Mel Kiper dropped his updated big board behind ESPN's oh-so-popular Insider paywall this week after the college football season wrapped up.
Now big boards aren't mock drafts. And stocks are still going to be fluid with the draft season schedule offering plenty of opportunities for prospects to suggest that the tape lies (note: tape don't lie). Still, there's plenty to think about with big boards given where the Rams sit in the 1st round (that'd be 16th and 22nd if you live in Under A Rock, NV).
The first thing that I noticed? His highest QB is at 21, in North Carolina State's Mike Glennon. While I wouldn't be all that surprised if Glennon does get picked ahead of Geno Smith and Matt Barkley, I certainly would be shocked if the Rams are on the clock at 16 and there hasn't been a single QB selected to that point.
As for wide receivers, which will continue to obviously be a key topic for us in the upcoming months, the top wideout on Kiper's board is Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson. Kiper had this to say:
He could be the top WR available when all is said and done but faces a true discovery process during the draft lead-up because of a limited sample size. He's here because his ceiling is extremely high. Great size and leaping ability, strong hands, with explosiveness as a runner with the ball in his hands. Can go up and get it. Helps his QB. Ceiling of a very good No. 1.
I'll admit, he's a specimen. A special athlete with a very good frame for a WR, Patterson had a hell of a year in Knoxville...but (always) the NFL demands more of a receiver than size and speed. I'm not sure Patterson can meet those demands. He has a tendency to get really sloppy in his routes, and his feel for space is poor, to be honest. But if he's got space, he can do things that the majority of receivers can't. High ceiling, low floor.
At guard, Kiper puts Chance Warmack at five and my three-year running mancrush, UNC's Jonathan Cooper, at 12. I don't think too many detractors to be had there, though I suppose you could make the case for Warmack being higher. It's a big board and arguing about a guard's ranking therein is kinda silly (but I'm cool with silly, so if you wanna go there, tread in confidence, friend).
I was a bit surprised at his slotting of Barkevious Mingo at eight. Keke's got the makings of a star DE, but didn't put it all together this year. Juxtaposed against teammate Sam Montgomery whose 2012 was much more impressive, Mingo's going to have to have a strong draft season to go top 16 IMO.
The only other real surprise here for me was Ezekiel Ansah, BYU's stud DE, at 17th overall. I had him firmly in the 2nd round when I put him there ahead of BYU's appearance in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl (what a name...), so to put him top 20 obviously is a bit high for me.
The only safety on the board is Kenny Vaccaro at 20; at tight end, Tyler Eifert lands at 16 while Zach Ertz caps off the board at 25.
Any surprised for those of you who have an Insider account? Where would you put the top QB/WR prospects on your board? Who's off the board that gets drafted in the first 15 picks?