- Mel Kiper Jr., Football analyst
Looking back at the first Big Board for the 2012 class, released just a week after last year's draft, there's no change at the top. Andrew Luck has gone wire to wire as the top prospect on the board. That's no major surprise, but other players held up well, too. Trent Richardson held up as the top running back prospect. Morris Claiborne I considered the likely top corner, and he held up well over the year. There were a number of others.
And it's saying something, because for those guys the microscope has always been turned on. But now they'll be rewarded for another year of great play. Keep the board around during the draft, because this is a reflection of where I have the guys lined up, and it does factor into how I grade the teams based on how well they accrued value. Thanks so much for another year of reading and feedback and, 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:
Andrew Luck *
A confirmed lock to go No. 1, Luck has worked hard during the draft process, 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
Robert Griffin III *
Another guy we've had penciled in for a while. Washington will expect him to start in Week 1. He's accurate, throws a fantastic deep ball, is a proven leader and has shown evaluators he's a QB first, athlete second. Great kid, great pick. LAST WEEK: 2 | PLAYER CARD
Trent Richardson *
As good of a running back as we've seen in the past few years. He's powerful and fast, has vision and pass-catching skills; he's a beast and explodes from and through contact. Total-package RB, a great fit at No. 4 if Cleveland wants him.
LAST WEEK: 3 | PLAYER CARD
Morris Claiborne *
Claiborne's aptitude for the game, his instincts for the position and his approach to preparation are sound. A true technician, he's an exceptional pure corner with impeccable instincts. Ready to start.
LAST WEEK: 4 | PLAYER CARD
Justin Blackmon *
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: 5 | PLAYER CARD
It's a quiet week on the Big Board, but it's an important week. The NFL draft is here, and this is a final look at where Kiper has the top prospects ranked.