Big Board adds defense
Two new pass-rushers enter the mix this week, as the defensive class gets deeper
This is the final week for the 2012 NFL draft Big Board, where we're not sure who is in and who is out. That refers to the draft, of course. Last year, it was this week when Andrew Luck surprised a lot of people by announcing he'd stay at Stanford for another year. That shifted things. (Ask Carolina.) This week, a pair of juniors' declarations that they'll enter the draft also has shifted the picture. And next week, we'll know about all the others.
As always, read on and let me know who should be higher or who's been passed over, in your opinion. Juniors and draft-eligible sophomores are noted with an asterisk.
A typically brilliant, accurate, understated game for Luck to finish his Stanford career. I don't foresee a situation in which he relinquishes this spot before the draft. Has total package: arm strength, size, smarts and demeanor.
Kalil was steady the entire season and has the full range of skills for the left tackle position, not to mention the pedigree. He has announced he'll be in the draft, and he could be challenged but is currently a safe bet for the top five.
This week we'll witness what should be his final game in college. Splitting carries in his first two seasons has helped him. He looks as strong as ever. Powerful, fast and with improved vision, he runs with good pad level and breaks tackles with ease.
Perhaps the lesser-known of the LSU corners will have a big game this week. He's just very good, an exceptional pure cover corner with impeccable instincts at the position. Locates the ball and can catch it. Not a burner, but plenty quick.
Blackmon did it again and has cemented his gaudy film status. A better prospect than recent OSU star Dez Bryant. Versatile, explosive and really works to get open. Great ball skills; breaks tackles.
To see the rest of the Big Board, you must be an ESPN Insider.
MORE NFL HEADLINES
- Peterson just 'having fun' with Sherman feud
- NFL on Gordon: Culpable for what's in body
- Romo unsure he'll play in preseason opener
- Ravens' Harbaugh: Proud of Rice's response