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Kiper's top 25 Big Board 3/20

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by tm1119, Mar 20, 2014.

  1. tm1119

    tm1119 Well-Known Member

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    1
    Jadeveon Clowney *

    AGE: 21
    DOB: 2/14/93
    HT: 6-5
    WT: 266
    POS: DE


    Tkl 41
    Sack 3.0
    Int 0
    Clowney's outstanding workouts at the NFL combine -- the 4.53 40 and a ridiculous 1.56 10-yard split time -- did nothing to hurt his stock, and now it'll just come down to how he handles interviews and answers teams' questions about his work ethic. As a player, he's special. He isn't just a speed rusher looking to beat a tackle upfield and quickly turn the corner. He has strength as well, and as a speed-to-power rusher who can drive a tackle back, Clowney can be great. He'll go through you, and he can succeed in any scheme. Team needs will factor into where he lands in the draft.

    PREVIOUS RANK: No. 1 | PLAYER CARD


    2
    Greg Robinson **

    AGE: 21
    DOB: 10/21/92
    HT: 6-5
    WT: 332
    POS: OT


    GP 14
    GS 14
    He belongs here, it's just a question of whether he gets drafted here. The remarkable thing with Robinson is his growth curve. Brought in as a guard, he started at left tackle in the SEC as a redshirt freshman and held his own. In 2013, he was dominant, with increased strength making him closer to the complete package at tackle. He moves well, can get out in the run game and block in space, and pass protects well with a wide base and quick feet. He also has long arms and delivers a solid punch. A future star.

    PREVIOUS RANK: No. 2 | PLAYER CARD


    3
    Khalil Mack

    AGE: 22
    DOB: 2/22/91
    HT: 6-3
    WT: 251
    POS: OLB


    Tkl 100
    Sack 11.0
    Int 3
    Mack's stock is set. It's about versatility as much as his pass rush. You see Mack lining up both at the line and on the perimeter. He is capable of rushing the passer with quickness and power, or dropping into coverage with a great ability to shed tackles and make plays in the open field. He uses good leverage to take on blocks and drive people back, and uses quickness and strong hands to shed. He plays with a great motor and tackles with form.

    PREVIOUS RANK: No. 3 | PLAYER CARD


    4
    Sammy Watkins *

    AGE: 20
    DOB: 6/14/93
    HT: 6-1
    WT: 211
    POS: WR


    Rec 101
    Yds 1,464
    Avg 14.5
    TD 12
    Watkins plays bigger than he measures, runs bigger than his listed size, and has always had explosive speed. He fights through contact to make plays for the ball, and once he has it, he's devastating after the catch. Watkins blends polish with a high level of explosiveness and can turn catches on the edges or between the hashes into big plays. He accelerates with ease and displays top-end speed. There have been occasional concentration issues, but that shouldn't hurt much.

    PREVIOUS RANK: No. 4 | PLAYER CARD

    5
    Jake Matthews

    AGE: 22
    DOB: 2/11/92
    HT: 6-5
    WT: 308
    POS: OT


    GP 13
    GS 13
    Matthews has a ton of experience and a feisty, competitive nature. He is a very good pass protector, with good balance, feet and hand use, and he plays prepared as an intense worker who carries great NFL bloodlines; his father, brother and two cousins have played in the league. I also like his ability to finish in the run game, where he shows off a nasty streak. If it weren't for Robinson and Taylor Lewan, Matthews would be easily this draft's best left tackle, which is where I still project him (depending on whether he goes to a team that actually values left over right).

    PREVIOUS RANK: No. 5 | PLAYER CARD


    6
    Mike Evans **

    AGE: 20
    DOB: 8/21/93
    HT: 6-5
    WT: 231
    POS: WR


    Rec 69
    Yds 1,394
    Avg 20.2
    TD 12
    Evans is seen as a true difference-maker, that WR you can't really cover. No player in the draft is better on contested throws, and every quarterback wants a target like this. Evans uses his reach, jumping ability and long frame to beat shorter defenders like a good rebounder (and he was a good rebounder on the basketball court). I've been concerned about his off-the-line quickness, but he clearly has good top-end speed. Evans also could be a versatile threat -- used on the edge or in the slot to create matchup problems -- because you simply can't defend his size. Seems likely to land in the top 10 now.

    PREVIOUS RANK: No. 6 | PLAYER CARD

    7
    Taylor Lewan

    AGE: 22
    DOB: 7/21/91
    HT: 6-7
    WT: 309
    POS: OT


    GP 13
    GS 13
    It's possible Lewan would have rated higher than any tackle in last year's draft, and he could be the second tackle taken this year. Lewan has great length and above-average athleticism (he showed well in Indy). What I really like is the improved play as a run-blocker; he has strength in his lower half and a mean streak as a finisher. Lewan moves his feet well and mirrors effectively in pass protection, with an improved punch. He displays the awareness of a player who has started since his freshman season.

    PREVIOUS RANK: No. 7 | PLAYER CARD


    8
    Eric Ebron *

    AGE: 20
    DOB: 4/10/93
    HT: 6-4
    WT: 250
    POS: TE


    Rec 62
    Yds 973
    Avg 15.7
    TD 3
    Ebron has bulked up to 250 pounds, but still has special skills as a pass-catcher. He has the length and flexibility to haul in anything you throw his way, is often split out, and can make plays after the catch. He has the size to overwhelm cornerbacks and most safeties, good burst and above-average straight-line speed. He can go up and get the ball and does a good job of catching it with his hands away from his body. An adequate blocker, he's added size to improve there without losing speed.

    PREVIOUS RANK: No. 8 | PLAYER CARD

    9
    Anthony Barr

    AGE: 22
    DOB: 3/18/92
    HT: 6-5
    WT: 255
    POS: DE


    Tkl 66
    Sack 10.0
    Int 0
    Barr has dipped a bit on some boards, but to me it's more reflective of what others did to move ahead of him. I'm not sure the tape is quite as potent as the totals this year, but given that, Barr has been a disruptive pass-rushing force, and I felt he became a more complete player in 2013. He has a decent arsenal of moves, using quick feet and hands to free himself, and he's disciplined against the run. I love how well he pursues, even when the play runs away from him. A former fullback, he has a powerful lower half and a long frame and reach.

    PREVIOUS RANK: No. 9 | PLAYER CARD


    10
    Teddy Bridgewater *

    AGE: 21
    DOB: 11/10/92
    HT: 6-2
    WT: 214
    POS: QB


    Comp 303
    Att 427
    Pct 71.0
    Yds 3,970
    TD 31
    Int 4
    Bridgewater is poised and smart, and he's the QB in this draft class who most regularly made throws with good timing and anticipation last season. He throws to spots and openings, not just to open targets. Bridgewater blends enough arm strength to drive the ball into tight windows, with touch to drop the ball into holes in coverage. He adjusts his velocity really well, depending on the depth and location of the pass. He does a good job pre-snap, gets through his progressions and often scans the whole field. Ball placement is consistently good.

    PREVIOUS RANK: No. 10 | PLAYER CARD


    11
    Blake Bortles *

    AGE: 22
    DOB: 12/16/91
    HT: 6-5
    WT: 232
    POS: QB


    Comp 259
    Att 382
    Pct 67.8
    Yds 3,581
    TD 25
    Int 9
    Bortles is the guy with the tools you want to develop -- an enticing blend of the size you traditionally look for at quarterback with the athleticism that is now coveted across the NFL as more offenses put mobility to good use. He has the work ethic that will get more people to believe in his ceiling. He has sound, if rigid, mechanics, and shows poise and good footwork in the pocket. He has average arm strength but gets it down the field. The big issue is inconsistent ball placement; he can ask a lot of his wide receivers.

    PREVIOUS RANKING: No. 11 | PLAYER CARD


    12
    Johnny Manziel **

    AGE: 21
    DOB: 12/6/92
    HT: 6-0
    WT: 207
    POS: QB


    Comp 300
    Att 429
    Pct 69.9
    Yds 4,114
    TD 37
    Int 13
    I'm waiting until Manziel's pro day next week (March 27) before finalizing my QB rankings. I have my questions about Manziel, but I'll contend that the modern NFL is a good fit for a player with his skill set. His ability to move, improvise and make throws off platform are all special traits, but he's also an effective pocket passer when he wants to be. He anticipates well and sees the whole field, and though he doesn't have great arm strength, he can make special throws with touch and precision both from the pocket and on the move. He would deliver strikes with more velocity if he kept his feet underneath him consistently. The concern is durability and a desire to "escape" even a clean pocket. He must show patience with his legs.

    PREVIOUS RANKING: No. 12 | PLAYER CARD


    13
    C.J. Mosley

    AGE: 21
    DOB: 6/19/92
    HT: 6-2
    WT: 234
    POS: LB


    Tkl 106
    Sack 0
    Int 0
    Mosley has great versatility. As a run defender, he has great feet, instincts, hands, discipline and tackling explosiveness, and then you factor in that he has probably the best cover skills of any linebacker in the draft. What you get is a player who never has to come off the field. He flies to the ball, tackles and scrapes effectively, getting off blocks to make a ton of plays. He simply needs to get a bit stronger and use good leverage going downhill against the run. He should be best on the weak side.

    PREVIOUS RANK: No. 13 | PLAYER CARD

    14
    Justin Gilbert

    AGE: 22
    DOB: 11/7/91
    HT: 6-0
    WT: 202
    POS: CB


    Tkl 42
    Sack 0
    Int 7
    Gilbert's athlete credentials are strong, and he also had a great season. On the field, he combines short-area quickness to adjust to routes and open-field speed to run with (or past) any receiver. He has enough size and strength to redirect routes at the line and can then flip his hips and run with anybody; he rarely allows much separation. Good ball skills and hands are evident both in coverage and the return game. Given the need at the position, it's not out of the question that he lands in the top 10.

    PREVIOUS RANK: No. 14 | PLAYER CARD

    15
    Brandin Cooks *

    AGE: 20
    DOB: 9/25/93
    HT: 5-10
    WT: 189
    POS: WR


    Rec 128
    Yds 1,730
    Avg 13.5
    TD 16
    Cooks has been the star of the draft process, backing up a season in which he couldn't be covered. He destroyed the combine. The small but explosive receiver ran a blazing 4.33, but also dominated in the agility drills and showed a great vertical to go with pretty good strength for a player his size. In fact, he now looks like a slightly more athletic version of Tavon Austin, and Austin was a top-10 pick last year. Cooks won't go as high, but it's fair to say the combine numbers match the ridiculous productivity.

    PREVIOUS RANKING: No. 15 | PLAYER CARD


    16
    Aaron Donald

    AGE: 22
    DOB: 5/23/91
    HT: 6-1
    WT: 285
    POS: DT


    GP 13
    GS 13
    No player has jumped as much during the postseason, and he moved up another five spots in our rankings this week. He led the country in tackles for loss, then went to Mobile and was a star at the Senior Bowl against very good competition; then he went to Indy and ran 4.65 in the 40 at 285 pounds, and also threw in 35 reps in the bench press for good measure. And the combine totals, athleticism and power match up perfectly with how he played in 2013, with a blend of quickness and power to run through and around blocks, creating constant problems for offenses. Now, he's a likely mid-first round pick.

    PREVIOUS RANKING: No. 21 | PLAYER CARD

    17
    Odell Beckham Jr. *

    AGE: 21
    DOB: 11/5/92
    HT: 5-11
    WT: 198
    POS: WR


    Rec 59
    Yds 1,152
    Avg 19.5
    TD 8
    Another riser, Beckham now has a chance to be the No. 3 WR taken. He had a good combine (not as good as Cooks had), but the tape is great. What first catches your eye with Beckham is the speed, with a potent initial burst off the line and then a good second gear to reach full speed quickly. But the pass-catching skills are also good because not only does Beckham create good separation underneath, but he'll also make plays in traffic, snatching the ball away from his body and then transitioning immediately into a dangerous runner after the catch. I think he can land inside the top 20.

    PREVIOUS RANK: No. 17 | PLAYER CARD

    18
    Timmy Jernigan *

    AGE: 21
    DOB: 9/24/92
    HT: 6-2
    WT: 299
    POS: DT


    Tkl 53
    Sack 5.0
    Int 0
    Jernigan was a little underwhelming in his combine workouts but didn't raise any red flags. He could be the most versatile interior lineman in the draft but seems best as a 3-technique. I love his great sense for how to disrupt the run game in particular. He could be quicker off the snap, but he makes up for it with leverage, violent hands and quick feet to both drive blockers backward and free himself to penetrate. He is a former defensive end who brings a lot of quickness to the inside and shows off good speed in pursuit.

    PREVIOUS RANK: No. 16 | PLAYER CARD

    19
    Darqueze Dennard

    AGE: 22
    DOB: 10/10/91
    HT: 5-11
    WT: 199
    POS: CB


    Tkl 62
    Sack 0
    Int 4
    Dennard can rest easy on good workouts, good tape and plenty of good reports from those he has been coached by or played with. He's the most versatile defensive back in the draft, with proven skill in any area of coverage. Dennard can play up and redirect routes, or off in zone and make plays in front of him. He'll blanket even really good receivers in man-to-man, and he turns his head well to avoid penalties for not showing ball awareness, given how tightly he can play in coverage. It's all there.

    PREVIOUS RANK: No. 18 | PLAYER CARD

    20
    Zack Martin

    AGE: 23
    DOB: 11/20/90
    HT: 6-4
    WT: 308
    POS: OT


    GP 13
    GS 13
    A good Senior Bowl and a solid combine have Martin in a good spot. He has easy feet and he engages defenders, both mirroring and moving them with good hands. Versatility is a plus for Martin, as he can handle left tackle or right tackle (or guard in a pinch). Martin is a great competitor who absorbs power well for a tackle with shorter arms, but he also handles speed pretty effectively because of his quick feet. The arms could make him a likelier bet to move off the left side, but experience and versatility will keep him in Round 1.

    PREVIOUS RANKING: No. 19 | PLAYER CARD

    21
    Marqise Lee *

    AGE: 22
    DOB: 11/25/91
    HT: 6-0
    WT: 192
    POS: WR


    Rec 57
    Yds 791
    Avg 13.9
    TD 4
    Lee is the kind of receiver you draft with slight questions on ceiling but a high degree of certainty regarding immediate impact. He has exceptional fluidity in and out of breaks, and in changing directions after the catch. His quickness in short areas allows him to create space and big plays after the catch. He has reliable hands outside of the occasional drop and is a very good route runner -- accelerating without wasted motion. He plays bigger than his size on contested passes, with a physical style.

    PREVIOUS RANK: No. 20 | PLAYER CARD


    22
    Calvin Pryor *

    AGE: 21
    DOB: 7/2/92
    HT: 5-11
    WT: 207
    POS: S


    Tkl 75
    Sack 0
    Int 3
    He's a first-round lock, but whether he's the first safety taken is a question of preference. Safety is a major position of need, and Pryor finished his season with a string of good performances. He displays the ability to cover significant ground in coverage with anticipation and speed, as well as a willingness to come downhill and make plays at the line of scrimmage. He gets great reviews from ex-Louisville coach Charlie Strong, and he should battle Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to be the top safety taken.

    PREVIOUS RANK: No. 23 | PLAYER CARD


    23
    Ha Ha Clinton-Dix *

    AGE: 21
    DOB: 12/21/92
    HT: 6-1
    WT: 208
    POS: S


    Tkl 50
    Sack 0
    Int 2
    Clinton-Dix is instinctive and fluid, and he can play Cover 1, getting to the ball even against teams looking to exploit him by working the perimeter. He reads the quarterback well and can accelerate or turn quickly to make plays in any direction. While he won't be defined by physical play, he's certainly not afraid to fly downhill and make a play close to the line of scrimmage. That said, his ability to anticipate, take great angles and cover could help almost any defense. He is long and explosive.

    PREVIOUS RANK: No. 24 | PLAYER CARD


    24
    Ryan Shazier *

    AGE: 21
    DOB: 9/6/92
    HT: 6-1
    WT: 237
    POS: OLB


    Tkl 142
    Sack 6.0
    Int 0
    Versatile, quick, instinctive and a strong tackler, Shazier lacks size, but he balances a physical style with the ability to make plays across the field. He anticipates quickly and attacks plays in the backfield but also will track tight ends and running backs in coverage with the burst and agility to stay with them. In the mold of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Lavonte David, Shazier is a linebacker who looks like an oversized safety but does a great job of tracking and making tackles.

    PREVIOUS RANK: No. 25 | PLAYER CARD


    25
    Chris Borland

    AGE: 22
    DOB: 4/2/91
    HT: 5-11
    WT: 248
    POS: ILB


    Tkl 111
    Sack 4.0
    Int 0
    Borland makes his debut on the Big Board this week. If you look at him purely from a physical and athletic standpoint, you wouldn't consider Borland a first-round pick, but the tape tells another story. Borland isn't just a clean-up tackler, he's an instinctive attacker of the backfield and a relentlessly instinctive player who can get on the field right away and make plays. I know there are teams that have a first-round grade on him.

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