Big Board as NFL draft nears

The 2012 NFL draft is just a week away; here's how the talent stacks up

Originally Published: April 18, 2012
By Mel Kiper Jr. | ESPN Insider

You won't see significant changes this week, but at least you can look at the Big Board knowing the draft is just a week away. At the top, Andrew Luck is assured of going wire-to-wire. I released my prospect rankings just a week after last year's draft, and Luck sat atop the board then. From the season he had to his work during the draft process, there just hasn't been a time when I felt like he wasn't the top prospect here. But there have been plenty of other moves. The guy who will be taken second overall put in a ton of work

As always, read on and let me know who should be higher or who has been passed over. Juniors and draft-eligible sophomores are noted with an asterisk.

More Kiper NFL draft content:

Overrated/underrated prospects | Mock 4.0 | Latest Big Board | Top 5 players by position | Regrading the 2011 NFL draft


1
Andrew Luck *
AGE: 22
DOB: 9/12/89
HT: 6-4
WT: 234
POS: QB
Comp 288
Att 404
Pct 71.3
Yds 3,517
TD 37
Int 10

All set to go No. 1. Luck has confirmed what we already knew, working hard during the draft process and backing up a lot of what evaluators felt about his mentality. No change in profile. Arm strength, size, smarts, demeanor all there. Ready to play.

LAST WEEK: 1 | PLAYER CARD

2
Robert Griffin III *
AGE: 22
DOB: 2/12/90
HT: 6-2
WT: 223
POS: QB
Comp 291
Att 402
Pct 72.4
Yds 4,293
TD 37
Int 6

Another guy we've had penciled in with a team for a while. Washington will expect him to start in Week 1. He's accurate, throws a good deep ball, is a proven leader and has shown evaluators he's a QB first, athlete second.

LAST WEEK: 2 | PLAYER CARD

3
Trent Richardson *
AGE: 20
DOB: 7/10/91
HT: 5-9
WT: 228
POS: RB
Car 283
Yds 1,679
Avg. 5.9
TD 21

Stays at No. 3, and he could go as high as No. 4. He's powerful and fast, has vision and pass-catching skills; he's a beast and explodes from and through contact. Total-package RB.

LAST WEEK: 3 | PLAYER CARD

4
Morris Claiborne *
AGE: 22
DOB: 2/7/90
HT: 5-11
WT: 188
POS: CB
Tkl 51
Sack 0
Int 6

Claiborne's aptitude for the game of football and his approach are sound. A true technician, he's an exceptional pure corner with impeccable instincts. Locates the ball and can catch it. Ready to start.

LAST WEEK: 5 | PLAYER CARD

5
Justin Blackmon *
AGE: 22
DOB: 1/9/90
HT: 6-1
WT: 207
POS: WR
Rec 121
Yds 1,522
Avg 12.6
TD 18

Steady stock, and has been for months. Blackmon isn't as big as some had him listed (he's actually under 6-foot-1), but he's still a lock for the top 10. Great route-runner, versatile, explosive; really works to get open. Has a high floor.

LAST WEEK: 6 | PLAYER CARD


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Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst