Updated: May 6, 2010, 8:09 AM ET
Mel Kiper's first 2011 Big Board
A trio of quarterbacks dot the top 10 of the first 2011 Big Board
By Mel Kiper
ESPN.com / Insider
A little perspective to start. Last year, back before any games in the college season had even been played, my first Big Board came out. Looking back, six of the players in that top 10 actually went in the top 10 of the recent draft. A few guys fell for various reasons. Whether it was Carlos Dunlap's judgement, a really odd interview process for Dez Bryant, or simply bad tape for Taylor Mays, some guys didn't remain that high. It happens every year.
But others, like Sam Bradford (No. 1), Ndamukong Suh (No. 5), Eric Berry (No. 2) and Gerald McCoy (No. 4) I liked early, and personnel folks clearly saw the same tape. So as I release the first Big Board for this year, know I always do it with a mixture of confidence, but also an assumption that I'll be wrong. Be it through injuries, lack of growth, off-the-field stuff, or just a desire to return to college -- I liked Bradford two years ago, too -- this is sure to change. Because of that, I also added a note about players I see as quite volatile in terms of this list.
But while there's a lot of time for the stories to be written, here's a first look at the players already in focus for next year's draft. Remember, this is not about draft position. This is about value. Don't confuse the two. I should also note: current size measurements are what I have from my sources on a guy. They are not official -- and in some cases, will even change as the weight room factors in this summer. (Asterisk denotes underclassmen.)
Jake LockerQB 6-3 226
Analysis: All the physical tools -- size, arm, footwork. Accuracy should improve.
Andrew Luck *QB 6-4 235
Analysis: Great arm, NFL smarts, solid footwork. Protoypical size and intangibles.
Robert Quinn *DE 6-4 267
Analysis: Still just 19, freakish athlete; still developing consistency.
A.J. Green *WR 6-4 207
Analysis: The profile of a No. 1 receiver. Great size and speed, instinctive, great hands.
Adrian Clayborn DE 6-3 282
Analysis: Most consistent, complete DE here. Solid pass-rusher, steady against run.
Ryan Mallett * QB 6-7 238
Analysis: Incredible arm, but still a thrower who must develop footwork, accuracy.
Marcel Dareus * DE 6-3 296
Analysis: Versatility and explosiveness to be a 3-4 DE or DT in 4-3. Ready to emerge.
Anthony Costanzo OT 6-7 298
Analysis: Pro-style offensive tackle with athleticism to deal with varied styles of rush.
Cameron Heyward DE 6-6 287
Analysis: Dominant pass-rusher at times, needs to find consistency.
Patrick Peterson * CB 6-1 211
Analysis: Safety size with fluidity of a top CB. Polished and confident corner.
Mark Ingram * RB 5-10 212
Analysis: Blue-collar runner, explosive after contact. Pro-style workhorse back.
Aaron Williams * CB 6-1 190
Analysis: Good ball skills, physical and unafraid of tackling. No questions yet on speed.
Marvin Austin DT 6-3 305
Analysis: Flashes dominance, but must gain consistency. Ideal 4-3 penetrating tackle.
Jonathan Baldwin * WR 6-5 225
Analysis: Height, physical strength and ball skills are there, so is sub-4.5 speed.
Ryan Williams RB 5-10 207
Analysis: A TD machine; great quickness, underrated strength. Could be a dynamic back.
Allen Bailey DE 6-4 288
Analysis: Still learning end position, but has ideal size and flashed brilliance here late in 2009.
Julio Jones * WR 6-4 211
Analysis: Great physical tools; great blocker; questions about his hands and consistency.
Bruce Carter OLB 6-3 230
Analysis: Smart, reliable OLB in a 4-3 defense. Could add size.
Michael Floyd * WR 6-3 220
Analysis: Feared deep threat, best WR on a team with Golden Tate. Expect a big year.
Akeem Ayers * OLB 6-4 252
Analysis: Budding star, an absolute physical specimen with ideal size. Ready to break out.
Ras-I Dowling CB 6-2 200
Analysis: Experienced, smooth CB; fluid hips. Very well-coached and a proven tackler.
Jurrell Casey * DT 6-1 295
Analysis: Penetrating, disruptive force, ideal in a 4-3. Still adding technique.
Prince Amukamara CB 6-1 200
Analysis: A physical corner who also supports the run very well. Steady in coverage.
Gabe Carimi OT 6-7 325
Analysis: Veteran, blindside blocker. Ideal size, above-average footwork; pro-style system.
Rahim Moore* S 6-1 192
Analysis: A ballhawk; led the nation in INTs last year. Moves well sideline to sideline.
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