Thursday, March 15, 2012
Top 32: Pac-12 players moving up
By Kevin Gemmell
The see-saw analysis of the NFL draft continues. This week, Todd McShay was considerably generous when dealing with the Pac-12 in his Top 32.
Naturally, there was no movement at No. 1, where Stanford's Andrew Luck has and will continue to hold the top spot until draft day. USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil was the only Pac-12 player to drop in McShay's Top 32 -- though it wasn't too drastic of a fall. Kalil moved from No. 2 on McShay's board to No. 3, paving the way for Robert Griffin III to move into the No. 2 spot and presumably to the Washington Redskins, who paid a hefty price for the honor of drafting second.
McShay on Kalil: Kalil's showing in Indianapolis blew the rest of the offensive tackle class out of the water. He is a potential franchise left tackle with a combination of size, balance, light feet and finishing ability. It will be hard for the Vikings to avoid him with the third overall pick.
The Stanford offensive line duo of David DeCastro (OG) and Jonathan Martin (OT) both saw upward movement -- DeCastro up three spots to No. 13 and Martin up from 24 to 22. USC defensive end Nick Perry, who was previously unranked, checks in at No. 29 this week.
McShay on Perry: Perry shows a good first step and active hands, is stout at the point of attack, flashes solid pass-rush skills and could even transition to a 3-4 outside linebacker.
McShay's frequent debate partner, Mel Kiper, has only three Pac-12 players on his latest Big Board. Luck at No. 1 and he also slots Kalil in the No. 3 spot this week. DeCastro drops from 13 to 15 and again, Martin is nowhere to be found on Kiper's board.
Finally, Kiper also updated his top 5 draft prospects by position. Luck and ASU's Brock Osweiler highlight the quarterbacks and LaMichael James is now the No. 2 running back prospect according to Kiper.
Stanford tight end Coby Fleener assumes the top spot among the tight ends in Kiper's eyes.
Kiper on Fleener: This is now Fleener's group to lead. He has come on, and I now have him as a guy who could crack the first round
Other ranked players include USC fullback Rhett Ellison, Kalil, Martin, DeCastro, Perry, Cal linebacker Mychal Kendricks, ASU linebacker Vontaze Burfict and Cal punter Bryan Anger.