Movement continues in the trenches
Offensive, defensive linemen rising and falling as NFL combine approaches
The NFL combine is rapidly approaching, and what happens during the week of workouts, medical exams and interviews will affect the draft board, but there's plenty of shuffling going on ahead of the festivities in Indianapolis.
A trio of defensive linemen are back in my ranking of the top 32 overall prospects for the 2012 NFL draft -- a pair of defensive tackles and a versatile end -- pushing out Miami RB Lamar Miller, Clemson TE Dwayne Allen and Arizona State MLB Vontaze Burfict.
Plenty of other players are moving up as well, including a pair of massive offensive linemen into the top 20 and two defensive tackles rising into the top 25. Elsewhere, a dominating defensive tackle is back in the top 10, while a former top-10 offensive lineman has fallen to the edge of the top 25.
Here's the entire list, with non-seniors denoted with an asterisk.
Analysis: Luck simply has a once-in-a-generation skill set. His football intelligence is off the charts, his touch and anticipation are impressive, he has the arm strength to make all the throws, his pocket mobility is elite and his running ability is underrated. The Colts would be wise to take him No. 1 overall. Last week: 1
Analysis: Kalil is far and away the top offensive lineman on the board. His balance and light feet make him a strong pass-blocker, and he flashes a mean streak in the running game. He's an NFL starter from Day 1. Last week: 2
Analysis: Griffin's combination of mobility, arm strength and improved accuracy earned him the 2011 Heisman Trophy and will make him a hot commodity on draft day. The Rams will likely field plenty of trade offers for the No. 2 overall pick as teams try to assure themselves of the chance to bring Griffin into the fold. Last week: 4
Analysis: Richardson is one of the highest-rated running back prospects in recent years thanks to an elite combination of size, speed, power, balance and vision. He is the rare back worth a top-10 overall pick. Last week: 5
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: 3
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