Calm before the storm on Top 25 Big Board By Mel Kiper Jr. ESPN.com (Archive) Updated: December 6, 2007 This time of year is relatively calm on my top 25 Big Board, but once the bowl season is complete and underclassmen start to declare for the 2008 NFL draft then you can expect a brand new look to the board. This week's lone newcomer is Virginia Tech defensive end Chris Ellis. A proven outside pass rusher with a quick first step and good closing speed, Ellis became more of a force in 2007 because of his week-to-week consistency. [+] Enlarge Ned Dishman/Getty Images Senior DE Chris Ellis led the Hokies in sacks (8½ and quarterback hurries (38). 1. Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU (6-2, 292) | Previous: Same Disruptive force along the interior. If there is one non-skill position player fans should watch, Dorsey is the one because, despite constant double-teams, he is always making plays or opening up space for his teammates. 2. Jake Long, OT, Michigan (6-6, 320) | Previous: Same Top-drawer left- or right-tackle prospect. 3. Chris Long, DE, Virginia (6-4, 282) | Previous: Same A 3-4 defensive end with great bloodlines who understands leverage and uses his hands as well as any D-lineman in the country. 4. Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College (6-4, 223) | Previous: Same He has the size and arm to wow the NFL brass during testing. 5. Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC (6-1, 297) | Previous: Same Tampa Bay Bucs-style DT with superior quickness and a nonstop motor. 6. Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville (6-3, 223) Previous: Same Polished pure passer in the Jim Kelly mold. 7. Kentwan Balmer, DT, North Carolina (6-4, 298) | Previous: Same Unbelievably talented player who is primed for a breakout season. 8. Andre' Woodson, QB, Kentucky (6-5, 232) | Previous: Same Big and mobile with a rocket arm. 9. Dan Connor, LB, Penn State (6-2½, 231) | Previous: Same Big-play performer who always seems to be around the ball. 10. Quentin Groves, DE, Auburn (6-3, 251) | Previous: Same Speed rusher with the talent to rank as one of the more feared sack artists in the nation. 11. Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida (5-11½, 202) | Previous: Same He has excellent recovery speed and the toughness you look for in a cornerback. His size allows him to match up with an opponent's No. 1 wide receiver. 12. Sam Baker, OT, USC (6-4½, 310) | Previous: Same Exceptional pass-blocker with superb technique. 13. Ali Highsmith, LB, LSU (6-1, 225) | Previous: Same Showed tremendous potential in 2005 before taking a step back as a junior. Highsmith re-established himself as one of the top linebackers in the SEC. 14. Limas Sweed, WR, Texas (6-4, 217) | Previous: Same TD-maker who plays fast with pads on. Sweed is out for the season following a wrist injury, but he proved his playmaking skills over his career. 15. Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt (6-5½, 318) | Previous: Same Top-drawer talent, possessing superior athleticism and good feet to neutralize outside pass-rushers. 16. Tracy Porter, CB, Indiana (5-10½, 183) | Previous: Same Not only a skilled coverman, but Porter is a dynamic punt returner as well. A four-year starter, Porter has 16 INT in his career. 17. Fred Davis, USC (6-4, 253) | Previous: Same Productive, consistent and multi-talented. He's caught five or more passes in seven of 12 games, while also doing a very capable job as an in-line blocker. Davis stretches the deep middle of the field with big plays, while bringing excellent physical and athletic skills to the tight end spot. 18. Early Doucet, WR, LSU (5-11½, 205) | Previous: Same Super-talented, is LSU's go-to option this season, although he has been slowed by injuries. Still he has the quickness and natural receiving skills to play on the outside or as a slot receiver in the NFL. 19. Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy (5-10½, 185) | Previous: Same Not only a very good cover man with superior recovery ability (runs in the 4.38 range) and the aggressiveness to get the job done in run support, McKelvin has made a name for himself as the top return man in the entire nation. He's also stood out this season in games against the likes of Arkansas, Florida, Oklahoma State and Georgia. With his speed and versatility, McKelvin will bring a great deal of value to a football team. 20. Lawrence Jackson, DE, USC (6-4, 266) | Previous: 23 A strong finish to 2006 carried over to 2007. Jackson is a decen pass-rusher but is solid against the run. He's also strong at the point of attack. 21. Jeff Otah, OT, Pittsburgh (6-5, 339) | Previous: 20 Light on his feet for a huge bookend, Otah is still developing. He played only one year in high school and two at the junior college level. He also played basketball in junior college and is a tremendous athlete. His upside and potential are going to excite offensive line coaches in the NFL. 22. Chris Ellis, DE, Virgina Tech (6-4½, 259) | Previous: Unranked Played with a lot more consistency in 2007. Ellis has 8½ sacks and 38 quarterback hurries heading into the Orange Bowl. 23. Keith Rivers, LB, USC (6-3, 233) | Previous: 21 He has the skill set to become a super blue-chipper. Rivers isn't spectacular, but he's a solid all-around player. 24. Mike Hart, RB, Michigan (5-8, 200) | Previous: 22 He may not look impressive when it comes to size and speed, but Hart is a true gamer. Not only does he take great care of the ball, but Hart is deceptively strong and has been extremely consistent throughout his career. 25. Charles Godfrey, CB, Iowa (6-0½, 208) | Previous: Same A big cover cornerback who has played safety as well. He's one of the fastest corners and has great recovery speed, which is needed in the NFL. DROPPED Lavelle Hawkins, WR, California (5-11, 183) | Previous: 24 Standout performer on offense for the Golden Bears this season. Hawkins has really impressed me with his tremendous burst out of his break, sure hands and big-play ability.