- Mel Kiper Jr., Football analyst
Last week, Matt Barkley's decision to stay at USC for another year shifted the Big Board and, perhaps more importantly, the entire draft picture at the quarterback position. There haven't been any scene-changing declarations this week, but I've made some moves on the Board. Notable is that regardless of where your favorite team is picking in Round 1, there's a rise in overall talent, and the diversity of that talent along the offensive line. The position group is starting to look really deep.
As always, read on and let me know who should be higher or who's been passed over, in your opinion. As always, juniors and draft-eligible sophomores are noted with an asterisk.
Andrew Luck *
I don't foresee a situation in which Luck relinquishes this spot before the draft. He is the total package: arm strength, size, smarts and demeanor. He remains my pick to go No. 1 overall and could unseat Peyton Manning in Indy.
LAST WEEK: 1 | PLAYER CARD
Matt Kalil *
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's in the draft, and could be challenged, but is currently a safe bet for the top five.
LAST WEEK: 2 | PLAYER CARD
Trent Richardson *
The BCS title game should be his final one in college. Richardson's splitting carries in his first two seasons will benefit him. Powerful, fast and with improved vision, he runs with good pad level and breaks tackles with ease.
LAST WEEK: 3 | PLAYER CARD
Morris Claiborne *
Flew under the radar all year, but he's a very good player. Big rise in 2011; now the top corner. Exceptional pure cover corner with impeccable instincts at the position. Locates the ball and can catch it. Not a burner, but plenty quick.
LAST WEEK: 4 | PLAYER CARD
Justin Blackmon *
Blackmon had a remarkable regular season, eclipsing his 111 catches of a year ago. A better prospect than recent OSU star Dez Bryant. Versatile, explosive and really works to get open. Great ball skills; breaks tackles.
LAST WEEK: 5 | PLAYER CARD
Mel Kiper's latest Big Board update shows a big jump for some offensive lineman.