Big Board headed into NFL combine
Another offensive lineman is added to the board as the players head to Indy
There's nothing better than the annual NFL combine to give the Big Board a little jolt. I say "little" because it's not like the old days, when you'd discover all kinds of things about a player once they got to Indy. Today, you might see some things that surprise, but there tends to be fewer hidden stories -- or heights and weights -- than there used to be. As for the Board, not a lot of movement this week, though I've added another lineman to the mix. For those in search of offensive line answers, this year's first round should offer a lot of value.
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.
More Kiper NFL draft content:Combine preview | Mock Draft 2.0 | Latest Big Board | Top 5 by position1Andrew Luck *AGE: 22DOB: 9/12/89HT: 6-4WT: 235POS: QBComp 288Att 404Pct 71.3Yds 3,517TD 37Int 10
Would be great to see him throw this week, but as usual, no change here. Status quo remains. Luck has the total package: arm strength, size, smarts, demeanor and the ability to run the show at a young age.LAST WEEK: 1 | PLAYER CARD2Matt Kalil *AGE: 22DOB: 7/6/89HT: 6-7WT: 295POS: OTGP 12GS 12
Kalil was steady all of 2011, now it's just a matter of confirming that the athlete matches up with what we've seen on tape. 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 CARD3Trent Richardson *AGE: 20DOB: 7/10/91HT: 5-11WT: 224POS: RBCar 283Yds 1,679Avg. 5.9TD 21
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 CARD4Morris Claiborne *AGE: 21DOB: 2/7/90HT: 6-1WT: 185POS: CBTkl 51Sack 0Int 6
Claiborne also faces a big week at the combine, 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 CARD5Justin Blackmon *AGE: 22DOB: 1/9/90HT: 6-1WT: 208POS: WRRec 121Yds 1,522Avg 12.6TD 18
Blackmon has been steady here for a while, and I expect he'll run a competitive time to keep his good standing. 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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