Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Mel Kiper Jr.'s position rankings
By Kevin Gemmell
Yesterday we brought you the latest mock draft updates from Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay and as you can see from the post, there are as many as six Pac-12 players who could go in the first round.
Along with his mock draft, Kiper also updated his Big Board and top five player rankings for each position . There are just two players on the Big Board -- Dion Jordan and Star Lotulelei -- but among the position rankings the conference is well-represented. The position groups that don't have a top five player from the conference are fullbacks, offensive tackles, inside linebackers, safeties and kickers.
Here's how the Pac-12 players rank in their respective positions:
No. 2 Matt Barkley, USC
Kiper's take: I have Geno Smith now ahead of Matt Barkley, but Smith must perform well at his pro day this week.
No. 3 Johnathan Franklin, UCLA
No. 4 Keenan Allen, Cal
No. 2 Zach Ertz, Stanford
Kiper's take: (Notre Dame's Tyler) Eifert has created a little separation. He has the best range of traits and athleticism. Ertz is likely the No. 2 tight end taken. Both have the pass-catching skills of wide receivers and, given their size, can also overwhelm corners. There are about 10-12 intriguing tight ends in the class.
No. 3 Kyle Long, Oregon
Kiper's take: The guy who has really leapt in the eyes of evaluators in recent weeks is Long, who worked out really well in Indy, and could at least fill in at tackle in a pinch, though guard will be his best position.
No. 2 Brian Schwenke, Cal
No. 3 Datone Jones, UCLA
No. 2 Star Lotulelei, Utah
Kiper's take: Lotulelei is a certain top-10 pick if everything with his heart checks out, but we're waiting.
No. 2 Dion Jordan, Oregon
Kiper's take: Jordan has shown the ability to move and tackle in space, and really jumped from his combine performance.
No. 2 Desmond Trufant, Washington
No. 1 Jeff Locke, UCLA
No. 3 Josh Hubner, Arizona State
Kiper's take: Locke very well could end up being the top punter taken.