Commentary

Robert Quinn remains on Big Board

Robert Quinn won't play a down of football this year, but his NFL stock is undeniable

Updated: October 13, 2010, 1:28 PM ET
By Mel Kiper Jr. | ESPN.com

Last year, current Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant started the year as a Top 10 draft value according to my ratings. After he played three games, he got in trouble with the NCAA, sat out the remaining 10 games and became draft-eligible. Even after his NCAA indiscretions and solid but unremarkable workouts, Bryant managed to go in the first round and was largely considered a steal for Dallas at No. 25 overall. (So much of a steal, in fact, that Dallas neglected some other needs to take Bryant.)

Enter Robert Quinn.

The North Carolina defensive end won't play a down this year after the NCAA ruled him ineligible this week. But the guy I rated as the No. 3 player on my Big Board days after the April draft (he's been as high as No. 2 this season) and is No. 3 on my colleague Todd McShay's current rankings is still a guy NFL scouts are enamored with. This week he drops slightly because there absolutely is a perception that he's hurt his stock some and will have to answer questions about his decision-making, as Bryant did, and because other players are playing extraordinarily well and have seen their own stock jump.

The bottom line is these rankings are about what guys can be as professionals. Quinn already has a pile of outstanding tape, and his workout process will reinforce the "physical freak" labels scouts have affixed to him. Does he have some work to do to maintain his standing? Absolutely. But this is where I see him right now. Based on talent alone, I think any evaluator will tell you Quinn's a likely Top 10 pick.

As always, juniors and draft-eligible sophomores are noted with an asterisk.


Big Board Bar

1
QB
6-4
235

Analysis: Great arm, NFL smarts, solid footwork. Prototypical size and intangibles. Checks down with veteran's savvy. Even showed he can hit versus USC Last week: No. 1

2
WR
6-4
207

Analysis: The profile of a No. 1 receiver at NFL level. Great size-speed combination; instinctive, great hands. Dominant since his return. Last week: No. 3

3
CB
6-1
202

Analysis: A big corner with a ton of talent. Amukamara has the necessary speed and leads a deep CB class. QBs totally avoiding him now. Last week: No. 5

4
CB
6-1
211

Analysis: Safety size with fluidity of a top CB. Maybe the top size-speed combo in this entire class. Has top-end return skills; he and Prince very close. Last week: No. 6

5
DE
6-4
267

Analysis: A freakish athlete with decent size, great quickness and pass-rush skills. His ineligiblity is an issue, but talent is significant. Last week: No. 2


Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst