Barkley rises, Burfict falls on draft board

November, 10, 2011
11/10/11
11:19
AM ET
There aren't many changes on Mel Kiper's "Big Board," but fellow ESPN NFL draft guru Todd McShay has two Pac-12 players going in opposite directions on his board.

First, USC quarterback Matt Barkley moved up from 18 to 10 on McShay's list of the top 32 NFL draft prospects.

Writes McShay:

He continues to rise in part because of his impressive consistency. The closer we get to the draft, the more quarterbacks start to rise, and Barkley has done nothing to hurt his stock. His tools aren't elite, but he's getting better at all the little things to get the most out of his ability.


Going the other way is Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who slips from 10 to 16. Writes McShay:

In terms of natural ability, Burfict is clearly in the top 10. But as teams look more closely on consistency and mental makeup of players, there are enough questions about Burfict's inconsistent play, erratic behavior and lack of discipline on the field to raise concerns.


McShay also dropped Washington defensive tackle Alameda Ta'amu from his board. He had been at No. 16.

McShay thinks highly of Stanford. He now has four Cardinal in his top-32, adding tight end Coby Fleener at No. 32 this week.

Fleener is much faster than most think, is tough as nails and keeps showing up in big spots. He makes all the tough catches in clutch situations, and although he's not an elite athlete, there are plenty of productive NFL starters with the same skill set. Fleener has some of the same characteristics that make Jason Witten a quality player; he's just not as big.


McShay has this to say about Stanford guard David DeCastro, who is rated 18th.

If guards were valued as much as tackles, DeCastro would be a higher pick than his teammate Martin. There's nothing DeCastro can't do, and he's ready to start in the NFL right now.


Kiper has Pac-12 players in this order: 1. Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, 2. USC tackle Matt Kalil; 7. Stanford tackle Jonathan Martin; 10. Barkley; 15. Burfict.

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