The All-B1G team honors are in before the start of the season as we project who should have the most dominant fall in the conference. Ahead of the 2022 college football season, Pro Football Network is proud to debut our All-Conference honors for each of the 10 conferences and the FBS Independents.
Detailing out our projected top players, units, and teams ahead of the action, PFN’s team of draft evaluators and national college football analysts looked at who they each thought would be the conference’s best in 2022. The results are in, and here is the cream of the crop heading into the fall.
Preseason All-B1G football team honors for 2022
It’s important to note that these are awards and honors from Pro Football Network for each individual’s expected prowess on the field this season. This is in no way a projection of their NFL draft status nor a report on the specific conference awards given this preseason. These honors are from Pro Football Network, as judged by our team of college football analysts and draft evaluators projecting their success on the field in 2022.
- B1G Player of the Year
C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
- B1G Offensive Player of the Year
Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
- B1G Defensive Player of the Year
Mazi Smith, DT, Michigan
- B1G Newcomer of the Year
Ochaun Mathis, EDGE, Nebraska
C.J. Stroud earns the top spot in the Big Ten as the big-armed quarterback in Columbus and should be a threat to win every individual award and potentially bring a national championship to central Ohio. Stroud has the nation’s top receiving weapon in Jaxon Smith-Njigba, so the two earn Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year, respectively.
On defense, Mazi Smith is set to continue Michigan’s rich and recent tradition of sending freak athletes into the NFL from the defensive line. Smith is an incredibly gifted athlete with documented strength off the charts. He’ll present a challenge for any lineman in front of him.
Former TCU edge rusher Ochaun Mathis found a new home in Lincoln and should be a problem for any tackle in the Big Ten. Mathis has a great reach with his length and speedy first step while relying on his top-notch technique.
Offensive All-B1G team and player honors
- B1G QB of the Year
C.J. Stroud, Ohio State
- B1G RB of the Year
TreVeyon Henderson, Ohio State
- B1G WR of the Year
Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State
- B1G TE of the Year
Sam LaPorta, Iowa
- B1G Offensive Line of the Year
- B1G Offensive Lineman of the Year
John Michael Schmitz, C, Minnesota
Stroud earns the spot for QB while Smith-Njigba is the easy pick for receiver. We’ll be watching to see if Mitchell Tinsley can replicate his success from Western Kentucky this season now that he’s at Penn State. As far as the top running back in the Big Ten, that also resides in Columbus this season as TreVeyon Henderson set a few true freshman records a season ago and should be a factor for the Doak Walker Award in 2022.
The Wolverines own the top overall offensive line in the conference, but John Michael Schmitz is leaps and bounds the best offensive center and interior player this season. It will be a fun race to watch this season as Paris Johnson Jr. kicks outside to left tackle at Ohio State. If Johnson plays as well on the outside as he did on the inside last season, he’ll be able to challenge Schmitz for top lineman this season.
Defensive All-B1G team and player honors
- B1G Defensive Line of the Year
Ohio State Buckeyes
- B1G DL of the Year
Mazi Smith, DT, Michigan
- B1G LB of the Year
Jack Campbell, Iowa
- B1G Secondary of the Year
Ohio State Buckeyes
- B1G CB of the Year
Denzel Burke, Ohio State
- B1G S of the Year
Cam Allen, Purdue
The Buckeyes also bring back the top overall defensive line and secondary in the conference this season. All eyes are on Zach Harrison and Jack Sawyer in a potential breakout season for the sophomore from Pickerington. Smith earns the top individual award and should be able to manhandle his way to some hardware by the end of the season.
Denzel Burke wowed as a true freshman last season, playing on an island and making some dramatic plays in coverage. Burke is a sticky defender and has a fabulous combination of speed, burst, and vision.
Special teams All-B1G team and player honors
- B1G K of the Year
Noah Ruggles, Ohio State
- B1G P of the Year
Adam Korsak, Rutgers
- B1G Specialist of the Year
Jayden Reed, KR/PR, Michigan State