Kiper's top 25 from ESPN Jan 5 2011

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Kiper's top 25 from ESPN Jan 5 2011

Postby thescout » Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:42 pm

A new QB on the Big BoardA draft declaration has helped shift the order of QB prospects in the draft classEmailPrintComments8 By Mel Kiper
Archive Timing can be everything. It certainly plays into the rankings this week. With draft declarations for juniors and draft-eligible sophomores set to be confirmed, those of us ranking the players will have to shift our lists accordingly. For one quarterback who declared this week, it certainly played into the considerations.

Missouri's Blaine Gabbert jumps onto the list this week as a guy who declared with an eye to the unsettled situation in the QB draft market. After junior Andrew Luck, there is no true consensus as to who will emerge as the No. 2 QB in the draft. And if Luck opts to stay at Stanford, we're obviously left with a fluid situation. One other player who jumps back on the board is Cameron Heyward, coming off a dominant Sugar Bowl. For the rest of the moves, see below. As always, juniors and draft-eligible sophomores are noted with an asterisk.

Andrew Luck * QB6-4235 Analysis: The Orange Bowl certainly qualified as an "Any questions?" moment for the No. 1 pick (if he enters the draft). Last week: No. 1

Da'Quan Bowers * DE6-4277Analysis: A possible No. 1 pick if Luck opts to stay in school, Bowers has followed through on his talent. A former top-rated overall recruit. Last week: No. 2

Nick Fairley * DT6-5310Analysis: Fairley simply dominated, and has one more showcase game for scouts. He often was a force even while not 100 percent. A Top-10 lock currently. Last week: No. 3

A.J. Green * WR6-4207 Analysis: Not sure people realize what kind of route-runner he's become, Green has worked hard to become a complete WR. Last week: No. 4

Patrick Peterson * CB6-1211Analysis: An extraordinary athlete, Peterson doesn't just have safety size -- he'd measure up to a lot of RBs. Great total package -- cornerback and return game. Last week: No. 5

Prince Amukamara CB6-1202Analysis: Top marks for instincts, ball awareness and ball skills. It's like he's running the route sometimes. Immediate starter. Last week: No. 6

Marcell Dareus * DE6-3306Analysis: A solid penetrator, pass-rush skills trump run-stopping performance thus far. Best suited at 4-3 DT, needs to show consistent effort to scouts. Last week: No. 7
Robert Quinn * DE6-4267 Analysis: Great natural pass-rusher, solid athlete, serious motor. Still raw with time off, but scouts love his natural ability. Last week: No. 8

Blaine Gabbert * QB6-5232Analysis: Strong arm, good mobility, prototype in terms of physical skills. Ranked all year in my top QBs. Jumps with draft declaration, improved stock. Last week: NR

Von Miller LB6-3243Analysis: Miller proved that he's more than a sack artist this season. He showed coverage skills to go along with known pass-rush production. Edge burner. Last week: No. 9

Ryan Kerrigan DE6-4259Analysis: Led nation with 26 tackles for loss and became impossible to block, even against double-teams. Ideal as a 3-4 OLB but possible at DE in a 3-4. Last week: No. 14

Akeem Ayers * OLB6-4251Analysis: Exceptional athleticism makes him versatile. Ideal every-down 3-4 OLB who can rush the passer and cover. Top coverage skills of any OLB so far. Last week: No. 16

Cam Newton * QB6-6250Analysis: He has size and athleticism, but also underrated accuracy. Extends plays; good patience. Lacks experience and any time in pro-style scheme. Last week: No. 12

Julio Jones * WR6-4211Analysis: When healthy, Jones was impossible to stop; when not, he was still good in 2010. Overcame drop issues, improved route-running. Last week: No. 13

Justin Blackmon * WR6-1208Analysis: Underrated size, good instincts, size and speed combo with ability to set up defensive backs. Highly productive, and not just a possession guy. Last week: No. 15
Adrian ClaybornDE6-3282Analysis: Good size, capable of lining up as 3-4 DE. Good motor; batters offensive linemen. Needs to refine rush skills. Last week: No. 19

Ryan Mallett * QB6-7238Analysis: Mallett became far more than a big arm this season, but footwork and checkdown skills concern. Still a volatile stock. Last week: No. 11

Drake Nevis DT6-1289Analysis: Lacks top-end size, but he's an explosive, up-the-field tackle with good pad level and leverage. Ideal three-technique, he plays with passion. Last week: No. 10

Nate Solder OT6-9313Analysis: A physical specimen, has great length, ability to add bulk to chiseled frame. Will shine in workout phase, and draft is short on elite offensive tackles. Last week: No. 17

Anthony Castonzo OT6-7306Analysis: Smart, reliable with solid footwork, but could add lower-body strength and overall bulk to improve leverage. Consistent worker; smart player. Last week: No. 18

Cameron Heyward DE6-5291Analysis: On the Big Board most of the season, back on with dominating Sugar Bowl performance. Versatile, but ideal size to work as 3-4 DE. Last week: NR

Gabe Carimi OT6-7327Analysis: Had a fantastic fall, battling a number of likely high draft picks to standstills. Beaten by a speed rush in the past, his footwork improved greatly. Last week: No. 21

Janoris Jenkins * CB5-11185Analysis: New to the board last week -- he's had an up-and-down season, but the physical skills are there; he also comes from a good system. Last week: No. 24

Mark Ingram * RB5-10216Analysis: Production dipped from last season, but Ingram was still explosive and physical after being dinged early. Solid finisher; top-end speed is in question. Last week: No. 22
Jake Locker QB6-3228 Analysis: Off-the-charts skill set and intangibles; solid character. Accuracy and work against top opposition suffered. Wild card. Last week:
Sometimes running the Mularkey offense makes me feel like I'm in a prison.

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