Top 25 NFL prospects

The Big Board has a new top WR plus a pair of new pass-rushers

Originally Published: November 28, 2012
By Mel Kiper Jr. | ESPN Insider
Jarvis JonesJeff Vest/Icon SMISee you Saturday.

When a player cracks this list, I've already spent a lot of time evaluating tape and gathering insights on him. But that doesn't mean matchups such as Saturday when Georgia battles Alabama aren't important. They matter because you just don't often get to see really high-level prospects go one-on-one with each other. But you'll see that this weekend, particularly when the Bama O-line faces the Georgia defensive line. More than a handful of guys in the trenches on those plays are potential first-day draft picks. And that's just the start. UCLA-Stanford has great matchups, as do other conference title games. It'll be a fun weekend.

As you read below, the scouting perspective will remain similar week to week, but I'll note performance and matchup highlights. 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 71
Sack 10.5
Int 1

Should be absolutely shot out of a cannon against Bama. I'll be interested to see how the Dawgs line him up, stunt and vary his attack angles. Explosive, disciplined, relentless edge rusher who profiles as a 3-4 OLB and doesn't need to come off the field. A quick first step, violent hands, tackles well and closes fast. Solid against the run and can really cover.

LAST WEEK: 1 | PLAYER CARD

2
Manti Te'o
AGE: 21
DOB: 1/26/91
HT: 6-2
WT: 255
POS: LB
Tkl 103
Sack 1.5
Int 7

One of the best seasons from an interior linebacker I can remember. Has exceptional instincts, a ton of experience and the ability to read the game. Can attack the backfield. Te'o is a big, strong, prepared tackling presence in the middle of the field. With off-the-charts intangibles, he is the future leader of an NFL defense.

LAST WEEK: 2 | PLAYER CARD

3
Star Lotulelei
AGE: 22
DOB: 12/20/89
HT: 6-4
WT: 325
POS: DT
Tkl 42
Sack 5.0
Int 0

Consistently at the center of what opposing offenses must work around, he absorbs so much blocking help and frees others up. Clogs the middle of the field but creates his own push. A great sense for disrupting the run game. Quick off the ball with great upper- and lower-body strength. Coaches rave.

LAST WEEK: 3 | PLAYER CARD

4
Damontre Moore *
AGE: 20
DOB: 9/11/92
HT: 6-4
WT: 248
POS: DE
Tkl 80
Sack 12.5
Int 0

Tied for second nationally in TFL and brings it against good competition. Consistent performer. The 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

5
Luke Joeckel *
AGE: 21
DOB: 11/6/91
HT: 6-6
WT: 310
POS: OT
GP 12
GS 12

The definition of steady, he can just disappear good pass-rushers; there's just no hole in his approach. He has a lot of experience, starting on the left since his freshman season. Best in pass protection and won't get rattled by speed or secondary moves at this level. Not an elite athlete but moves really well.

LAST WEEK: 5 | PLAYER CARD


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Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst