Thursday, May 10, 2012
Four from Pac-12 on Kiper's first Big Board
By ESPN.com staff
Both ESPN draft gurus, Mel Kiper and Todd McShay, believe the Pac-12 will produce the top overall pick in the NFL draft for a second consecutive year next spring. They, however, don't agree on who it will be.
McShay probably surprised some last week when he ranked Utah DT Star Lotulelei No. 1. Kiper came back this week and ranked USC QB Matt Barkley No. 1.
Kiper on Barkley:
Would have battled Robert Griffin III to be No. 2 QB taken had he been in the 2012 draft. Will have very good competition to be the No. 1 QB taken in 2013. Strong, but not a huge arm; very good accuracy, poise, leadership skills and a ton of experience. Improvement each year, expanding his skill-set.
Kiper has four Pac-12 players, including Barkley, in his top 25. He has USC WR Robert Woods at No. 7, Lotulelei at No. 9 and California receiver Keenan Allen at No. 18.
He writes this about Lotulelei:
Demands a double-team, clogging up the middle of the field. A great sense for how to disrupt the run game, with power to bull rush and penetrate. Explodes off the ball, with great upper body strength.
He also has an interesting comment about Allen:
Would have been a great safety, too. Strong hands, catches the ball with ease. Sets up defenders, sees the field well, settling in creases against zones. Not a total burner, but can sell short routes and break deep. Great run-after-catch skills.