Pair from SEC jumps on the Big Board

While the Big Board is settling into shape as the college football regular season nears an end, there are two newcomers to the top 25 this week.

Updated: December 8, 2005, 10:47 AM ET
By Mel Kiper Jr. | Special to ESPN Insider
Moving onto the Big Board for the first time this season are a pair of SEC standouts, Vanderbilt quarterback Jay Cutler and LSU defensive tackle Kyle Williams.

Cutler, who will be playing in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., finished the 2005 season with a bang. For the second straight year, his performance in the Commodores' regular-season finale against Tennessee was exceptional. He also had great efforts against Florida and Kentucky, throwing for a combined 756 yards and nine touchdowns in those two games.

The 6-3¼, 227-pounder has all the physical skills the NFL looks for: excellent arm strength, good pocket awareness and decent mobility. For the season, Cutler completed 59 percent of his passes for 3,073 yards, with 21 touchdowns and just nine interceptions.

With an impressive week at the Senior Bowl practices, Cutler could be this year's version of Philip Rivers, Patrick Ramsey and Jason Campbell -- quarterbacks who elevated their stock to the point where they moved into the first round of the NFL draft.

On the defensive side of the ball, LSU's Williams has been a consistent, productive warrior for the Bayou Bengals. At 6-1½ and 294 pounds, he presents leverage problems for the interior offensive lineman he goes up against. Strong, quick and intense, Williams never disappears from the action or gives less than maximum effort every time the ball is snapped. Heading into the SEC championship game Saturday against Georgia, Williams is fifth on the LSU defense with 55 tackles, with 7½ stops behind the line of scrimmage, 4½ sacks and 21 quarterback hurries.

My entire Big Board:

Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst

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