Big Ten is the place for best backs

The Big Ten is making a running statement with this year’s backfield draft prospects.

In recent years, when it comes to figuring out what college players NFL teams are going to draft, the easiest way to get a preview of draft weekend is to watch SEC games. By far, the most players to get drafted, especially early in the draft, have played their college ball in the Southeastern Conference.

But in 2015, for those teams looking for a running back, the place to focus attention has been the Big Ten, which would appear to have the market cornered on running backs entering the draft.

Of the top running backs that will be coming off the draft board, a case can be argued that five of the top running backs will be those familiar to Gophers fans and those fans who pay attention to the Big Ten, starting as early as the first round and lasting throughout the three-day draft process.

Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon is expected to be the player who could break the streak of running backs not getting drafted in the first round, but he is far from alone. The pecking order of running backs on draft weekend includes Tevin Coleman of Indiana, Ameer Abdullah of Nebraska, Jeremy Langford of Michigan State and David Cobb of Minnesota.

By the time all is said and done, for those teams in search of running backs, it won’t be the SEC that dominates, it will be the Big Ten that will be the centerpiece. For teams like Dallas, Arizona and potentially the Vikings if things don’t smooth out with Adrian Peterson, a priority will be to grab a running back in the draft with the potential for that back to almost immediately step in and be considered a frontrunner to take over featured back duties or part of a time share. Where will those players come from? From the looks of things, the majority of them will be from the Big Ten.

Many scouts, coaches and fans alike have come to view the SEC as the minor league of the NFL. No conference has produced more NFL players in recent years, especially in the first round, than the SEC. But when it comes to running backs in the 2015 draft, there’s no place like home for scouts than looking at game film of the Big Ten, because that’s where the action is going to be draft weekend.

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