- Mel Kiper Jr., Football analyst
It's actually a little hard not to overreact to the first glimpses of the season. Based on what I know a player has been working on, or areas he's improved upon over the summer, it's sort of your instinct to see a great play as a product of growth, or the flipside, a poor performance as evidence of some plateau effect.
So I try to stay pretty conservative when it comes to any initial moves on the Board. Logan Thomas struggled a bit, while Corey Lemonier showed a lot. Le'Veon Bell played his way back on, while a couple of guys dipped on struggles. But a greater sample size is needed, which is why I'm looking forward to a lot more. Regarding my comments: You'll see I don't like to shift the scouting perspective on guys unless real changes on the field require it, because above all, this is a list based on my current scouting reports. I will discuss recent performances that change my views on a kid, or matchups I'm looking forward to.
If there's a player you don't see here, but want some feedback on, I find some time to respond on Twitter. Hit me @MelKiperESPN. Juniors and draft-eligible sophomores are noted with an asterisk.
Given what he's working with, Barkley should pile up huge totals. Won't wow evaluators with physical skills, but sound across the board; very good accuracy, poise, leadership skills and a ton of experience. Has improved every year, expanding his skill set.
LAST WEEK: 1 | PLAYER CARD
Jarvis Jones *
Off to a fast start, Jones is an explosive, relentless edge rusher for Georgia, and profiles as a 3-4 OLB. Jones has a quick first step and violent hands, tackles well and closes fast. Could improve against the run, but he can really cover, which many don't know. LAST WEEK: NA | PLAYER CARD
Barkevious Mingo *
Will be chasing an athletic QB this weekend. Mingo uses exceptional length and a lightning first step to turn the corner. Pass-rush skills are there, but could diversify. Still learning concepts after late start in football, but reads game well given lack of experience.
LAST WEEK: NA | PLAYER CARD
Sam Montgomery *
Like Mingo, Montgomery doesn't quite have the size of a 4-3 DE at next level, but he's gotten closer, and his frame can handle it. Athleticism and pass-rush skills are there, and he really holds up against the run. Max-effort player, natural athlete, instinctive rusher. Still a lot of projection left.
LAST WEEK: 5 | PLAYER CARD
Johnathan Hankins *
Started 2012 where he left off, showing explosive first step for a big man. Size allows him to drive blockers into the backfield. Big as a 3-4 nose tackle, but agile enough to be moved around. Very disruptive force on the line, and will draw double-teams all season.
LAST WEEK: 6 | PLAYER CARD
After a hot start, Matt Barkley hasn't moved on the Big Board, but QB Logan Thomas takes a small step back. Ohio State D-tackle Johnathan Hankins may be the best one in the class.