Rang's big board: Top 32 plus 10


By Rob Rang
The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com
Feb. 8, 2011

Rob Rang's Big Board for the April 28-30 NFL Draft:


1. Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU* (* -- junior)
Shutdown corner with the ability to impact the game as a returner; will be "safest" pick in the draft.

2. Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson*
Hard to believe, but even though he led the nation with 15.5 sacks he's more impressive against run than pass.

3. Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn*
The most talented player in the draft, but I'm less willing to gamble on his greatness with such a strong class of defensive linemen.

4. Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
Answered only questions about his game at the Senior Bowl, proving his height was legitimate -- at 6-foot-2 5/8 -- and proving fluidity in coverage.

5. Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina*
A more explosive pass rusher than Bowers; viewed by some as a better fit as a 3-4 rush linebacker.

6. A.J. Green, WR, Georgia*
Has to prove speed to move into my top five, but has a similar combination of hands and body control to project as a Larry Fitzgerald or Sidney Rice type of receiver. Could dominate with solid QB play.

7. Marcell Dareus, DT/DE, Alabama*
Strong, stout and quick, Dareus can play inside and out in either scheme.

8. Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
Rare to see two corners with a top-10 grades, but Amukamara has the size, physicality to compete right away.

9. Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri*
By returning to Missouri, Smith could've been the elite defensive prospect in 2012 draft. He's raw, but has spectacular upside.

10. Julio Jones, WR, Alabama*
Rare size, strength and physicality for position will make him an early standout. There is some Anquan Boldin-like toughness here.

11. Cameron Jordan, DE, California
Showed everyone at Senior Bowl what I've been saying for months -- he's arguably the most versatile defensive lineman in a class blessed with such prospects.

12. Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama*
Tough to assign this lofty grade for a back in a draft as backloaded at the position as this one, but Ingram's rare combination of vision, balance, burst and low center of gravity remind me of only one back -- Emmitt Smith.

13. Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri*
With size, arm strength, good accuracy and a quick release, he has all of the tools, but wasn't consistent enough to land a top-10 grade.

14. Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
Solder's weak base and moderate strength are concerns, but his rare size and flexibility make him an ideal left tackle prospect.

15. Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
Stats say he struggled this season, but a closer look shows he did all of the little things well. I'd have no problem drafting him with a top 15 pick, especially if running a 4-3 alignment.



Mike Pouncey could make a big impact like brother Maurkice. (US Presswire)

16. Mike Pouncey, OG, Florida
Size, strength and the athleticism to block at the second level, Pouncey's ability to stand out against SEC competition makes him an easy first-round pick.

17. Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
Not as athletic as Solder, but another true left tackle who played with greater strength at the Senior Bowl than I'd previously seen on tape.

18. Cam Newton, QB, Auburn*
The wild card of the first round: If he impresses with his footwork, accuracy and interviews, he could move up 10 spots. If he fails in those areas, he could slide 10 or more spots.

19. Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois*
Penetrating three-technique defensive tackle who quietly rates behind only Fairley and Dareus on many draft boards.

20. Tyron Smith, OT, Southern Cal*
In terms of pure talent, Smith is this year's best tackle -- but his experience lies on the right side and his future is at left tackle. Scouts have questioned his maturity. I'll wait for a deserving top 20 to come off the board before taking a gamble on his high ceiling.

21. Danny Watkins, OL, Baylor
It might seem difficult to assign a 26-year-old guard a first-round grade, but with only four years of football, Watkins isn't beaten up and was very impressive at the Senior Bowl.

22. Brandon Harris, CB, Miami (Fla.)*
Struggled against big receivers, including Notre Dame's Michael Floyd in the Sun Bowl, but boasts quicker feet in coverage than Peterson or Amukamara.[/color]

23. Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
A road grader with enough size and reach for pass protection, Carimi would be best moving to right tackle.

24. Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
Legitimate top-15 talent, but off-field concerns and the fact that he didn't compete at the Senior Bowl drop him down my board.

25. Muhammad Wilkerson, DL, Temple*
The best defensive lineman no one seems to be talking about ... yet.

26. Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA*
Another elite athlete, but his moderate instincts and tendency to overrun the play make him a gamble.

27. Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
I'm admittedly higher on Sherrod than most but see him as an ideal swing tackle capable of stepping in immediately; well worth first-round pick.

28. Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
Lots to like about Kerrigan's hustle and production. His thinner lower body and marginal hand play are concerns.

29. J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin*
The ideal defensive end for the 3-4 but might not have a fit in the 4-3, limiting his grade.

30. Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor
A top-20 talent athletically, but will have to answer questions about his suspension and transfer from Penn State to get drafted there.

31. TE Kyle Rudolph, Notre Dame*
Not an explosive player, but has size, soft hands and is clearly the elite option at the position, which should push him into the first round.

32. WR Torrey Smith, Maryland*
Currently leads Kentucky's Randall Cobb in the tight race to be third WR due to greater height and straight-line speed.

Next 10

RB Mikel LeShoure, Illinois*
WR Randall Cobb, Kentucky*
DE Cameron Heyward, Ohio State (injury)
DT Stephen Paea, Oregon State (injury)
QB Jake Locker, Washington
C/OG Rodney Hudson, Florida State
CB Aaron Wiliams, Texas*
QB Ryan Mallett, Arkansas*
WR Jerrel Jernigan, Troy
FS Rahim Moore, UCLA*

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