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Insider

Big Board sees big moves

A spot in the top 5 is high for an inside linebacker. But Manti Te'o has been that good. Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

This week is a pretty active one on the Big Board. I introduce a trio of players who are cracking the Board for the first time, as well as shake up the top 5. Falling were the pair of LSU defensive ends. Barkevious Mingo consistently wows with raw talent, and Sam Montgomery is a high-motor player with considerable promise. But the plays they don't make have added up some, and I feel both have been surpassed by another pass-rusher to this point.

As you read below, the scouting perspective will remain similar week to week, but I'll note performance and matchup highlights. Plus, here are my junior prospect rankings and my senior prospect rankings. Juniors and draft-eligible sophomores are noted with an asterisk.




1


Jarvis Jones *

AGE: 23
DOB: 10/13/89
HT: 6-3
WT: 241
POS: OLB


Tkl 36
Sack 5.5
Int 1


Out the past two weeks, he should be fully healthy for the Florida game. When healthy, Jones is an explosive, disciplined, relentless edge rusher who profiles as a 3-4 OLB. He has a quick first step and violent hands; he tackles well and closes fast. Solid against the run and can really cover. LAST WEEK: 1 | PLAYER CARD


2


Matt Barkley

AGE: 22
DOB: 9/8/90
HT: 6-2
WT: 224
POS: QB


Comp 140
Att 213
Pct 65.7
Yds 1,773
TD 22
Int 6


He should not have trouble against the Arizona secondary this week. Diminished totals this year, but Barkley hasn't done much to diminish his stock. He has limitations with physical skills, but he's very good across the board: ball placement, timing, use of his eyes, poise, leadership skills and experience. Great leader.
LAST WEEK: 2 | PLAYER CARD


3


Star Lotulelei

AGE: 22
DOB: 12/20/89
HT: 6-4
WT: 325
POS: DT


Tkl 27
Sack 2.0
Int 0


Amazing that he leads Utah in TFL given the blocking attention he sees. Makes a clear impact every week. Brings consistent, relentless effort. Demands double-teams and clogs the middle of the field. A great sense for disrupting the run game, with power to bull rush. Quick off the ball, with great upper-body strength. Coaches rave.
LAST WEEK: 4 | PLAYER CARD


4


Manti Te'o

AGE: 21
DOB: 1/26/91
HT: 6-2
WT: 255
POS: LB


Tkl 69
Sack 0
Int 4


Notre Dame's survival as an unbeaten team should be in part credited to Te'o. The top interior linebacker in the 2013 draft class, his instincts are exceptional and he can attack the backfield. Te'o is a big, strong, prepared tackling presence in the middle of the field. Reads plays well and gets through traffic.
LAST WEEK: 6 | PLAYER CARD


5


Damontre Moore *

AGE: 21
DOB: 9/11/92
HT: 6-4
WT: 248
POS: DE


Tkl 62
Sack 9.5
Int 0


Roll the tape -- the guy has been impossible to block so far. And not one game where he struggled. Versatile, Moore has adjusted well to playing as a defensive end in a 4-3 scheme. Excels as a pass-rusher, able to dip hips, turn the corner and use quickness and length to bother tackles.
LAST WEEK: 12 | PLAYER CARD