- Phil Steele, ESPN Insider
Each week Mel Kiper updates his Big Board for the 2013 NFL draft, and while those particular players will be prepping for their upcoming combine and pro-day workouts after the bowl season, the teams and positions they leave behind will have huge shoes to fill next season.
Who will fill their positions and how successful will they be? Here's an early look at possible replacements for this season's Big Board players and whether there will be much of a drop-off next year at their positions.
Replacing a player who has accounted for 26 sacks in the last two seasons is no easy task, but keep in mind it was Jones who had to replace Justin Houston, who was an All-American for the Bulldogs in 2010 with 10 sacks. This season, true freshman Jordan Jenkins received a lot of playing time on the opposite side of Jones in Todd Grantham's 3-4 defense and was second on the Bulldogs with four sacks and seven tackles for loss. He is known for having a great first step and has the ability to be a dominant pass-rusher. Other replacement possibilities include Ramik Wilson and T.J. Stripling, both of whom have explosiveness off the edge. While there is plenty of talent coming back next season for Georgia, it will be tough to match the kind of numbers Jones has put up the past two seasons.
Projection: Jenkins will become the next great pass-rusher at Georgia but will not match Jones' production in 2013.
Phil Steele gives an early look at which players will likely replace those on Mel Kiper's Big Board, highlighting which teams and positions will be most affected by the likely departure of top draft picks.