Commentary

Updated 2012 NFL draft Big Board

Another pass-rusher cracks the Top 25, as Marshall's Vinny Curry joins the mix

Originally Published: February 15, 2012
By Mel Kiper Jr. | ESPN Insider

A look at the Big Board this week tells you plenty about what you saw happen in the BCS title game a month ago. Currently, I have four members of the Crimson Tide among the Top 25 available players, and with the rise of Mark Barron this week, they make up 25 percent of the top 12. That's not a total surprise -- title-worthy teams often find their players dotting the board -- but it's another case where that final drubbing wasn't an accident in terms of talent.

As always, read on and let me know who should be higher or who has been passed over, in your opinion. Juniors and draft-eligible sophomores are noted with an asterisk.

1
Andrew Luck *
AGE: 22
DOB: 9/12/89
HT: 6-4
WT: 235
POS: QB
Comp 288
Att 404
Pct 71.3
Yds 3,517
TD 37
Int 10

No change here. Still assuming he'll land in Indy, and don't expect much new to come out of combine appearance. Status quo remains. He has total package: arm strength, size, smarts, demeanor and the ability to run the show at a young age.

LAST WEEK: 1 | PLAYER CARD

2
Matt Kalil *
AGE: 22
DOB: 7/6/89
HT: 6-7
WT: 295
POS: OT
GP 12
GS 12

Kalil was steady all season, but is about to be exposed to a higher level of scrutiny as he heads to Indy. The plus for him is he might not need time to develop at right tackle, a common break-in spot for many left tackles.

LAST WEEK: 2 | PLAYER CARD

3
Trent Richardson *
AGE: 20
DOB: 7/10/91
HT: 5-11
WT: 224
POS: RB
Car 283
Yds 1,679
Avg. 5.9
TD 21

A big week coming up. Will he run in Indy? I'd expect him to, given his workout credentials. Hard to believe he could be any more prepared for workouts, but I'm sure he will be. Powerful, fast and has shown improved vision and pass-catching skills; he runs with good pad level and breaks tackles with ease.

LAST WEEK: 3 | PLAYER CARD

4
Morris Claiborne *
AGE: 21
DOB: 2/7/90
HT: 6-1
WT: 185
POS: CB
Tkl 51
Sack 0
Int 6

Claiborne also faces a big week in Indy, as testing is a big part of the process for corners. Was the lesser-known of the LSU corners, but easily the better one, in my book. Exceptional pure cover corner with impeccable instincts at the position. Locates the ball and can catch it.

LAST WEEK: 4 | PLAYER CARD

5
Justin Blackmon *
AGE: 22
DOB: 1/9/90
HT: 6-1
WT: 208
POS: WR
Rec 121
Yds 1,522
Avg 12.6
TD 18

Blackmon hasn't moved from No. 5 in awhile, but needs to run a competitive time to keep his lofty standing. That's just how it works. He's a great route-runner, versatile, explosive and really works to get open. Great ball skills, breaks tackles and has solid intangibles.

LAST WEEK: 5 | PLAYER CARD


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Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst