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Thursday, May 9, 2013
Mel Kiper Jr.'s first 2014 Big Board

By Edward Aschoff

It's time to look ahead, people. There's no point in dwelling on the past because we don't have time machines ... yet.

But everyone loves to take a peek at what could be. ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. is no different, and he has finally debuted his first Big Board for 2014 Insider. His top 25 players for next year's upcoming draft are here for your viewing pleasure and 10 of them reside in the SEC.

Who's No. 1? Well, that would be man-child defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. South Carolina's soon-to-be junior seems to be atop everyone's very early draft boards, and it's going to take a lot to knock him off his perch. Sure, Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who checks in at No. 2, has received a decent amount of love, but Clowney is just on a different planet.

He might not touch the ball on every down, but he'll figure out a way to try and do it -- and he hasn't even reached his potential.

Four SEC players, including Alabama offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio and Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews.

Eight of the 10 SEC players on Kiper's first Big Board are underclassmen, including Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. Texas A&M's quarterback has kept quiet about his future plans when it comes to declaring early for the NFL draft, but his stock might not get any higher after 2013. He made a major splash onto the scene with his record-breaking first year with the Aggies, but still has some room to improve.

His arm has to get stronger and he has to develop more as a passer. He isn't getting any taller, but his amazing athleticism makes up for that in trouble situations.

Here's a look at the full list of SEC players:

No. 1: Clowney
No. 4: Kouandjio
No. 6: Matthews
No. 10: Loucheiz Purifoy, CB, Florida
No. 11: Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee
No. 12: Adrian Hubbard, OLB, Alabama
No. 17: C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama
No. 18: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
No. 22: Anthony Johnson, DT, LSU
No. 25: Manziel

Kiper also listed his next 25 players to keep an eye on Insider. Seven SEC players made that list, including three Alabama players.

Here are the SEC players in Kiper's next 25:

No. 30: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
No. 39: Trey DePriest, LB, Alabama
No. 41: AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama
No. 43: Daniel McCullers, DT, Tennessee
No. 48: Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
No. 49: Gabe Jackson, OG, Mississippi State
No. 50: A.J. Johnson, LB, Tennessee