Commentary

Defenders continue to move up board

All-star showings have defenders on the rise; another QB debuts

Originally Published: February 2, 2012
By Todd McShay | Scouts Inc.

The pre-draft process is heating up, with non-seniors getting more in-depth film analysis and plenty of seniors moving up and down the board following their performances at postseason all-star games.

In all, seven players either debut or reappear in this week's updated rankings of my top 32 overall prospects, including a cornerback making a resurgence, a very tall quarterback, a fast-rising defensive end and a pair of defensive tackles.

Among the big names falling out of the top 32 this week: Clemson DE Andre Branch; Arizona QB Nick Foles; South Carolina WR Alshon Jeffery; and Virginia Tech RB David Wilson.

Elsewhere, a dominant defensive tackle continues to rise and is now inside the top 10, while a strong Senior Bowl showing for a versatile DE/OLB has him in the top 10 as well.

Here's how the entire list breaks down at this point.


Big Board Bar

1
QB
6-4
235

Analysis: Speculation about Peyton Manning's situation in Indianapolis continues to swirl, but it's looking more and more like Luck and his once-in-a-generation skill set are headed to the Colts. Last week: 1

2
OT
6-7
295

Analysis: Kalil is clearly the top offensive lineman in the board, with his combination of light feet and good balance as a pass-blocker and the edge he flashes in the running game. He's ready to start from day one. Last week: 2

3
QB
6-1½
218

Analysis: The 2011 Heisman Trophy winner continues to rise. He won't pass Luck on my board, but Griffin's mobility, quick release and arm strength have helped him narrow the gap and create some intrigue as teams potentially jockey for a chance to select him, perhaps as high as No. 2 overall. Last week: 3

4
DE
6-5¾
281

Analysis: There have been questions about Coples' work ethic and motor, but he dominated at the Senior Bowl and his upside as an all-around defender will make him a coveted player on draft day. Last week: 5

5
RB
5-11
224

Analysis: Richardson is clearly the top running back in the 2012 class -- and one of the highest-rated backs in recent years -- thanks to an elite combination of size, speed, power, balance and vision. Last week: 4



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