Commentary

D-linemen everywhere atop draft board

Quarterbacks, offensive tackles also well represented in updated prospect rankings

Originally Published: February 22, 2012
By Todd McShay | Scouts Inc.

The NFL combine is under way, but with no significant workouts until the weekend, we have time to assess how the draft board is shaping up heading into a week of action in Indianapolis.

North Carolina DE Quinton Coples and LSU CB Morris Claiborne continue to trade time in the top five of my rankings of the top 32 overall prospects, and the top linebacker on the board is back in the top 10 this week.

From a positional standpoint, the defensive line dominates the latest rankings with 11 prospects (six tackles, five ends) on the list. Quarterback and offensive tackle each place four players in the rankings, while running back, inside and outside linebacker, safety and tight end are represented by only one prospect each.

Here's how the entire list shakes down as the combine kicks off. As always, non-seniors are noted with an asterisk.


Big Board Bar

1
QB
6-4
235

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

2
OT
6-7
295

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 one. Last week: 2

3
QB
6-1½
218

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 likely will 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: 3

4
RB
5-11
224

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: 4

5
CB
6-0
173

Analysis: Hands-down the top cover corner in the nation. Claiborne's combination of size, speed, fluid hips and impressive ball skills will make him a coveted prospect on draft day. Last week: 6



To see the rest of Todd McShay's rankings, you must be an ESPN Insider.