1. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
The junior is likely the Big Ten’s best shot at the Heisman Trophy. He led the nation last season with 2,194 rushing yards, averaging 168.8 per game. He also averaged more than 7 yards per carry and scored 16 touchdowns.
2. Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
The sophomore transfer from Georgia will start for the first time at his new school. And while he’s an unproven commodity in that respect, he’s still a former five-star prospect and played in 12 games as a true freshman. A dual threat, he could be the biggest breakout star of the year.
3. Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
Moore was the first consensus true freshman All-America pick in the Big Ten’s history last year. He broke Purdue’s record with 2,215 all-purpose yards, including a 313-yard game. He caught 114 passes, scored 14 touchdowns (12 receiving, two rushing) and returned kickoffs and punts.
4. A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa
As a sophomore, Epenesa racked up 16½ tackles for loss and 10½ sacks. Add in four pass breakups, nine QB pressures, four forced fumbles and even a blocked punt, and he can frustrate just about any offense.
5. Joe Bachie, LB, Michigan State
A preseason first-team All-America pick in several publications, he is a two-year starter at middle linebacker. The Ohio native led the Spartans in tackles both of his previous seasons, including 2017, when he was named team MVP as a sophomore.