Spitz shines on offensive line for Louisville

Statistically, USC quarterback Matt Leinart is having a better season than he did a year ago when he won the Heisman Trophy.

Updated: November 11, 2005, 5:15 PM ET
By Mel Kiper Jr. | Special to ESPN Insider
This week there has been some tweaking of my Big Board of the top 25 prospects for the 2006 NFL draft, although there are no significant changes in the top 20. However, one new name has moved onto the board for the first time this season, and a previous member of the top 25 is making a return visit.

Debuting this week and joining teammate Elvis Dumervil is Louisville's versatile offensive lineman, guard Jason Spitz (at No. 21). I say versatile because he spent fall practice in both 2004 and 2005 working exclusively at center. However, once the regular season began, Spitz found himself back at guard. A former standout in the shot put and discus at the prep level in Florida, Spitz is considered the strongest player on the Cardinals. A super-tough, fiery trenchman, Spitz has enjoyed a nice jump up the draft board since the outset of this season.

Making a return to the top 25 (at No. 22) is NC State's Manny Lawson. A combination-type defensive end/outside linebacker, Lawson was a force to be reckoned with in the Wolfpack's upset victory at Florida State. Lawson proved once again to be extremely disruptive, finishing with 2½ stops behind the line of scrimmage, one sack and one pass breakup.

On the injury front, Florida State's skilled pass-rushing defensive end, Kamerion Wimbley, will be sidelined for at least this week's game at Clemson after suffering a sprained knee Saturday. After the Clemson game on Saturday, the Seminoles have an open date prior to their final regular-season game at Florida on Nov. 26 and then likely will square off in a rematch against Miami in the ACC Championship Game on Dec. 3.

My entire Big Board:


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst

ALSO SEE