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 Post subject: Kiper's First Big Board of 2012
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 2:25 pm 
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2012 NFL draft: First Big Board
As Luck would have it, Andrew tops the Big Board yet again. But surprises follow.

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Kiper By Mel Kiper
ESPN Insider
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Almost a year ago this week, I released my first Big Board for the 2011 NFL draft. Looking back at that list, you can see that of the top-10 players listed eight went in Round 1 a year later. Ryan Mallett obviously tumbled a bit during the draft, and one player wasn't taken at all ...

... which is why Andrew Luck tops the Big Board again this year. The amazing thing about Luck, who shocked many when he opted to return to Stanford even as the likely No. 1 overall pick, is that he could conceivably come back again next year for a fifth year on The Farm. At that rate, he might be Dr. Luck by the time he takes an NFL snap.

As to this list, a few highlights: There are 20 juniors or draft-eligible sophomores on the list; there are three quarterbacks among the top-10 players; of those top-10, Stanford has as many players as the SEC. As I always remind, this is a reflection of value, not some prediction about where guys will be picked. And as always, juniors and draft-eligible sophomores are noted with an asterisk.


Big Board Bar

1 - Andrew Luck *, QB, 6-4/235

Analysis: Luck is the total package. Arm strength, size, smarts, demeanor -- it's all there. And perhaps best of all, check the accuracy rate. He completed 70.7 percent of his 2010 throws.

2 - Quinton Coples, DE, 6-5/276

Analysis: They haven't been lacking defensive talent in Chapel Hill. Coples is next in line, a gifted pass-rusher suited to be a pure 4-3 defensive end at the next level.

3 - Matt Kalil *, OT, 6-6/300

Analysis: Another NFL-ready offensive lineman at Southern Cal. Kalil has the size, athleticism, footwork and bloodlines. He projects as a blindside tackle.

4 - Alshon Jeffery *, WR, 6-4/233

Analysis: A perpetual mismatch, Jeffery has been unstoppable since he got to campus. A huge target, makes all the catches and shows surprising burst, given such a huge frame at wideout.

5 - Matt Barkley *, QB, 6-2/220

Analysis: He struggled as a true freshman starter, but you love the growth Barkley has shown. Completed 62.6 percent of his passes as a sophomore and he's piling up experience.

6 - Jonathan Martin *, OT, 6-6/304

Analysis: In the spotlight as the guy protecting the back of the likely No. 1 overall pick, Martin has ideal size, athleticism and a great approach in the run game.

7 - Justin Blackmon *, WR, 6-1/211

Analysis: Had a chance to go in the first round had he entered the 2011 NFL draft. Versatile, explosive and really works to get open. Potential true No. 1 target.

8 - Jerel Worthy *, DT, 6-3/305

Analysis: My top defensive tackle in a class that's a little more shallow than we've seen over the last couple years. Good size, plays with an edge and should be scheme-versatile.

9 - Dre Kirkpatrick *, CB, 6-3/192

Analysis: One of three players on the Crimson Tide to crack the Board. Great length for the position. Kirpatrick is solid technically and well-schooled.

10 - Landry Jones *, QB, 6-4/230

Analysis: Perhaps quietly, Jones has put up remarkable numbers in Norman and will draw inevitable comparisons to Sam Bradford. Showed improved accuracy in 2011. Experienced.

11 - Riley Reiff *, OT, 6-6/300

Analysis: Dependable blocker, Reiff has all the attributes and is well-coached. A first-rounder right now in a class that offers more than the 2011 class at O-line.

12 - Vontaze Burfict *, LB, 6-3/252

Analysis: A dominant force in the middle of the field, the one-time USC commit has been solid since he arrived in Tempe, where he started immediately. A high position for an ILB.

13 - Trent Richardson *, RB, 5-11/224

Analysis: A physical freak, I see Richardson as a better overall pro prospect than former teammate Mark Ingram. Explosive and so hard to tackle.

14 - Donte Paige-Moss *, DE, 6-4/270

Analysis: He's bigger than a lot of people have him listed. Paige-Moss gets a bump here because he exploded in the second half of 2010. He needs to carry that momentum into 2011.

15 - Cliff Harris *, CB, 5-11/172

Analysis: A speedster in the return game, Harris is also a fantastic cover corner. Solid timing and ball skills, very adept at breaking up passes. Deadly punt returner.

16 - Luke Kuechly *, LB, 6-3/235

Analysis: Dependable tackling machine, Kuechly's tape shines. Makes great reads, sees the play developing, sheds blockers well and has a ton of experience in just two years.

17 - Jayron Hosley *, CB, 5-10/170

Analysis: One of the most instinctive corners I've ever seen. Led the nation in interceptions and seems to have a sixth sense on routes.

18 - Ray-Ray Armstrong *, S, 6-4/220

Analysis: Currently the top safety on the Board. Armstrong has seen the field plenty in just two seasons. Good size, takes good routes and can play near the line.

19 - Stephon Gilmore *, CB, 6-1/194

Analysis: Another SEC corner with good size, Gilmore has played well against some top competition. Well-schooled, he has a chance to move up the Board this season.

20 - Manti Te'o *, LB, 6-2/255

Analysis: A known commodity since he arrived in South Bend, Te'o is a classic middle linebacker, making a ton of tackles. A rugged player, has ideal size and range for the position.

21 - Chase Minnifield, CB, 6-0/185

Analysis: The last corner on the Board, Minnifield has been dependable and was the best corner on a team that saw Ras-I Dowling drafted early in 2011.

22 - Jared Crick, DT, 6-6/285

Analysis: Had a chance to be drafted within the top-40 picks in 2011 but opted to return to Lincoln. The J.J. Watt of this class, should be a good fit as a 3-4 defensive end in the NFL.

23 - Marcus Forston *, DT, 6-3/300

Analysis: A big-time recruit, Forston has continued to develop and could move up the Board if he adds consistency. Dominant at times, but has had some off games, too.

24 - Andre Branch, DE, 6-4/265

Analysis: Another defensive end coming out of Death Valley, Branch can get to the passer and has a lot of experience, and will be a fifth-year senior in 2011.

25 - Courtney Upshaw, LB, 6-2/265

Analysis: A solid linebacker, another in a very talented Bama defensive unit. Upshaw saw the field as a freshman and has continued to progress.



Mel Kiper has been the premier name in NFL draft prospect evaluations for more than three decades. He started putting out his annual draft guides in 1978, and started contributing to ESPN as an analyst in 1984. For more from Mel, check out his annual draft publications or his home page. He can also be found on Twitter here.

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 Post subject: Re: Kiper's First Big Board of 2012
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 2:29 pm 
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Based off my initial impression, next year's class seems to be stronger/deeper at a number of positions. WR, ILB, and interior OL (both C and OG) should be stronger in next year's class. Safety also looks to have some better top-level prospects as well. There should be at least 1 elite QB prospect if not 3. OT also seems to be better in terms of top-level LT prospects (Martin & Reiff).

The question will be whether DE and DT will be as strong. It seems doubtful given how deep this year's D-line class was. It seems like many of the top prospects going into next year at those positions probably would have been 3rd round picks had they come out this past year.

CB seems fairly solid as well, although don't think there's a Patrick Peterson in the class, but looks like there are a number of late 1st/early 2nd round prospects that can match this past year's class.

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 Post subject: Re: Kiper's First Big Board of 2012
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 3:58 pm 
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I fully agree, that board up and down look better than this year past class. I still really, really think a lot of these players, esp the QB crop got pushed into too high a territory. Thats gonna happen in any weak overall draft, and its crazy when a pick in the 20's is better than above that (and not for money reasons), but you go beyond the later 2nd round and it was a cliff. I fully expect a LOT of teams 3 years from now to be looking for replacements for the Ponders, etc. who simply caught the team need thing as lightening in a bottle.

Quote:
17 - Jayron Hosley *, CB, 5-10/170

Analysis: One of the most instinctive corners I've ever seen. Led the nation in interceptions and seems to have a sixth sense on routes.


Well he definitely got the instinct angle right, its pretty uncanny. Its very Asante Samuel's like, in that he totally baits you into thinking you're good to throw, and then eats whatever angle up like its easy. Him v. Kirkpatrick, size vs ballskills. 6'3" is prob the tallest potentially elite CB prospect I've heard of. Hosley's trouble will be they'll avoid him like the plague this year, but its hard to pick your poision in the VT secondary. Throw in his return ability and he gets a bump. I think he returned 2 last year? Does Kirkpatrick do returns?

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 Post subject: Re: Kiper's First Big Board of 2012
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 4:05 pm 
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Image


1:34 minute mark is a nutshell of his change skills, pretty sick...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brs3JmyPhFE

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 Post subject: Re: Kiper's First Big Board of 2012
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 4:13 pm 
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Everytime I watched Tech play this year, I liked Rashad Carmichael less and less. Just saw more flaws in his game with every subsequent viewing. And I think part of that was how good Hosley was on the other side. Just seemed like he was making plays, while Carmichael was giving up 30-yard bombs.

Although with Hosley, one wonders what happens with him this year. The previous precedent for the guys that get a lot of INTs drop off hard the next year. A year ago Rahim Moore had 10 INTs, and i think only had 1 this past year. The same thing happened to William Moore the year before. They were safeties, so it'll be interesting to see if that impacts Holsey as much since he's a corner.

Is Whitley a safety? I noticed he was playing cornerback in the slot later in the season due to injuries, I'm guessing. And while he was getting beat, considering he was a safety I thought he was doing a pretty good job.

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 Post subject: Re: Kiper's First Big Board of 2012
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 4:34 pm 
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Wow, apparently Quinton Coples attended a post-draft party and is under NCAA investigation.

:doh:

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 Post subject: Re: Kiper's First Big Board of 2012
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 8:54 pm 
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Carmichael really didn't end up improving much his Senior year as he did a Junior. Very technical, very straight line fast/closer, but he did get exposed at time playing opposite Hosley. That was just the offenses picking their poison, and rightly so imo. I think Houston grabbed him in the 4th, which is pretty good value. To me he's a solid corner, but his size may be a prob on the next level. Not a top tier level one VT DB imho, but a good solid guy that may end up having a solid nfl career. Either way Houston needs the help terribly.

Quote:
Virginia Tech always gets a lot of interceptions, because they generally have very talented defensive backs playing in Bud Foster's excellent coverage schemes. With the ACC starting seven sophomores at quarterback this year, and Tech not facing E.J. Manuel, Danny O'Brien or Mike Glennon during the regular season, they are set up nicely to force a lot of turnovers.

Five of the eight ACC quarterbacks the Hokies will face will be sophomores, with three of them being true sophomores. They are unproven players. If Tech can get a big advantage in turnover margin this year, they will be tough to beat.


Considering the above to start with. Our #2 CB I believe is going to be Kyle Fuller, a true soph who played last year cause he was good enough as a true fresh. Vincent Fuller (DB, Tenn Titans) is his older brother, and a good former VT DB also, so he's got a little bloodline in him. So really Fuller is more the key to Hosley than Hosley. This was the case last year for Carmichael, its just people realized very quickly it was smarter to go at Carmichael.

Fuller showed about as well as you're gonna look as a true, likes to tackle too, but which poison are you gonna pick? Based on this, Hosley's INTs almost HAVE to drop like you metioned on the other guys. The biggets undetermined question is which side do each play this year. Boundary is our stud DB spot, but you're on a true island and you have to be uber physical. Hosley played more Field last year, which is more space oriented. Hosley change of direction is so sick he may actually be better suited to stay Field fwiw. The thing is if he's a gamer and wants to be like previous #1 VT DB's, he needs to migrate over to boundary. Beyond that we seriously have enough CB's to field two elite teams. Our #3 Cris Hill would start at 90% of anywhere else. We've got a burgeoning stud in Detrick Bonner (r-Fr) and 3 other stud prospects behind him.

I really like Eddie Whitley, he's a FS (who replaced Kam Chancellor) who had a really good, solid year last year. I know he's been challenged to not be just solid, but a playmaker, so we'll see how that goes. What I like is he's always on the calls, always a good tackler and I started to see more playmaking ability later in the year (as that was his first season starting). I think he has an NFL future, but will need to see more. Either way he's got REALLY good cb's to support.

The other DB to note is Antoine Exum, SS. He played a LOT last year is a new package we created called the "30" (this is also where you saw whitley in the slot some too, which he is capable of also). Basically a 5 DB look that Foster crafted since we were younger at LB last year. All our DB's can hit, so it actually didn't lose much that way, but put 5 cover kids on the field at the same time. By the end of the year we ran this so much I'm not even sure what # to put on it. Major NFL body and metrics. He's gonna be much, much better than Davon Morgan way, and he was never a liability. I believe he's only a sophomore.

We usually always have a good secondary, where I'm frothing at the mouth is the two new DE's coming down the pike. Thats what needs to get back to form.

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 Post subject: Re: Kiper's First Big Board of 2012
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 9:19 pm 
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I don't care about this, tell us who's 50-65 so I can see who the Falcons might take :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Kiper's First Big Board of 2012
PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 6:00 pm 
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Close misses for first Big Board
These 15 players were all considered for the first Big Board for the 2012 NFL draft
By Mel Kiper
ESPN Insider
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Getty ImagesAnother year of seasoning could push Mark Barron into Round 1.

On Wednesday, I released the first Big Board for the 2012 NFL draft. While there are some notable names, fans who aren't obsessive about tracking college players probably saw a lot of names for the first time. Of course, because the Big Board only goes to 25, one of the first questions always is: So who would have been next?

It's usually between a handful of guys, with recent play being a big deciding factor. But in the spring, the list is always a little longer. This is a pretty subjective stage -- many of the players on the Big Board really have only a year of starting experience. So that you have a few more names to consider, here are a number of other players who are right on the edge, broken down into class.

There's no clear No. 26, so they are just organized alphabetically.

SENIORS

Levy Adcock, OT, Oklahoma St.
The Pokes sent an offensive lineman to the NFL within the top 10 picks in 2010 when Russell Okung landed with Seattle, and the massive Adcock has the skills to land in Round 1 in 2012. A massive frame, at 6-foot-6, and north of 320 pounds.

Mark Barron, S, Alabama
It wouldn't have surprised me if Barron had jumped into the 2011 class, mostly just because it wasn't bursting with safety talent, but a year of development in coverage should do him well.

Zach Brown, LB, North Carolina
Brown is undersized, but has talent. He'll see great play in front of him on that defensive line and should develop as a playmaker.

Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
Quarterbacks trying to keep the ball away from Prince Amukamara in 2010 had the misfortune of often throwing the way of Dennard. He had four INTs.

Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
Floyd was extremely productive working with a new quarterback in 2010, and could have been picked before Round 3 in the 2011 draft. Must maintain focus and improve.

Jeff Fuller, WR, Texas A&M
He seemed to have a better rapport with Jerrod Johnson, but I don't expect any drop-off now that Ryan Tannehill is throwing him the ball.

Travis Lewis, LB, Oklahoma
As steady as they come, Lewis doesn't have elite size but has always maintained a great nose for the football. Expect another triple-digit tackle season.

Ryan Lindley, QB, San Diego St.
Lindley has a good arm, and the size is there at 6-4, but the next step for him will be accuracy. He's the top senior QB in my rankings, but I'd like to see that accuracy eclipse 60 percent.

Kelechi Osemele, OT/G, Iowa St.
Another player who can easily be moved along the offensive line, at 6-5, 335 pounds he can engulf defenders.

Nate Potter, OT/G, Boise St.
Athletic, Potter can also play multiple positions. Coming back for another year of experience, he'll finish with plenty of good tape.

Janoris Jenkins, CB, ?
I have a pretty good idea of where Jenkins will land, but after being dismissed from Florida, he needs to keep it together off the field in 2011. If he does, he has the potential to go in Round 1.

JUNIORS

Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas
Davis has every-down size, and I'd expect Bobby Petrino to use him often, particularly coming off a season in which he averaged 6.5 yards per carry.

Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama
Few will question Hightower's talent -- here's a guy who was a legit force on the Bama defense as a freshman. If he can stay healthy, he has the potential to be taken in Round 1.

LaMichael James, RB, Oregon
I was a little surprised to see James return to Oregon, but he's probably having a lot of fun in the system. Legit sprinter's speed and runs without fear.

Brandon Jenkins, DE, Florida St.
He may project better as an outside linebacker at the next level, but Jenkins has a knack for getting to the quarterback. He had 13.5 sacks in 2010.

Mel Kiper has been the premier name in NFL draft prospect evaluations for more than three decades. He started putting out his annual draft guides in 1978, and started contributing to ESPN as an analyst in 1984. For more from Mel, check out his annual draft publications or his home page. He can also be found on Twitter here.

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 Post subject: Re: Kiper's First Big Board of 2012
PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 9:29 pm 
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:evil: Another, its like they're freaking cockroaches.
Quote:
Zach Brown, LB, North Carolina


:twisted: Quinton Coples

I know literally zip about Coples, but I'm sure hes another one of these metric kids so to speak. What is honestly insane and really mind blowing when I continue seeing all these bubbling up to the surface...I NEVER NOTICE 2/3 of these kids in unc games. Now granted I obviously watch the tech matchup copiously, but being acc I do catch a lot of others too. Not continuing to beat the same drum, but all this talent never gells. I mean at this point they're close or at to producing SEC level metric kids to the nfl. Yet each year, they suck as an entire team, have flashes of brillance, but no consistency or tenacity at all. No big pt here, other than when a Bama for ex has the Jones', Ingrams', Dareus', etc., you noticed those kids damn near every snap they played. But they also played as a team and won a NC.

I don't want to get back into the cheating talk, its mind numbing at this pt. The unc scandal hasn't went anywhere, its just tied up in court now over a FOI freedom of info case over more docs the ncaa wants to bust them more wide open. Its rotten to the core, I'm more than certain of this. Oh the gobs of stuff I've read w/ them being our recruiting rival and playing them. Ohio State and cheaty mcsweater vest kinda jumped the shark on them so to speak in the mean time. Then you still have Auburn and that tv show that was insane too. The ncaa has 1000+ colleges and simply not enough staff to do the job. I do think in the end, and hell it may be 2012+ before its done, they should be more than heavily sanctioned. If the truth is proven, they are going to the the dreaded "lack of institutional control" tag, which is aiken to the football death penalty. John Blake didn't resign/get fired b/c he didn't recruit, agent and money violate rules. Butch Davis the coward threw him under the bus, when they were best buds prior.

Instead of going on.................one simple ass point tells you all you need to know...UNC THEMSELVES didn't sit all those kids last year cause they're angels. They knew they were guilty, and of WAY more than what was initially uncovered prencaa hammer. Why sit that much talent, esp on D, I mean a talent like Quinn, are you kidding me? LMAO, you do it cause you don't want to vacate wins. Wow, what perserverance in the face of you own created crookedness. F Butch Davis, snake oil salesman and awful coach.

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