A look back at Mel Kiper’s very first 2012 big board from back in May 2011

I think this list goes to show that in the world of football, a year is an eternity.  This list does not include Robert Griffin III, Morris Claiborne, Melvin Ingram, Fletcher Cox, David DeCastro, etc., and this was before we knew that guys like Vontaze Burfict, Donte Paige-Moss, and Cliff Harris had “other” issues.  It’s kind of fascinating to me just how much can change in less than a year.

Rank Player Pos School CBS current ranking
1 Andrew Luck QB Stanford 1
2 Quinton Coples DE North Carolina 11
3 Matt Kalil OT USC 3
4 Alshon Jeffery WR South Carolina 52
5 Matt Barkley QB USC Stayed in school
6 Jonathan Martin OT Stanford 24
7 Justin Blackmon WR Oklahoma St 6
8 Jerel Worthy DT Michigan St 27
9 Dre Kirkpatrick CB Alabama 16
10 Landry Jones QB Oklahoma Stayed in school
11 Riley Reiff OT Iowa 13
12 Vontaze Burfict ILB Arizona St 185
13 Trent Richardson RB Alabama 4
14 Donte Paige-Moss DE North Carolina 256
15 Cliff Harris CB Oregon 354
16 Luke Kuechly ILB Boston College 12
17 Jayron Hosley CB Virginia Tech 53
18 Ray-Ray Armstrong S Miami Stayed in school
19 Stephon Gilmore CB South Carolina 19
20 Manti Te’o ILB Notre Dame Stayed in school
21 Chase Minnifield CB Virginia 98
22 Jared Crick DT Nebraska 58
23 Marcus Forston DT Miami 119
24 Andre Branch DE Clemson 29
25 Courtney Upshaw OLB Alabama 22

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  9. midswat says:

    Thomas… similar story was the University of Texas defensive tackle that many projected as a top 5 selection.. back in, say 2004-2006? Went back to school. Ended up a 7th rounder and never became much in the league.

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  10. Thomas says:

    I remember prior to the 2010 season, Jake Locker was projected to be the #1 pick. I never understood why he didn’t declare then. It was prior to the new CBA, and he could have been a top 5 pick and made close to what Mark Sanchez got.

  11. One.cool.customer says:

    Interesting list.

    In fairness though, many of the names that we would think are “missing”, like Robert Griffin III, Morris Claiborne, Fletcher Cox and David DeCastro are underclassmen, and while Kiper did include some underclassmen in his ranking, there is no way he can predict which underclassmen will declare early.

  12. Fiftyfourd says:

    Too bad for Vontaze Burfict he didn’t decide to come out a year early. Rated higher the Luke Kuechly!!

  13. JUZ SAYIN says:

    Coples & kirkpatrick were on the rise at 1st & then the combine.

  14. jjncaa says:

    TT, DeCastro is a guard, and the REAL evalution of this position begins just after the end of the season

  15. Talon Talent says:

    What I find most interesting is DeCastro is the best guard prospect since Steve Hutchinson but is not found here. Is that due to his position or did he all of a sudden come on the scene this year?

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