Commentary

Big Board headed into NFL combine

Another offensive lineman is added to the board as the players head to Indy

Originally Published: February 22, 2012
By Mel Kiper Jr. | ESPN Insider

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 position

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

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 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 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 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

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 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 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 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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Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst