NFL draft tracker: Looking at the B1G's underclassmen

The Big Ten picture of underclassmen declaring for the NFL draft is starting to become a lot clearer these days.

Redshirt sophomores and juniors have until just Jan. 15 to decide whether to stay or go, and players will then be given another three days during which they can decide to withdraw. In other words: We'll know the intentions of all these players in exactly two weeks.

But, until then, here's where the Big Ten underclassmen currently stand -- including those who have declared, opted to stay or are still deciding:

Declaring early


Christian Hackenberg, Penn State: Staying another year with this offensive line simply outweighs the positives. Still considered a top-5 QB.

Cardale Jones, Ohio State: "I don't want to be a 24-year-old college student." Fair enough.


Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State: He's widely regarded as the top running back in this entire draft class. Hard to improve on that.

Jordan Howard, Indiana: Battled injuries and missed 22 quarters of play this season. Still listed as one of Mel Kiper Jr.'s top 10 running backs.


Joey Bosa, Ohio State: Say hello to the likely No. 1 overall NFL draft pick.

Maliek Collins, Nebraska: Was happy with his draft evaluation and was recently projected to go No. 26 overall in Todd McShay's mock draft.

Quinton Jefferson, Maryland: As a father of three, his financial needs are well-documented. But it's possible that Jefferson isn't even drafted.

Austin Johnson, Penn State: Said back in the spring his life goal was to play in the NFL and provide for his family. Can fit in a lot of different schemes.

Darius Latham, Indiana: Bit of a surprise here. Was only an honorable mention on the All-B1G team and is a late-round prospect right now.

Yannick Ngakoue, Maryland: Set a school record with 13.5 sacks, the second-best total in the nation. Could be an outside linebacker at the next level.


Darron Lee, Ohio State: A projected first-rounder -- not too bad for a former high school quarterback.

Steve Longa, Rutgers: "It doesn't really matter what round I go in. It really doesn't. First, second or undrafted free agent," he told NJ.com.


Tyvis Powell, Ohio State: Already graduated last May with a degree in marketing and won a national championship. Said he's accomplished most of what he set out to do.

Eli Apple, Ohio State: The redshirt sophomore is listed as the No. 7 cornerback in the NFL draft and announced his decision Monday afternoon.



Jalin Marshall, Ohio State: Just a redshirt sophomore and could be the top target next year if his teammate right below declares.

Michael Thomas, Ohio State: Still battling with a decision, but he's almost a sure first-rounder. Hard to pass that up.


Jack Conklin, Michigan State: Said on Jan. 1 that he was going to talk to his family members and coaches about the decision. Would be one of the top three tackles in the draft, if he declared.


Willie Henry, Michigan: Said on Friday he still hadn't received feedback from the NFL draft advisory board. Waiting on that before he makes a decision.

Drew Ott, Iowa: He'd like to return for one more year, but he'll need a medical hardship waiver from the NCAA first. That's far from a guarantee here.

Vincent Valentine, Nebraska: Missed time due to injury and had just four tackles for loss in 10 games. Draft stock is nowhere near as high as Collins'.


Vonn Bell, Ohio State: Almost certainly gone. He's currently ranked as the top prospect at his position by Kiper.

Desmond King, Iowa: Said in August he wasn't leaving early -- but then he finished second nationally in interceptions (eight) and won the Jim Thorpe Award. Now he's not so sure.

William Likely, Maryland: Dynamic playmaker whose 5-foot-7 size will always be an issue. A Maryland spokesperson said Sunday night that Likely was still mulling it over before the holidays.


RB Corey Clement, Wisconsin

TE Jake Butt, Michigan

WR Jehu Chesson, Michigan

OG Pat Elflein, Ohio State

DL Chris Wormley, Michigan

DL Darius Hamilton, Rutgers

LB Vince Biegel, Wisconsin

LB Ed Davis, Michigan State

DB Jourdan Lewis, Michigan