Rutgers may be winless in Big Ten play, but Pro Football Focus, says the Scarlet Knights have one of the most underrated players in the conference.
PFF listed the five most underrated players in each conference according to its grading scale, and the Big Ten’s list begins with Rutgers OT Tariq Cole.
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) October 27, 2016
Cole, a 6-foot-6, 313-pound redshirt sophomore, was named the most underrated player in the Big Ten by the outlet. He was followed by Purdue OL Jordan Roos, Iowa DE Anthony Nelson, Michigan CB Channing Stribling and Minnesota DT Steven Richardson.
Cole was named to the top spot in large part, as PFF said, “other than one poor showing against Iowa and Anthony Nelson, he has given up just one pressure in six games.” He also owns PFF’s best run-blocking and pass-blocking grades.
As for Roos, he has gone from the 289th-ranked guard last season to No. 3 in the nation this season, according to PFF. Nelson has accounted for 37 quarterback pressures, which is the most in the Big Ten and third among Power-5 players.
Stribling is an interesting name on this list, as he’s been overshadowed by the likes of Jabrill Peppers and Jourdan Lewis. This season, Stribling has only allowed 9 catches on 30 targets. He also has 3 interceptions, 7 pass break ups and has not allowed a touchdown.
Richardson, the anchor of Minnesota’s defensive line, closes out the list. He is two quarterback pressures away from matching his 2014 total of 23, and he has another five games to do so.