Commentary

A new QB on the Big Board

A draft declaration has helped shift the order of QB prospects in the draft class

Updated: January 5, 2011, 4:00 PM ET
By Mel Kiper Jr. | ESPN.com

Timing can be everything. It certainly plays into the rankings this week. With draft declarations for juniors and draft-eligible sophomores set to be confirmed, those of us ranking the players will have to shift our lists accordingly. For one quarterback who declared this week, it certainly played into the considerations.

Missouri's Blaine Gabbert jumps onto the list this week as a guy who declared with an eye to the unsettled situation in the QB draft market. After junior Andrew Luck, there is no true consensus as to who will emerge as the No. 2 QB in the draft. And if Luck opts to stay at Stanford, we're obviously left with a fluid situation. One other player who jumps back on the board is Cameron Heyward, coming off a dominant Sugar Bowl. For the rest of the moves, see below. As always, juniors and draft-eligible sophomores are noted with an asterisk.


Big Board Bar

1
QB
6-4
235

Analysis: The Orange Bowl certainly qualified as an "Any questions?" moment for the No. 1 pick (if he enters the draft). Last week: No. 1

2
DE
6-4
277

Analysis: A possible No. 1 pick if Luck opts to stay in school, Bowers has followed through on his talent. A former top-rated overall recruit. Last week: No. 2

3
DT
6-5
310

Analysis: Fairley simply dominated, and has one more showcase game for scouts. He often was a force even while not 100 percent. A Top-10 lock currently. Last week: No. 3

4
WR
6-4
207

Analysis: Not sure people realize what kind of route-runner he's become, Green has worked hard to become a complete WR. Last week: No. 4

5
CB
6-1
211

Analysis: An extraordinary athlete, Peterson doesn't just have safety size -- he'd measure up to a lot of RBs. Great total package -- cornerback and return game. Last week: No. 5



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Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst