Commentary

Behind the Big Board: Stay or go?

The Big Board is filled with juniors you'd expect to jump -- here's why (or why not)

Updated: November 19, 2009, 11:42 AM ET
By Mel Kiper Jr. | ESPN.com

Behind the Big Board accompanies the release of every Mel Kiper Jr. Big Board leading up to the 2010 NFL draft, explaining why players moved up and down the rankings, and other hot topics associated with the Board.

Getty ImagesClausen could very well be the first QB off the board if he jumps.

It's the time of the season when juniors are starting to take stock of where they could land in the NFL draft. They have a better idea of where they stand. Should they stay, risk injury and (hopefully) improve their stock, and subsequently their financial outlook? Or do they bolt, take their chances with the workout process, knowing they can't go back, and hope for the best?

When I do the Big Board, I usually don't add juniors until they're in the top-15 range, with some exceptions. Let's go through the juniors currently on the Board (where they are on the current Board is in bold) and discuss NFL prospects.

Gerald McCoy (No. 2): McCoy should come out, and I think he will. No-brainer. Remember, McCoy is a junior by the book because he already came back once as a redshirt sophomore -- he could have bolted after last season. I think he would have had a chance to be a top-5 pick if he had left, and obviously he's in the mix now. And don't forget this: He's seen firsthand a pair of guys in Jermaine Gresham and Sam Bradford, who are first-round-level players, get hurt when they could already be playing on Sundays.

Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst