd in 2005), Iowa's Robert Gallery (2nd in 2004) and Michigan State's Charles Rogers (2nd in 2003). The last time that two Big Ten players were chosen among the top five picks was in the 2000 NFL draft when Nittany Lion teammates Courtney Brown and LaVar Arrington were selected first and second, respectively.
A pair of Ohio State wide receivers were chosen in the first round, with Ted Ginn Jr. cracking the top 10 after being selected ninth overall by Miami and teammate Anthony Gonzalez going 32nd to Super Bowl winner Indianapolis. Two more conference standouts were drafted between those two picks in Michigan cornerback Leon Hall (18th to Cincinnati) and Purdue defensive end Anthony Spencer (26th to Dallas). The entire list of conference draftees appears below.
The Big Ten will hold the 2007 Football Media Days and 36th annual Kickoff Luncheon on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 31 to August 1, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, featuring all 11 head coaches and some of the conference's top returning players. The 112th season of Big Ten football kicks off on Saturday, Sept. 1, with all 11 schools in action.