Commentary

Updated 2012 Big Board

A light class along the defensive interior is gaining a little steam late in the season

Originally Published: November 9, 2011
By Mel Kiper Jr. | ESPN Insider

It's been six years since we saw an NFL draft in which a defensive tackle wasn't drafted inside the top 10. In September, I might have told you this class of DTs could break that string. And while I've had two defensive tackles on the Big Board for most of the year, I added another one last week, and perhaps given the constant need at the position, one of these guys can break though come April. The newest name on the list is Devon Still, a tall, 310-pounder out of Penn State. The players in that program obviously are going through a lot and face an uncertain future. But to this point, Still's performance has been fantastic. Hopefully, he can continue to play at a high level amid all the chaos.

Elsewhere, it was a relatively quiet week, even for the LSU and Alabama players represented here. Read on and let me know who you think should be higher. As always, 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 194
Att 272
Pct 71.3
Yds 2,424
TD 26
Int 5

Luck truly makes everyone look better. And he'll be tested again against Oregon, down probably his best wideout. He's the total package. Arm strength, size, smarts, demeanor. A safe bet to be No. 1 overall.

LAST WEEK: 1 | PLAYER CARD

2
Matt Kalil *
AGE: 22
DOB: 7/6/89
HT: 6-7
WT: 295
POS: OT
GP 9
GS 9

Another good week for the USC offense, and Kalil is a big part of it. He'll remind you of former No. 1 overall pick Jake Long, an athletic left tackle who has the full set of skills, both as a pass-blocker and as a strong, capable run-blocker.

LAST WEEK: 2 | PLAYER CARD

3
Trent Richardson *
AGE: 20
DOB: 7/10/91
HT: 5-11
WT: 224
POS: RB
Car 172
Yds 1,078
Avg. 6.3
TD 17

Not his best game against LSU, but not a bad one, either. Richardson has come on after splitting carries in his first two seasons, something that will benefit him. Powerful, fast, with improved vision, he runs with good pad level and breaks tackles with ease.

LAST WEEK: 3 | PLAYER CARD

4
Landry Jones *
AGE: 22
DOB: 4/22/89
HT: 6-4
WT: 229
POS: QB
Comp 254
Att 393
Pct 64.6
Yds 3,349
TD 28
Int 9

Pretty good year despite some bad throws here and there. I like the way he's battled so far in 2011. He has some INTs, but his accuracy is still very good. Good size, strong arm, needs to improve footwork, particularly in traffic.

LAST WEEK: 4 | PLAYER CARD

5
Justin Blackmon *
AGE: 21
DOB: 1/9/90
HT: 6-1
WT: 208
POS: WR
Rec 87
Yds 1,039
Avg 11.9
TD 12

Dominating week after week. He is a better prospect than recent OSU star Dez Bryant. Versatile and explosive and really works to get open. Great ball skills; breaks tackles. Exceptional work ethic.

LAST WEEK: 5 | PLAYER CARD

Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst