Commentary

Big Board has Newton in Top 10

After another huge performance where his arm was the focus, Cam Newton has arrived

Updated: December 8, 2010, 3:10 PM ET
By Mel Kiper Jr. | ESPN.com

There's not a lot of movement on the Big Board this week as we move into a period before the bowls where inactivity is everywhere. That said, after another solid performance throwing the ball in the SEC championship game, Cam Newton gets another bump this week. I've stated from the beginning that the idea of Newton as a run-first quarterback is really only a product of the system he's in.

In other words, don't blame a guy for being so talented that he's utilized in ways that NFL scouts aren't as interested in. Sure, he'll have to develop, but Newton's ability to run isn't just a down-the-field skill; he's also shown the ability to slide in the pocket, move outside and extend passing plays. For the rest of the movement on the board, see below. As always, juniors and draft-eligible sophomores are noted with an asterisk.


Big Board Bar

1
QB
6-4
235

Analysis: Now completing 70.2 percent of passes in pro-style offense. Arm, smarts and intelligence are all there. Gift-wrapped QB pick. Last week: No. 1

2
DE
6-4
277

Analysis: His 24 TFL are second nationally. A tremendous physical talent who has shown steady relentlessness this year. Ideal size for 4-3 DE. Last week: No. 2

3
WR
6-4
207

Analysis: Green has been mostly unstoppable even with young QB. Not sure people realize what kind of route-runner he's become. Last week: No. 3

4
CB
6-1
211

Analysis: More than freak athlete, Peterson has continued to improve his technical cover skills. Has quietly become among nation's top return threats. Last week: No. 4

5
CB
6-1
202

Analysis: I'd be more concerned about Amukamara's zero interceptions in 2010 if any quarterback was willing to challenge him. A gifted technician. Last week: No. 5


Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst