Over the next few weeks, a panel of Scout.com Big Ten reporters will be breaking down the conference position-by-position.
Today we look at the offensive line, regardless the spot they play on the front five.
The reporters were asked to rank the top five at the position, with five points going to the No. 1 spot, four to No. 2, three to No. 3, and so on...
Pat Elflein, Ohio State – 46 points (5 first-place votes)
The lone starter back from the Buckeyes offensive line last season, Elflein is appearing as an early pick in most NFL 2017 mock drafts. The fifth-year senior center made the Rimington Watch List and will likely contend for the award after being named first-team all-conference by both the media and coaches last season. A former three-star recruit, Elflein was part of a front five that helped Ohio State generate over 3,188 yards (No. 12 in the country) on the ground.
Dan Feeney, Indiana – 42 points (4 first-place votes)
An All-American at right guard, Feeney bypassed the NFL Draft to return for his final season in Bloomington. In 37 games, the former three-star prospect has only allowed one sack. His junior year he led the Hoosiers with 102 knockdowns in 1,069 snaps. As a sophomore in 2014, Feeney anchored an offensive line that helped Tevin Coleman rush for over 2,000 yards during the season.
Brian Allen, Michigan State – 31 points (2 first-place votes)
The second center to make the list, Allen was a second-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and media as a sophomore in 2015. The younger brother of former Sparty offensive lineman Jack Allen, Brian had 82.4 knockdowns in the regular season. Scout named Allen a first-team Freshman All-American after the 2014 season.
Dan Voltz, Wisconsin – 15 points
The fifth-year senior might have been higher on the list, but a torn ACL last year midway through the season has many wondering if he will be completely returned to form by the start of 2016. It is possible Voltz will move from center to guard after 27 career starts.
Mason Cole, Michigan – 12 points
With 25 career starts to his name as an offensive tackle, Cole is moving inside to play center for the Wolverines. In 2015 he was named All-Big Ten honorable mention by both the coaches and conference media. He is the only player in Michigan history to start a season opener as a freshman on the front five.
Sean Welsh, Iowa – As a sophomore he was named an honorable mention by both the coaches and media.
Nick Gates, Nebraska – The former high school All-American started all 13 games last season as a redshirt freshman.
Erik Magnuson, Michigan – Has started 24 times during his career and was named third-team All-Big Ten last season.
Cole Croston, Iowa – Played both offensive tackle spots last season for Iowa starting ten games.