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Chocolate Hog
04-26-2010, 11:24 PM
According to Mel Kiper


QUARTERBACKS

1. Jake Locker 6-3, 226
2. Ryan Mallett 6-7, 238
3. Case Keenum 6-2, 210
4. Christian Ponder 6-2, 219
5. Jerrod Johnson 6-5, 243

Analysis: This is now Locker's position to own for the next season. Locker, Mallett and Keenum should be on radar screens next fall for the 2011 draft, with Locker -- as I've said before -- a legit possibility to go No. 1 overall.


RUNNING BACKS

1. Daniel Thomas 6-2 227
2. Noel Devine 5-8, 176
3. DeMarco Murray 6-1, 214
4. Roy Helu 6-0, 215
5. Evan Royster 6-1, 209


Analysis: Based on where he's ranked here, you'd suspect Devine might be a high pick in 2011, but I have a hard time seeing him as a first-round guy. I suggested he jump this year because he'll have a hard time increasing his stock. That said, he gets this ranking until others step up as prospects. I suspect they will.


FULLBACKS

1. Owen Marecic 6-1, 244
2. Stanley Havili 6-1, 230
3. Charles Clay 6-3, 230
4. Marcus Sims 6-0, 233
5. Quentin Castille 6-1, 235


Analysis: Havili never had full health this past season, and his regular presence would have helped QB Matt Barkley. He'll be coming back, which is quietly significant for the new USC staff. Marecic was one of the unsung stars of the season across college football, blocking for RB Toby Gerhart.


WIDE RECEIVERS

1. Terrance Toliver 6-5, 206
2. Armon Binns 6-4, 200
3. Leonard Hankerson 6-3, 215
4. Vincent Brown 6-0, 180
5. Niles Paul 6-1, 215


Analysis: With Brandon LaFell gone, Toliver should see more balls headed his way this fall. He has a great frame. Binns is another guy to look at as he replaces Mardy Gilyard for new Cincy coach Butch Jones.


TIGHT ENDS

1. Weslye Saunders 6-5, 280
2. D.J. Williams 6-2, 251
3. Luke Stocker 6-6, 240
4. Jeffery Anderson 6-3, 255
5. Zach Pianalto 6-4, 255

Analysis: Stocker was on this list last week, too, as were Saunders and Williams. Stocker will be adjusting to a new coach and a new system in Knoxville, Tenn., this summer, but he could be a guy to watch.


OFFENSIVE TACKLES

1. Anthony Castonzo 6-7, 287
2. Clint Boling 6-5, 297
3. Marcus Cannon 6-5, 350
4. Jason Pinkston 6-4, 305
5. James Carpenter 6-5, 300

Analysis: Castonzo should be a focus of this summer and fall, and is one of those athletic types an NFL coach like Mike Shanahan likes to use. Boling is a tremendous blocker as well.


OFFENSIVE GUARDS

1. Rodney Hudson 6-2, 283
2. Justin Boren 6-3, 315
3. Mike Pouncey 6-5, 320
4. Stephen Schilling 6-5, 304
5. Orlando Franklin 6-7, 318

Analysis: Absolutely nothing changed here: All these guys are coming back to school. Watch out for Boren next season. Ohio State could be ranked as high as No. 2 or No. 3 in the preseason, and Boren will get some attention in big games.


CENTERS

1. Kristofer O'Dowd 6-5, 300
2. Stefen Wisniewski 6-3, 302
3. Ryan McMahon 6-3, 282
4. Tim Barnes 6-4, 310
5. Colin Baxter 6-4, 295

Analysis: USC will be in a bit of transition next season with Lane Kiffin, but O'Dowd should be a rock for QB Matt Barkley and the rest of the offense.


DEFENSIVE ENDS

1. Allen Bailey 6-6, 288
2. Adrian Clayborn 6-3, 282
3. Greg Romeus 6-6, 270
4. Christian Anthony 6-4, 275
5. Cameron Heyward 6-6, 287

Analysis: Heyward came on strong this past season and should be an anchor of a top-five defense next season. Clayborn was a beast down the stretch, and it's huge for coach Kirk Ferentz to get him back as an anchor point for that defense, which loses significant talent elsewhere.


DEFENSIVE TACKLES

1. Marvin Austin 6-3, 305
2. Jerrell Powe 6-2, 340
3. Jarvis Jenkins 6-4, 305
4. Stephen Paea 6-1, 285
5. Drake Nevis 6-1, 292

Analysis: Austin is going to be part of an excellent defense next season in Chapel Hill. I was a little surprised he opted to return, given how highly many people regard him, but he avoids being part of an immensely deep class and could do well if he stays healthy.


INSIDE LINEBACKERS

1. Quan Sturdivant 6-2, 235
2. Greg Jones 6-1, 228
3. Brian Smith 6-3, 240
4. Alex Wujciak 6-3, 255
5. Mike Mohamed 6-3, 237

Analysis: Jones is one of the purest tacklers you'll see in college football. His stock could rise next season on a potentially underrated Michigan State team, but he'll need to overcome questions about his size. I wouldn't be surprised to see him come into camp with 10 more pounds on that frame, which should help solidify his stock.


OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS

1. Bruce Carter 6-3, 230
2. Von Miller 6-3, 240
3. Michael Morgan 6-4, 220
4. Colin McCarthy 6-3, 242
5. Ross Homan 6-1, 229

Analysis: In all likelihood, Homan will be another Buckeyes linebacker to go within the first two rounds. Carter, like Austin, is a huge returning player for the Tar Heels. It's rare to get so much NFL-ready experience back for one more run, but Butch Davis has that in 2010.


CORNERBACKS

1. Ras-I Dowling 6-2, 200
2. Curtis Brown 6-0, 180
3. Prince Amukamara 6-1, 200
4. Rashard Carmichael 5-11, 186
5. Chimdi Chekwa 6-1, 188

Analysis: Brown was the guy in coverage on Michael Crabtree's famous catch against the Longhorns two seasons ago, but he projects well as a pro and should be a Big Board fixture this fall.


SAFETIES

1. DeAndre McDaniel 6-1, 210
2. Deunta Williams 6-2, 210
3. Ahmad Black 5-9, 185
4. Zac Etheridge 6-0, 212
5. Chris Culliver 6-1, 190

Analysis: McDaniel hadn't previously cracked any of my lists, but he's long been on the radar of NFL personnel folks. Next season should be his official coming-out party.


KICKERS

1. Kai Forbath 6-1, 192
2. Alex Henery 6-2, 175
3. Wes Byrum 6-2, 209
4. Thomas Weber 6-1, 207
5. Justin Kahut 5-8, 176

Analysis: Forbath wasn't just 28-of-31; the only three field goals he missed this past season were from more than 50 yards, and he went 3-of-6 from beyond 50 overall. He's also 7-of-10 for his career. Definitely an NFL-caliber leg, and a rare junior who could have tested the waters.

PUNTERS

1. Ryan Donahue 6-3, 180
2. Derek Epperson 6-3, 235
3. Trevor Hankins 6-3, 229
4. Rob Long 6-4, 175
5. Travis Baltz 6-2, 200

Analysis: Donahue is a great net-average punter. He generates a lot of height on his kicks. Epperson (pictured) will battle him for top punter in 2010.

Chocolate Hog
04-26-2010, 11:25 PM
Lot of Huskers on that list.

Chocolate Hog
04-26-2010, 11:26 PM
Should say Next years top five returning starters for each position whoops.

Mr. Flopnuts
04-26-2010, 11:27 PM
Lot of Huskers on that list.

But a Husky at the very top. :D

ChiefsCountry
04-26-2010, 11:27 PM
He didn't list a single one of the trio of the best WR's.

Chocolate Hog
04-26-2010, 11:31 PM
But a Husky at the very top. :D

We'll either see alot or no draft Locker threads after the third game in Sept. ;)

Mr. Flopnuts
04-26-2010, 11:32 PM
We'll either see alot or no draft Locker threads after the third game in Sept. ;)

You got that right.

Jenson71
04-26-2010, 11:38 PM
Let's say Ingram declares. He number one, or at least number one RB?

KevB
04-26-2010, 11:45 PM
Let's say Ingram declares. He number one, or at least number one RB?

Probably so, but don't underestimate Daniel Thomas. He's a beast, and should only get better as a guy that doesn't have much experience playing RB.