Joe Christensen covered Major League Baseball for 15 years, including three seasons at the Baltimore Sun and eight at the Star Tribune, before switching to the college football beat. He’s a Faribault, Minn., native who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He covered Jim Wacker’s Gophers for the Minnesota Daily and also wrote about USC, UCLA and the Rose Bowl for the Riverside Press-Enterprise before getting this chance to cover football again.

Email Joe to talk about the Gophers.

Big Ten's talent gap shows again in first round of NFL Draft

Posted by: Joe Christensen under The Big 10 Updated: April 26, 2013 - 10:01 AM

The draft experts saw this coming, so it should come as no surprise. But the first round of the NFL Draft is in the books, and the Big Ten came close to getting shut out.

The SEC produced 12 first-round selections, the ACC had six, the Pac-12 had five, and the Big Ten had one -- Wisconsin offensive lineman Travis Frederick, who went to the Dallas Cowboys at No. 31.

This story advancing the draft by the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Doug Lesmerises compared the SEC and Big Ten's first-round draft production since 2006, when the Big Ten had eight first-round selections. As Doug wrote:

If you wonder why the league has struggled in nonconference and bowl games lately, with one winning bowl season since 2002, Thursday’s first round will show you part of the reason.

A few more Big Ten players should hear their names called Friday, in Rounds 2 and 3, including Purdue DT Kawann Short, Ohio State DT Jonathan Hankins, Wisconsin RB Montee Ball and Michigan State DE William Gholston. But the Draft remains an annual reminder of the declining talent in the Big Ten.

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