For the latest update of the Big Board, I want to clarify a couple of key points. First of all, this week you're going to see that a few big names have dropped out and it's not strictly performance-related. Jevan Snead, Arrelious Benn and Damian Williams all were previously on the Big Board, and wouldn't have dropped off if not for a change in my methodology.
Here's the change: If a player is a junior who isn't currently in the top 15, I'm going to leave him off. My reasoning is that in the top 15, it's rare to see a junior stay in school. Sure, there are exceptions (Sam Bradford last year, incidentally, is one). Below that point, however, it's really hard to predict. When a kid approaches the draft, the financial disparity has been great enough that a guy who could land at No. 20 could very well stay a year and aim for the top five.
So please keep that in mind. I just don't want to punish a great senior who is a lock for the draft by replacing him with a junior who's likely still on the fence. That said, the top five at each position group -- juniors and seniors -- should give you a better read on juniors who are certainly in the mix to make the NFL jump.
Lastly, people often get confused by what position I have a guy listed as. To clarify, his position is what he's likely to play as a pro. Take a guy like Sergio Kindle, who's used as a pass-rushing end at Texas, or Eric Norwood, who is a great pass-rusher and was added to the board this week. Both project as likely outside linebackers in a 3-4 at the NFL level. This also could happen with a big cornerback who is better suited at safety in the NFL, and so on. (I also get into players and methodology a lot more in Behind the Big Board every week.)
So, now that you're up to speed, on to the latest board.
Sam BradfordQB6-4223 Analysis: Has underrated arm, great feel for position; super-accurate. Last week: No. 1
Eric BerryDB5-11203 Analysis: Ultimate playmaker, in the Ed Reed mold. Last week: No. 2
Ndamukong SuhDT6-4300 Analysis: Explosive, relentless and consistent. Last week: No. 3
Gerald McCoyDT6-4297 Analysis: Disruptive force. Productive NFL career ahead. Last week: No. 4
Carlos DunlapDE6-6290 Analysis: Physical tools are off the charts. Unlimited upside potential. Last week: No. 5