First 2013 NFL draft Big Board
In a Big Board dominated by underclassmen, East Lansing is well-represented
The first Big Board of the years draws from a pool of about 40 to 50 players. So to get a glimpse of some guys that were right on the edge for me, I've also put together a list of 20 other players right on the edge of the first Big Board for 2013, and also went through about 50 names here.
A lot can happen in a college football season, but over the last few years, of the top 10 guys on this first list of the year (54 weeks away from the draft) about 50 percent have gone on to be top-10 picks. (Andrew Luck was in the group twice.) Remember, I'd expect a few of the guys listed here as underclassmen to return. This list is about current draft stock, but it's no guarantee a guy will come out, or where he will be taken. As always, juniors and draft-eligible sophomores are noted with an asterisk. Please consider the descriptions, which will discuss context in many cases. That said, let's begin the debate for the 2013 NFL draft.
More Kiper content:Podcast: Big Board breakdown | Players who just missed | Top 5 seniors | Top 5 juniors
Would have battled Robert Griffin III to be No. 2 QB taken had he been in the 2012 draft. Will have very good competition to be the No. 1 QB taken in 2013. Strong, but not a huge arm; very good accuracy, poise, leadership skills and a ton of experience. Improvement each year, expanding his skill-set.
Explosive, relentless edge rusher, profiles well as a 3-4 OLB. Great first step, violent hands, extremely good burst off the snap, tackles well, closes fast. Could improve against run, but coaches there also tell me people don't realize how well he can cover.
Exceptional length, still adding refinement, but he's well past a mere "athlete" label. Very good pass rusher, able to use speed to get up the field and turn the corner. Still learning concepts after late start in football, but reads game well given lack of experience. Upside city.
Elite size, elite arm strength, and still scratching the surface as a passer. Overlooked: has very good mechanics. Can drive the ball downfield, but displays nice touch. Accuracy and the ability to work through reads are areas of development. Working hard off the field. New O-line this year.
Lacks the frame of a 4-3 DE at next level, but could still get there, because his frame can handle it. Athleticism and rush skills are there, underrated against the run. Max-effort player, natural athlete, instinctive pass-rusher. Can he drop hips as a LB at next level? Still a lot of projection left.
To see the rest of Mel Kiper's first 2013 NFL draft Big Board, you must be an ESPN Insider.
MORE NFL HEADLINES
- Blount: Happy release led to return to Pats
- Bills land in Detroit, finally able to practice
- Freebie? Jets-Bills tickets in Detroit are free
- Gruden: 'Clock's ticking' on struggling RG III
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
The NFL on ESPN.com