National Football League Selects 28 Big Ten Student-Athletes in 2008 Draft
April 28, 2008
Twenty-eight Big Ten Conference student-athletes were selected during the 2008 National Football League (NFL) Draft held over the weekend, including two of the first six selections for the second straight season. The Big Ten, which is the only conference to produce at least one top-six pick in each of the last five drafts, registered four first-round draftees from four different institutions while 10 schools featured at least one selection during the seven rounds.
Last year, offensive tackles Joe Thomas of Wisconsin and Levi Brown of Penn State where chosen third and fifth, respectively. Other top-six selections from the Big Ten over the last five drafts include OSU's A.J. Hawk (5th in 2006), Michigan's Braylon Edwards (3rd in 2005) and Iowa's Robert Gallery (2nd in 2004).
Michigan led the way for the Big Ten with six draft picks on the weekend, including four in the first three rounds. The Wolverines were one of only six teams with six or more draftees along with Southern California (10), Virginia Tech (8), Louisiana State (7), Arkansas (6) and California (6).
Four conference student-athletes were selected in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft. Long and Gholston were joined by Illinois running back and Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Rashard Mendenhall, who went 23rd to Pittsburgh, and Purdue tight end Dustin Keller, who went 30th and joined Gholston with the New York Jets. The entire list of conference draftees appears below.
The Big Ten will hold the 2008 Football Media Days and 37th annual Kickoff Luncheon on Thursday and Friday, July 24-25, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, featuring all 11 head coaches and some of the conference's top returning players. The 113th season of Big Ten football kicks off on Saturday, August 30, with 10 of 11 schools in action.
Big Ten Selections in 2008 NFL Draft