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Big Ten has 5 1st team All-American’s on Pro Football Focus Defense

Big Ten players dominate PFF’s 1st team All-American list for 2017, because defense rules the Big Ten.

Defense has always been a cornerstone of life in the Big Ten, but in 2017 that certainly took center stage. With Wisconsin’s No. 1 defense leading the team effort, there were plenty of other defenses following suit.

That effort was recognized on Wednesday, as Pro Football Focus released its 1st team All-American list. On that list were five Big Ten players, led by the highest-rated player by PFF, Michigan defensive lineman Maurice Hurst.

Also making the grade were Ohio State duo Nick Bosa and Denzel Ward, along with Purdue linebacker Ja’Wauhn Bentley and Iowa cornerback Joshua Jackson.

Pro Football Focus take a much more analytical look at the game and gives out player grades based on deep analytics. The goal is to provide statistical information for draft purposes, but also to measure the effectiveness of every player on the field.

Hurst led all defensive players this year with a final grade of 96.9 (out of 100), while Iowa’s Jackson was second on the list.

The Big Ten didn’t fare as well on the opposite side of the ball, as no player from the conference was part of the 1st team All-American team they named.

Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball

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