Thursday, September 8, 2011
Six from SEC make Kiper's Big Board
By Edward Aschoff
ESPN's Mel Kiper recently updated his Big Board, which lists the nation's top draft-eligible prospects.
Of course, the SEC is well represented, with six players making it. Alabama led the SEC with three players on the list, while Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck continued his run at No. 1 on the list.
Here is where the SEC players ranked on Kiper's board and what he had to say about them:
5. Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
An imposing presence at wideout, Jeffery has been unstoppable. Phenomenal hands, surprising burst for a long-strider, great work ethic. Tough matchup for corners at any level.
18. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
A physical specimen, Richardson can be an absolute star. Explosive, he is powerful through the hole and bounces off tackles with ease.
20. Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
A big, physical corner, he has long arms and strong hands. Great length for the position. Solid in run support, must work on turning his head in coverage.
23. Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
Another SEC corner with good size, Gilmore has played well against some top competition. Well-schooled, he has a chance to move up my board this season.
24. Courtney Upshaw, LB, Alabama
I see LaMarr Woodley. Will be a great fit as a 3-4 OLB at the next level. Another in a very talented Bama defensive unit. Upshaw saw the field as a freshman and has progressed.
25. Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
He lacks the top-level speed of former teammate Patrick Peterson, but Claiborne is perhaps even better as a pure cover corner from a technical standpoint. Amazing in his turns, he can look like a WR while defending them.
- I'm surprised that Alabama linebacker Dont'a Hightower isn't on the list. He looks to be his old self out on the field and can really fly. He had seven tackles and assisted on a sack in the Tide's opener. He might not be on this list now, but I expect him to be on it the next time it comes out.
- Two other player who could sneak onto this list down the road are Tennessee defensive tackle Malik Jackson and Florida defensive tackle Jaye Howard. Both have good size and strength, and both are pretty athletic. Both have played defensive end, making them versatile on their respective lines.