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 Post subject: Mel's Big Board 11/3
PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 3:45 pm 
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Updated: November 3, 2010, 2:02 PM ET
Big Board sees O-line improving
Several bad NFL teams will be O-line shopping in April, and prospects are emerging

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Kiper By Mel Kiper
ESPN.com
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Last April, teams within the top 10 picks of the draft had multiple options at offensive tackle. We saw Trent Williams land with the Redskins, Russell Okung land in Seattle, and there were a couple other guys who went later in the first round who certainly could have snuck into that range. The current class just isn't at that level.

Last week, in writing about the problems in Dallas, I noted how this is a rare draft where Dallas could be selecting very early, with the irony being the one area they need to address most -- the offensive line -- doesn't yet offer an elite pick. At least not yet. Several tackles are inching their way up the Big Board, with one who'd recently dropped off back on the Board this week. Perhaps teams shopping for a tackle won't be so inclined to trade down after all. As always, juniors and draft-eligible sophomores are noted with an asterisk.


Big Board Bar

1 - Andrew Luck *, QB, 6-4/235
Analysis: It's not just the innate skills; the improvement is evident. Luck's completion percentage is up a full 10 percent over last season. Last week: No. 1

2 - A.J. Green *, WR, 6-4/207
Analysis: A tough day against Florida proved less about Green, and more about his team's inability to get him the ball when he gets open. Last week: No. 2

3 - Prince Amukamara, CB, 6-1/202
Analysis: I'd be more concerned about Amukamara's zero interceptions in 2010 if any QB was willing to challenge him. Can he learn how to bait? Last week: No. 3

4 - Patrick Peterson *, CB, 6-1/211
Analysis: Amazing size-speed combo. If you think QBs are smart to avoid him (they do), maybe punters should too. Peterson averages 19.7 yards per return. Last week: No. 4

5 - Robert Quinn *, DE, 6-4/267
Analysis: A freakish athlete with decent size, great quickness and pass-rush skills. Ineligible for the year, but scouts still in awe of talent. Last week: No. 5


6 - Marcell Dareus *, DE, 6-3/306
Analysis: Dareus could be a 3-4 DE, but I think he's better suited as a 4-3 DT. Leads Bama in TFL, though Dareus plays the line better than he penetrates. Last week: No. 6

7 - Da'Quan Bowers *, DE, 6-4/277
Analysis: Led the country in TFL until this past week, when he didn't notch one for first time since Sept. 11. Total package as a possible 4-3 DE at the NFL level. Last week: No. 7

8 - Nick Fairley *, DT, 6-5/310
Analysis: One dominating performance has become many. Explosive, instinctive and has a great motor. His 18 TFL is second overall nationally. Last week: No. 8

9 - Ryan Mallett*, QB, 6-7/238
Analysis: Has improved accuracy and can drill the deep intermediate routes. Since 3-INT Bama game, has just 2 picks against 8 TDs in last four. Last week: No. 10

10 - Mark Ingram *, RB, 5-10/216
Analysis: Averaging more yards per rush than he did last year, when he won the Heisman. Stats down, but splitting reps doesn't hurt his stock. Last week: No. 9

11 - Adrian Clayborn, DE, 6-3/282
Analysis: Clayborn isn't down as much as others have moved up, but expect a close look at his tapes. Just 6 TFL, and rush skills a question. Last week: No. 11

12 - Ryan Kerrigan, DE, 6-4/259
Analysis: Kerrigan has epitomized "disruptive" this year. He leads the nation in TFL and is suited to be a pass-rushing 3-4 OLB, but could still add size. Last week: No. 12

13 - Julio Jones *, WR, 6-4/211
Analysis: Solid this year, showing toughness in playing hurt and better concentration. His 43 catches already just two off last year's total of 45. Last week: No. 13

14 - Allen Bailey, DE, 6-4/288
Analysis: Still developing at DE after switch last year. Still has better physical skills than overall production, but leading team in sacks for third year in a row. Last week: No. 14

15 - Akeem Ayers *, OLB, 6-4/251
Analysis: His exceptional athleticism makes him so versatile. Consider that he leads Bruins in both TFL and INTs. Can play all over the football field. Last week. No. 15

16 - Jake Locker, QB, 6-3/228
Analysis: This year has been a borderline disaster, given Locker's talents. Now dinged, has to already be thinking about draft preparation, workouts. Last week: No. 16

17 - Justin Houston *, LB, 6-3/258
Analysis: My top-rated OLB for his class, I think the draft market will come around on Houston, who has prototype 3-4 OLB size and developing skills. Last week: No. 17

18 - Nate Solder, OT, 6-9/313
Analysis: Bounced back after a soft start. Physical freak with improving skills, he's also very smart. Should dominate in the workout phase. Last week: No. 20

19 - Derek Sherrod, OT, 6-6/305
Analysis: Debuted two weeks ago. An athlete who moves his feet well, Sherrod has been steady against good players and continues to improve. Last week: No. 22

20 - Cameron Heyward, DE, 6-6/282
Analysis: Up and down this season, troublesome for the strong, versatile player, as consistency was a concern. But versatile, powerful. Last week: No. 19

21 -Gabe Carimi, OT, 6-7/327
Analysis: Has had a fantastic month, battling great competition to a standstill. Last year Carimi got beat by speed too often, but his footwork has improved. Last week: No. 23

22 - Jon Baldwin *, WR, 6-5/225
Analysis: Great physical skills and size, Baldwin has had a rocky season -- mainly wildly inconsistent -- but QB issues have also dogged Pitt. Last week: No. 21

23 - Anthony Castonzo, OT, 6-7/306
Analysis: Smart, reliable offensive tackle; solid footwork and ideal body type, though could add lower-body strength. Solid work last week vs. Bowers. Last week: NR

24 - Ras-I Dowling, CB, 6-2/200
Analysis: Dowling has felt the freeze with QBs not throwing in his direction. Story of season, however, has been health, or lack thereof. Drops this week. Last week: No. 18

25 - Marvin Austin, DT, 6-3/305
Analysis: Austin isn't eligible, and his place here is tenuous as other prospects emerge, but his talent is of the first-round variety. Holding on -- for now. Last week: No. 25

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