- Mel Kiper Jr., Football analyst
A quarterback has been taken No. 1 overall in the NFL draft in each of the past four years and 10 of the past 12 years. And among those 12 seasons, not once has a QB not been taken among the first three picks. I can make no promises that the trend will change, but this is about as unsettled a QB class as we've seen in recent years. This week, Matt Barkley drops out of my top 10 overall prospects for the first time this season. Geno Smith sits at No. 12. While positional scarcity could push them back up during the draft process, it's fair to say we're still looking for a QB in the 2013 draft class to make sure the draft trends remain.
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.
Jarvis Jones *
He's been on an utter tear since getting his strength back after a groin injury. This 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
Te'o and the Irish had their struggles against Pitt, but managed to hang on. Really. 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: 2 | PLAYER CARD
Helped shut down WSU last week, he makes a clear impact every week, and absorbs so much blocking help. 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 about him.
LAST WEEK: 3 | PLAYER CARD
Damontre Moore *
Huge showcase game for Moore this week as they head to Tuscaloosa. There's not a single recent game in which he has 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: 4 | PLAYER CARD
Luke Joeckel *
He and Jake Matthews are as dominant a tandem as there is in the country. Joeckel a lot of experience -- he's started on the left since his freshman season. Joeckel is best in pass protection and won't get rattled by speed or secondary moves at this level. Not an elite athlete, but he's a good technician and can move better than most guys his size.
LAST WEEK: 5 | PLAYER CARD
New prospects Terrance Williams, Eric Fisher and Jake Matthews enter the Big Board, while Manti Te'o rises to No. 2 overall.