Monday, March 4, 2013
Checking in on latest NFL draft big board
By Andrea Adelson
With the NFL combine done and gone, it is time to check in on the latest Big Board from ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. to see how the top ACC prospects rank.
Kiper has a new top-rated ACC player.
North Carolina offensive guard Jonathan Cooper is now ranked ahead of Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner. Cooper ranks No. 10, holding steady after a good performance at the combine last week. Werner, previously rated No. 5, dropped to No. 11 after a performance Kiper described as "a little stiff." But Kiper also added, "That said, Werner still has tremendous upside to go along with a season of consistent production."
Another ACC player made a big jump in the big board -- North Carolina defensive tackle Sylvester Williams, up seven spots to No. 13. Kiper says, "He looks squat, but he's really quick off the ball. Williams has a knack for jumping the snap; his burst can be disruptive."
Fellow ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay also redid his Top 32 . Cooper also is rated his top prospect from the ACC, moving up five spots to No. 11. Of Cooper, McShay says, "Cooper is the best blocker in space in this class and would be a perfect fit in a zone-blocking scheme."
Werner checks in at No. 14, moving down five spots. Williams also moved down three spots to No. 18.
No matter who ranks where, Cooper, Werner and Williams are clearly the consensus Top 3 ACC players and should be shoo-ins to go in the first round. The ACC also had three first-round picks last year.
Now here is some NFL draft trivia for you: the last time North Carolina had two-first round draft picks was 2002, when Julius Peppers went No. 2 overall and Ryan Sims went No. 6 overall. The last time the Noles had a Top 10 pick was in 2006, when Ernie Sims went No. 9 overall to the Lions.
For more draft ratings, check out Kiper's Top 5 players by position . NC State quarterback Mike Glennon, once Kiper's top-rated quarterback, is now No. 3 after uneven showings during the combine and Senior Bowl. Also of note: Wolfpack teammates David Amerson and Earl Wolff appear to be on the rise.