Commentary

2012 draft board taking shape

Defensive players, underclassmen dominate Scouts Inc.'s latest prospect update

Originally Published: October 19, 2011
By Todd McShay | Scouts Inc.

The college football season has passed the halfway point, so it's time to take a deeper look at the players atop our draft board here at Scouts Inc. A breakdown of the updated top 32 reveals some interesting nuggets.

First, draft-eligible underclassmen dominate the rankings at this point. Of the top 14 prospects on the board, 12 are non-seniors, and 21 of the top 32 are underclassmen.

There are two elite quarterback prospects in the top three overall, but no other signal-callers crack the top 20 at this point. Three inside linebackers and three offensive tackles are among the top 12 overall, while cornerbacks lead all positions with five players on the list.

Here's how we see each of the players in the top 32 heading into the second half of the season. Underclassmen are noted with an asterisk.


Big Board Bar

1
QB
6-4
235

Analysis: Luck is far and away the No. 1 player on the board. He has prototypical size, great football intelligence, a strong arm and the toughness to hang in the pocket in the face of pressure. His touch is excellent, his release is quick, and Luck's pocket presence is uncanny.

2
OT
6-7
295

Analysis: Kalil's quick feet, long arms and impressive awareness give him the ability to step into a starting role at left tackle from Day 1. He also plays with an edge in the running game and gets to the second level well.

3
QB
6-4
230

Analysis: Jones continues to put up huge numbers in Oklahoma's spread offense, and while he trusts his arm too much at times, Jones shows excellent touch, the ability to change speeds and accuracy on the run.

4
DE
6-6⅛
272

Analysis: Coples has an excellent size-to-speed ratio and elite initial quickness and lateral agility. His strong upper body allows him to keep blockers off his frame, and Coples has impressive versatility and upside as a pass-rusher.

5
RB
5-11
224

Analysis: No back in the nation runs harder or gains more yards after contact than Richardson, whose patience, vision and instincts are excellent complements to his combination of athleticism and power.