- Kevin Gemmell, ESPN Staff Writer
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Mel Kiper Jr.'s latest Big Board, which looks at his top 25 NFL prospects, is out. And the prospects of a strong first-round for the Pac-12 is looking better and better. Two unranked players from last week are back in the top 25 -- Stanford tight end Zach Ertz and UCLA defensive end Datone Jones. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean they'll be first-round picks. But their stock -- and the stocks of other Pac-12 players -- seem to be trending up as the draft looms next week.
Here's a look at the Pac-12 players on this week's Big Board along with some comments from Kiper.
Oregon's Dion Jordan moves up from No. 6 last week to No. 5 this week.
Will be a dynamic 3-4 outside linebacker if he stays healthy. Elite speed and range for his size and he's alleviated some questions about whether he can cover, even as he profiles as a very good pass-rusher.
Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei stays at No. 7.
Tape shows a player who can't be blocked in the run game one-on-one, period -- but he's not a very good pass-rusher. He absorbs so much blocking help and frees up others, but he's not just a clogger, because he can show off a burst that he marries to a great sense for disrupting the run game in the backfield.
Ertz returns to the Big Board at No. 23. And for those of you who like the Sport Science clips, here's Ertz's turn with the crew.
Good speed given the length he provides, Ertz can stretch the seam, but knows the route tree and can work underneath and the sidelines. He's a hands-catcher, and goes out to get the ball, keeping defenders at bay.
Jones checks in right after Ertz at No. 24.
A versatile defender who gets a great burst off the snap and can clear blockers quickly, a reason he piled up 19.0 TFL. He has really good feet, allowing him to not look like a big DT who can't wrap up shifty runners. Pretty quick, he'll chase plays down.
When you factor in that Washington's Desmond Trufant probably goes in the first round -- and there's still an outside shot that USC quarterback Matt Barkley or Cal wide receiver Keenan Allen (or both) sneak into the top 32 -- the conference could potentially have six or seven first-round picks.