- Mel Kiper Jr., Football analyst
This week, we have a new name in the top 5. Bjoern Werner has been among my top prospects for a while, but he's generating more and more intrigue among front offices as the NFL combine approaches. You could excuse him for being raw as a late arrival to football, but his production was exceptional, and he has a level of awareness that's hard to teach. He's a big name to watch as the class heads to Indy.
Below, you'll see the scouting perspective remains similar week to week unless my evaluation of a player really shifts, but I'll note updates on players. Please also see my rankings of the top 5 draft prospects at every position. Below, juniors and draft-eligible sophomores are noted with an asterisk.
Jarvis Jones *
Jones can solidify a very good reputation among evaluators in Indy. His tape is superb. His performance and positional value reflect this ranking, because he combines explosiveness, discipline, relentless pass-rushing ability and great intangibles and effort. He profiles as a 3-4 OLB, but he's also strong against the run and can really cover.
LAST WEEK: 1 | PLAYER CARD
Damontre Moore *
Hard to believe he won't be a productive NFL pass-rusher. He's an extremely good athlete, with great burst, able to turn the corner on even very good tackles. A consistent performer, he got better all season. Adjusted well to playing as a defensive end in a 4-3 scheme. Can add a little weight to his frame without losing quickness. Hand play can improve, but he can really fly.
LAST WEEK: 2 | PLAYER CARD
Luke Joeckel *
A lock to be the first tackle taken, Joeckel has the ability to just swallow up even really good pass-rushers. Has a ton of experience, starting on the left since his freshman season. He can really drive people in the run game, even if he gets questions on how nasty he is as a finisher.
LAST WEEK: 3 | PLAYER CARD
Can't be blocked one-on-one, period. He absorbs so much blocking help and frees up others, but he's not just a clogger, because he can show off a great burst and the ability to destroy plays. Has a great sense for disrupting the run game. Quick off the ball with great upper- and lower-body strength. Coaches rave about him.
LAST WEEK: 4 | PLAYER CARD
Bjoern Werner *
How high is the ceiling? Looking forward to his combine showing. Has great awareness, both as a pass-rusher and as a guy who defends the pass with his hands in the air. Strong, but can really dip to turn the corner, showing great balance. Werner finds a way to disrupt. Reads the game really well, eyes up, which isn't easy to do when you play so fast.
LAST WEEK: 6 | PLAYER CARD