For the first time since the day before the 2012 NFL draft, the Big Board also corresponds with a draft projection. You've probably already checked out my first mock draft for 2013, but that also makes this ranking of prospects more useful, because now you can get a better sense of where draft needs line up with value. Again, the Big Board does not indicate a prediction of where a prospect will be taken, only where I see his current draft value.
As you read below, the scouting perspective will remain similar week to week unless I make changes to my evaluation of a player, but I'll note recent observations as they now enter another stage of the evaluation phase. Please also see my rankings of the top 5 draft prospects at every position. Juniors and draft-eligible sophomores are noted with an asterisk.
MORE KIPER CONTENT:
Jarvis Jones *
Jones now enters a draft process that I think might reveal to teams the full range of his skills. His performance and positional value reflect this position so far, as he combines explosiveness, discipline, relentless pass-rushing ability and great intangibles and effort. He profiles as a 3-4 OLB, but doesn't need to come off the field because he's also strong against the run and can really cover.
LAST WEEK: 1 | PLAYER CARD
Damontre Moore *
I'm pleased he's in the draft, as he was right to take advantage of a great season. He's an athlete, but the production really jumps out. Consistent performer. 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 beat tackles.
LAST WEEK: 2 | PLAYER CARD
Luke Joeckel *
Joeckel consistently neutralizes good pass-rushers. There's very little to not like. He has a ton of experience, starting on the left since his freshman season. He can really drive people in the run game, even if he gets questions on how nasty he is as a finisher. The feeling now is he's a safe bet to be the first OT taken.
LAST WEEK: 3 | PLAYER CARD
The profile hasn't changed much all year. Lotulelei is ready to be an impact NFL defensive tackle. He absorbs so much blocking help and frees others up, but he's not just a clogger, because he can show off a great burst and the ability to destroy plays. Has a great sense for disrupting the run game. Quick off the ball with great upper- and lower-body strength. Coaches rave about him.
LAST WEEK: 4 | PLAYER CARD
Warmack was the best O-lineman on his team, which says a lot considering how stacked the Bama O-line was. He simply takes defenders where he wants them to go, utilizing great power and quicks. A dominant run-blocker, Warmack isn't just massive, but also moves well, with initial power in tight spaces and the ability to seek out LBs on the second level.
LAST WEEK: 5 | PLAYER CARD