Commentary

Decisions loom on Big Board

The current list is almost secondary to a huge choice that affects everything

Updated: December 29, 2010, 5:04 PM ET
By Mel Kiper Jr. | ESPN.com

The fascination that surrounds the decision that Andrew Luck has to make is justified. He is an elite talent who could dramatically shift the future of whichever franchise that takes him, in the same way Sam Bradford has this year for the St. Louis Rams. Of course, Bradford's decision is one that will be discussed a lot until Luck definitely declares his intentions.

That's because Bradford very well could have been the No. 1 pick in the 2009 draft but opted to return to school. Upon his return, as we all know, he was injured, and was largely absent for the 2009 season with Oklahoma. Clearly, that didn't deter most of us from leaving him as a top-five talent on lists like these, and he ultimately went No. 1 overall. So as much as some will caution Luck to strike while his stock is hot, he can rest assured that even an injury might not derail the high hopes for his future in the NFL. We'll soon learn which way he's headed. As always, juniors and draft-eligible sophomores are noted with an asterisk.


Big Board Bar

1
QB
6-4
235

Analysis: Plenty of questions as to what Luck will decide, but Sam Bradford proved it can work either way. Last week: No. 1

2
DE
6-4
277

Analysis: Ideal size for a defensive end in the 4-3 scheme at the NFL level, but I'm not yet convinced that as an edge force, he can't stand up in a 3-4. Major talent. Last week: No. 2

3
DT
6-5
310

Analysis: Fairley has simply dominated. He often was a force even while not 100 percent. Epitomizes ideal penetrating 4-3 tackle. Currently a top-10 lock. Last week: No. 6

4
WR
6-4
207

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

5
CB
6-1
211

Analysis: A freak athlete, Peterson doesn't just have safety size -- he'd measure up to a lot of running backs. Great total package at cornerback in return game. Last week: No. 4



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Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst