B1G players fill Pro Football Focus' top 101 players in college football
Let’s get defensive.
That’s a natural reaction when any ranking comes out. In this case, a B1G fan can’t help but have a defensive-minded reaction.
Pro Football Focus’ Steve Palazzolo ranked the top 101 players in college football entering 2016. All positions were weighted equally. But as it turned out, the B1G’s representation on the list was far more defensive than offensive. Of the 16 players that made Palazzolo’s list, 14 of them were defensive players and only two were offensive. Michigan’s defensive alone accounted for four players in the top 31.
Here’s how he explained his cross-position, cross-country ranking:
With the college game being less quarterback-centric than the NFL, we have some leeway to give positional boosts for certain players who carry the workload for their respective team. The other challenge for the college game is the adjustment for competition, but we also wanted to be careful not to overlook outstanding small-school players. For that reason, the small-schoolers who made the list did so on the strength of excellent grades that were above and beyond their peers, often over a two-year sample.
Surprising it was that a few B1G offensive standouts didn’t make the list. Returning All-American guard Dan Feeney didn’t make the cut, neither did fellow preseason All-American tight end Jake Butt. Also absent were all B1G quarterbacks, including J.T. Barrett and C.J. Beathard. It wouldn’t be surprising if all four ended the season with All-American honors.
You can see the entire list here. As it stands, here are the B1G players who made the cut:
7. Jourdan Lewis, Michigan CB
9. Desmond King, Iowa CB
16. Jabrill Peppers, Michigan S
20. Dawuane Smoot, Illinois DE
23. Malik McDowell, Michigan State DT
27. Maurice Hurst, Michigan DT
29. Pat Elflein, Ohio State OL
31. Chris Wormley, Michigan DT
32. Saquon Barkley, Penn State RB
34. Raekwon McMillan, Ohio State LB
43. Vince Biegel, Wisconsin LB
63. Jake Replogle, Purdue DT
72. Ryan Glasgow, Michigan DT
90. Nate Gerry, Nebraska S
99. Darius Hamilton, Rutgers DT
100. Ed Davis, Michigan State LB