It’s a pretty safe bet that a member of this year’s Big Ten draft class will have a major impact in his first NFL season.

The past 3 NFL Defensive Rookies of the Year were all Big Ten products — Joey Bosa (Ohio State), Chase Young (Ohio State) and Micah Parsons (Penn State). In 2018, former Nittany Lions running back Saquon Barkley won the Offensive Rookie of the Year for the New York Giants.

Will a Big Ten alum be named Rookie of the Year a 5th consecutive season?

It’ll be tough.

Aidan Hutchinson will be the odds-on favorite among former Big Ten players. The Michigan defensive end went 2nd overall to the Detroit Lions. He was the nucleus of Michigan’s first Big Ten title since 2004, and it’s reasonable to think that impact will carry over from Ann Arbor to Detroit.

But he also wouldn’t be picked 2nd overall if he wasn’t asked to step into a daunting challenge. The Lions were 30th in the NFL last season with 30 sacks. Part of that was on their pass rush, and part of it was on the far-from-lockdown coverage provided by their secondary. Detroit worst in the league against the pass, allowing 8 yards per attempt.

Guys might get open against Detroit before Hutchinson can get to the quarterback. Or maybe he’ll have early success only to get double-teamed the rest of the season because teams know nobody else will make them play.

For that reason, a great rookie season from Hutchinson is no sure thing. And if Hutchinson doesn’t win Rookie of the Year, it’s a long time before an obvious B1G candidate arises.

A trio of great receivers were selected in the first round, but all of them will work with uncertain quarterback situations.

Garrett Wilson has the benefit of playing in New York, but needs 2nd-year Jets quarterback Zach Wilson to make major strides. Chris Olave will play with Jameis Winston in New Orleans, and Jahan Dotson is paired with Carson Wentz in Washington. Anything — good and bad — can happen with those QBs at the helm.

With all of this being true, I’m going off the board a bit with my picks.

Neither is likely to win Rookie of the Year. But I think both will have similarly large impacts on their teams in Year 1.

Tyler Linderbaum, C, Baltimore Ravens

Statistically, it’s difficult to quantify the impact of any center. Other than fumbled snaps, there aren’t a ton of statistics available.

But few players in the 2022 Draft are a better fit for their landing spot than Linderbaum. He was the premier run-blocking center in the country last year, and he’s going to a team that intends to run the ball up the middle.

Until Week 5 of last season, Baltimore had 43 consecutive games with at least 100 rushing yards, tying an NFL record. The Ravens use Lamar Jackson like no other quarterback. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards in both 2019 and 2020. Linderbaum will help get him back over that mark this season.

Just last season, we saw the best measuring stick for Linderbaum’s potential impact.

Chiefs center Creed Humphrey was Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded rookie since it began the practice in 2014. Humphrey also rated No. 2 among all NFL centers.

None of that amounts to Rookie of the Year votes. But it does show what Linderbaum could be.

Kenneth Walker III, RB, Seattle Seahawks

Seattle’s quarterback situation in the first year of the post-Russell Wilson Era is “we plan on drafting a quarterback in 2023.”

The Seahawks are currently rocking a quarterback depth chart of Geno Smith, Drew Lock and Jacob Eason. This is going to be one of the worst passing offenses in the NFL.

Therein lies the opportunity for Walker. Seattle’s offense will be built around him, because it has to be. Pete Carroll has been doing this long enough to know this will no longer be an attack predicated on a scrambling quarterback who can turn nothing into something downfield.

At best, the Seahawks have game managers at quarterback. They cannot get behind the chains. That means Walker has a very real chance of being top 5 in the NFL in carries. And if he can turn those carries into serious yardage, he’s even got a dark horse shot at Rookie of the Year.

Grim as Seattle’s passing situation is likely to be, it’s also not worthless. DK Metcalf remains one of the league’s best targets. Opponents still need to respect his ability to get open. That’ll make it tougher for defenses to overplay Walker.

Of all the Big Ten rookies, Linderbaum is in the best spot to succeed. Hutchinson is likely to prove his worth in Detroit’s long-term overhaul. But Walker will potentially have most ample opportunity for a major Year 1 impact.