Mel Kiper’s Top 25 NFL Draft Prospects

The Senior Bowl practice will begin this Monday morning in Mobile, Alabama and I’m sure the Eagles coaches and player personnel people will be their watching and evaluating.  The Birds are in search of a defensive coordinator and a defensive line coach, but they need to find players at the same time.

It’s time to start talking about the upcoming NFL Draft which will take take place in late April regardless of what’s happening with the CBA negotiations.  Kiper says the first round could include as many as 12 defensive linemen.  Let’s take a look at Mel Kiper’s top 25.

Mel Kiper’s Top 25:

1. Nick Fairley – Auburn – DT – He’ll be a monster in the middle of a 4-3 defense. Quick off the ball with great upper body strength and playmaking ability.

2. Da’Quan Bowers – Clemson – DE – Great outside pass rusher with tremendous explosiveness at the snap of the ball.

3. A.J. Green – Georgia – WR – Big, fast and physical playmaking wide receiver.  Can do it all at the receiver position.  Work short over the middle, go deep and make the great catch.

4. Patrick Peterson – LSU – CB- An incredibly gifted cornerback and kick returner.  Has great size and speed with quick feet.  Could be shut down corner.

5. Marcel Dareus -Alabama – DE – Classic 3-4 defensive end who can rush passer and shut down the run.

6. Prince Amukamara –  Nebraska – CB – Great size, speed and instincts.  Will make plays. Has great hands.

7. Robert Quinn – North Carolina – DE – Great motor with tremendous athletic ability. Could succeed in 3/4 or 4/3.

8. Blaine Gabbert – Missouri – QB – Strong arm, good athletic ability, but may be volatile.  Small city quarterback.

9. Von MIller – Texas A & M – LB – Great 3/4 pass rusher, who can put pressure on quarterback and cover.

10. Ryan Kerrigan – Purdue – DE – He could succeed in a 3/4 or 4/3, because he makes plays.

11. Julio Jones – Alabama – WR – Great size, good speed, tremendous competitor.

12.  Akeem Ayers – UCLA – OLB – Very active with tremendous motor with good size for 3/4.

13. Adrian Clayburn – Iowa – DE – Good size and athleticism for 3/4.  Raw with big upside.

14. Cam Newton – Auburn – QB – Great arm strength and athleticism.  Will need to learn the pro game, some what of a project.

15. J.J. Watt – Wisconsin – DE – Great versatility and never stopping motor.

16. Drake Nevis – LSU – DT – Active defensive tackle with great quickness and speed.

17. Mark Ingram – Alabama – RB – Tough, patient and great effort running back.  Can be work horse.

18. Nate Solder – Colorado – OT – Huge athlete with great frame to get bigger.  His size can be plus or minus.

19. Gabe Carimi – Wisconsin – OT – Great size and versatility.  Could play LT or RT but needs better footwork.

20. Ryan Mallett – Arkansas – QB – He has great size and great arm.  Needs to develop a better touch on short throws.

21. Anthony Castonzo – Boston College – OT – Good technique and footwork, but he needs to get stronger lower body.

22. Mike Pouncey – Florida – O/C – A great athlete for the position. Strong with good technique.  A better guard than center but could play both.  He would be a great pick for the Eagles.  His twin brother Maurkice is already getting raves as a center for the Steelers.

23. Cameron Heyward – Ohio State – DE – Great size for 3/4 defensive end spot.  Can be dominant but most stay motivated.

24. Jake Locker – Washington – QB – Great arm and skills in running pro style offense but he didn’t have good season.  Runs a 4.4 forty-yard dash. Could make major move up the draft board.

25. Ben Ijalana – Villanova – OT – Great athlete for the position. Can play OT or OG.  Has great footwork and technique.

35 thoughts on “Mel Kiper’s Top 25 NFL Draft Prospects

  1. I want Ijalana with our first pick and if we can get a first round pick for Kolb ( which personally I don’t believe will happen but I’ve read that it’s possible that he would garner such a high draft choice) then we could draft one of the other highly rated offensive linemen and voila! Our right side of the O-line is set just like the left side. Then we could focus on some athletic linebackers in the next couple rounds. Yes I know that Reid doesn’t have a history of picking LBs in the early rounds but damn, I think we all know it’s time to stop trying to get by with late round picks and undrafted free agents.

  2. Pouncy would be a good fit too at RG or C…depending on how they want to do it. And we all saw how his brother did for PIT. Will probably be there at the Birds pick.

  3. I met the Ijalana kid at an event a couple weeks ago. He’s a solid young man who seems to be bright which would help him learn the system right away.

  4. We need to target the most nasty linebacker in this draft and put him on our team. We need attitude and an intimidator. No one player on the defense really scares anyone. Look across PA to the Steelers.

    Their defense is known for terrorizing an offense which gives them an edge going into a game. We were once like that.

  5. I think Ijalana goes late in the 1st or early 2nd Round (#30 to #40)
    I have been surprised that some big name Juniors are opting to stay in School as opposed to entering the Draft players like QB – Andrew Luck from Stanford, CB – J Jenkins, and some others which will
    will help Ijalana’s ability to move up in the Draft a few spots..

  6. My perfect offseason. Sign Asomugha. Let D jax walk sign V Jax (cheaper) Sign Hanynesworth to a no risk contract. Tag Vick Hire Eric Mangini Draft Pouncey Trade Kolb Draft Ijalana and fire Micah from Gcobb.com.

  7. Paulman’s Top #25

    #1) Nick Fairley DT (Auburn)
    #2) Da Quan Bowers DE (Celmson)
    #3) PAtrick Peterson CB (LSU)
    #4) AJ Green WR (Georgia)
    #5) Marcel Dareus DT (Alabama)
    #6) Pince Amukamara CB (Nebraska)
    #7) Robert Quinn DE (UNC)
    #8) Von MIller OLB (Texas A & M)
    #9) Stephan Paea DT (Oregon State)
    #10) Ryan Kerrigan DE (Purdue)
    #11) Julio Jones WR (Alabama)
    #12) Akeem Ayers OLB (UCLA)
    #13) Adrian Clayborn DE (Iowa)
    #14) Cameron Jordan DE (Califonia)
    #15) Nate Solder OT (Colorado)
    #16) Gabe Carimi OT (Wisconsin)
    #17) JJ Watt DE (Wisconsin)
    #18) Blaine Gabbert QB (Missouri)
    #19) Mike Pouncey C/G (Florida)
    #20) Drake Nevis DT (LSU)
    #21) Justin Blackmon WR (Oklahoma State)
    #22) Mark Ingram RB (Alabama)
    #23) Cameron Heyward DE (Ohio State)
    #24) Anthony Constanzo OT (Boston COllege)
    #25) Justin Houston OLB (Georgia)
    #26) Corey Liguet DT (Illinois)
    #27) Jake Locker QB (Washington)
    #28) Allen Bailey DE (Miami)
    #29) Tyron Smith OT (USC)
    #30) Brandon Harris CB (Miami)
    #31) Rahim Moore S (UCLA)
    #32) Ryan Mallett QB (Arkansas)

    The more I have researched and check this years QB, the less I think there are any real Starter #1’s type of players like a S Bradford or a M Stafford were coming out…
    I see Locker & Mallet as Chad Henne types which hasn’t impressed me..and B Gabbert from Missouri plays in a Spread Offense, shotgun formation like former QB C Daniels did and I think he will have a hard time adjusting under to play under Center as a Pro-Style QB and Cam Newton has all kinds of athletic Ability but I am not so sure about him either..
    I do think he could be an All-Pro Tight End right from the get go with his strength, good hands,and great speed for a player of his size, but I am sure he wants to play QB…

  8. I dont want another D lineman this year. call me crazy but id like to see what we really have after we get a real DLine coach. I think a more pressing issue is CB, LB and SS. I also am different in the fact that id like to see the birds keep players like Mikell but try and replace him at the same time. We always let guys go that are/were starters and leave ourselves thin at those spots. Why not overpay for Q and try and bring someone in at the same time?

  9. Paulman do you think this year if the eagles cant move up in the draft or make a trade for another 1st that they may move out of the 1st round?

  10. Just so you know, there is a practice squad player on the Carolina Panthers who would be a great fit at left bench. I say we package Patterson and Randy Shannon for Carolina practice squad guy and a 3rd rounder!

  11. Eagles Mock Draft thru the 1st 5 Rounds of the 2011 NFL DRaft (1.3)
    I am going to assume the Eagels Signed a CB,DE and Guard during Free-Agency (yes,probably wishful thinking but here it goes anyways

    1st Rd (#23 Overall) – OLB J Houston (Georgia – 6 3″ 255lbs)
    2nd Rd (#55 Overall) – OT Matt Reynolds ( BYU 6 6″ – 325 lbs)
    3rd Rd (#86 Overall) – Safety DeAndre McDaniel (Clemson 6 0 216lbs)
    4th Rd (#106 Overall) – CB Jalil Brown (Colorado – 6 1″- 205 lbs)
    4th Rd (#118 Overall) – DE Pierre Allen (Nebraska – 6 4″ – 265lbs)
    5th Rd (#146 Overall) – TE Cameron Graham (Louisville 6 4″- 250lbs)
    5th Rd (#152 Overall) – OT Chris Hairston (Clemson 6 6″ 325 lbs)

    I have the right to change my picks at anytime and without notice..In fact, you will probably will see many Versions of this, but bottom line, it depends who the Eagles acquire thru Free-agency to shore up the Defense and OL and then the Draft needs come more into focus…
    I think we all can agree that the Eagles need upgrades at CB/DE/LB/Safety/DT on the Defensive Side
    and Offensively need to address the C/RG/OT area with someone… I think McGlynn can play C or RG and I also think Justice could move inside and play RG if a better RT was signed and if his career depended on it which it very may well be..

  12. To Vircchini
    I think this is a very deep draft thru the 1st 3rd Rounds and especially on the Defensive Side of the ball, Lots of good DT’s,DE’s,LB and CB and interior Offensive Lineman and WR;s…
    I also think there are only probably 5-6 real impact players right out of the gate that can contribute right away in a big way like a Fairley,Bowers,Peterson,Green,Von Miller and Julio Jones
    I think the most of the 1st Round has very good players but as with most Rookies, they need to get bigger,stronger,higher self motivation,be coachable and get into the right system which shows off their their skills..so unless you are trading up to a Top 5-6 Spot, I don’t see a whole lot of difference between the 8th pick and the 15thpick or the 12th pick from the 20th pick based on your teams needs,coaching and schemes.. I do not anticipate many teams wanting to move up,, In fact I would say there will be more teams wanting to drop down from the teens in the 20’s to maybe aquire an extra draft pick in return, but there are lots of very solid players thru the 1st 3 Rounds (100 picks of So) who can come in and contribute. The key as usual is getting a player who “naturally fits your system” as oppossed to trying to “fit” a player into a new system, new postion,etc,etc
    but from 20

  13. Paulman:

    I said the same thing about the QB’s in a post last week. I would grade them as a C+ all together. Luck going back was puzzling ( See what Locker going back for his Senior season did for him, slipped quite a bit from potentially being a top 5 pick a year ago)

    Eagles must come away from this offseason with 3 position upgrades; CB,OL,DE

    Everyone knows the birds will mix and match the LB’s once again since they refuse to put any priority into that position. They must upgrade the pass rush, ability to cover, & the right side of the line. 3 moves could put this team into the big game but these glaring needs must be addressed.

    I dont think ( although I would love it ) the birds will go after Asomugha- too much age & $$ between him & Asante- They will draft CB in round one or two- Harris from Miami, Williams from Texas
    I think the birds make a hard run at Mankins-OG/New England & Ray Edward-DE/Minnesota both are under 30 & big. You could get both of them for the amount that Asomugha would cost & we all know that Banner & Howie have increasingly more say….

    Love all the draft talk. Keep it up !!

  14. btc, Micah is a hater. He was hating on Maclin for a while and gushing over Hakeem Nicks and hating on Vick too. He wasn’t being objective. He was expressing his feelings but I don’t need the bias approach he sometimes takes.

    vricchini, can you add a trade of Paulman to that offseason wish list?

  15. The best part is Paulmoron rips me for not knowing how the Eagles conduct their business (which I proved him dead wrong)…..and then posts a mock draft with them choosing a LB. Now what’s more likely to happen…..the eagles actually drafting a LB in the first round (something they haven’t dfone since the mid 70’s) or the Birds signing the CB from OAK?

    Keep doing the heavy lifting!

  16. OLB Jerry Robinson from UCLA was ther last time the Eagles Drafted a LB in the 1st Round and that was probably 1976 or so (I think DIck Vermiels 1st or 2nd season as Coach)
    You still have not proved your earlier point either..

    My Mock Scenario is based solely on that the Eagles added a quality DE,CB and Guard thru
    Free-agency.. If they don’t add a single player in Free-Agency, then I think they will go
    1st DL
    2nd OL
    3rd CB/S
    4th LB

  17. You said they would never go after a 3-4 LB. I said they did in Emmons and Kirkland. You said they never go out and get the top guys in free agency/trades. I said TO, Kearse, Runyan, Samuel…..they don’t do it often, but when they want someone, they go out and get them.

    That is all the proof you need. Now go find me a nickel DB on Carolina and give me a scouting report about how he would be better than Patterson! (Knowing 99% of DBs are better than him)

  18. Kirkland was a MLB all his life before playing in the Steeelrs 3-4 scheme,, means nothing..
    Who since Sammuel has been a difference maker, a top guy acquired in Free-agency..
    Kevin Curtis,Stacey Andrews,Marlin Jackson, Kris WIlson, Sean Jones, or even players they traded for like J Peters (ok theres one), L Weaver, E Hobbs,W Witherspoon,R Wells,J Harrison,
    Weren’t there some better players out on the market in the last 2-3 years that the players I just listed..

    Nickel back on Panthers was a rookie last year namesJOrdan Pugh — 5’11”- 200 lbs

  19. No Way we draft a LB before a RCB ! (unless there is a new CBA and we can sign a player in free agency). Didn’t you watch any games this year? Like last year, most of the quality CBs will be gone before we draft in round 2. If there is a new CBA, I could see us trading up into the 10 ten to grab Pince Amukamara CB (Nebraska).

  20. So you’re basing your point on the last 2-3 years and not the entire 12? That’s just short-sighted and incompetent. They didn’t sign anyone during the last 2-3 years because they were rebuilding. No reason to sign a 30 yr old player because by the time this team was ready to make a real run, they’d be on the back end of their career. They had to rebuild the entire OL. The entire receiving corp. The secondary.

    So to go out and throw huge money at Randy Moss, Michael Turner, Alan Faneca, Justin Smith, Tedy Bruschi or any of the older 2008 free agents would have been foolish considering the re-building process.

    That’s why the second and third tier guys. Now, they have a roster of no one making any money because they’ve rebuilt through the draft the last 3 yrs. So they can afford to go grab 2 top tier FAs like
    Harris and the Oakland CB….much like ’04….and maybe even grab another guy like Branch, Watson or even Pat Williams….

    Anything else you’d like me to dumb down for you?

  21. mcjacobs

    The Eagles had rebuild their receiving corps? From what? From what I can recall, they never had one.

  22. No Mjacobs,
    Things change,people and heirachy changes and the expectations should change too..
    The Eagles are run differently now than they were 4-5 years ago, like they were 7-8-10 years ago,like they were 20 years ago. I don’t know why your so hung up on lumping Coach AR’s carrer in Philly as one long time horizon as opposed to what’s happeniing now in the present..
    They Eagles have built a competitive squad thru smart contracts, timely FA acquisitions and good Drafting which there is nothing wrong with that and I applaud them fielding consistent ,competitve teams year after yead as opposed to throw a lots of bad $$4 after older,less productive players..(see Redskins as an example) But I still don’t get the sense that they apporach every year like some franchises do, which is to completely go for it..maybe you spend a little more than you budgeted, but the return comes back if you field a real winner and that’s at least an NFC Chanpionship berth with a real chance to win the SUper Bowl.. This team has holes (like every team has) but some of the glaring ones that haven’t really been addressed, example of this past off-season,
    Center, CB and LB and even the Safety spots were postions in need, and some these are still not really addressed.. then onc ethe season starts and and injuries begin ti puile up, iot’s too late, and they were caught without quality depth at C,S,CB.. They did not address the entire OL last year except for a free-agent from North Iowa State (A Howard who has some potential) and now next season they will end up parobably paying for it..
    I am looking at things in present terms with an aggressive young GM in Roseman as opposed to
    AR’s Old yes man T Heckert, who not much more than an administrator.. I like the changes so far to the Coaching Staff, I look forward to see who they name as DC and who they will pursue in Free-agency (if there is a Free-Agency) but I am not going to say because they Signed Kearse or TO 7-8-10 years ago that that is somehow relevant to upgrading their Team in 2011 with Top Talent.
    The Franchise is an different place (actually a better place now then back then) there’s a tdifferent GM/Scouting Dept,Coaching Changes, a new group of young and exciting core of players, Coach AR has changed some as he’s matured into a NFL Coach, your competition is different, rules of the game changes,new trends come about and all the uncertainty of no CBA in place..
    The Expectations should now be for the Eagles to compete for a Super Bowl Championship every year, not just to win the NFC East or to make the playoffs, they have already done that consistenty over the last decade, they need to raise the bar from the owner to the Front Office to the Coaching Staff and the players..the level of success this Franchise has maintanied over the last 10-12 years
    there is no reason, no lack of resources that they should not go all out and try to win a Super Bowl and not this Rebuilding sotry.. (that only happens in Buffalo,CArolina,Cleveland,Washington and the Crappy teams) fans are tired of hearing about this.. Look at the Franchise across the Street..now that’s an organization that is intent on not only Winning today but being in postion to win tommorrow..

  23. To Dixie,
    If you read mty comment about the Eagles Mock Draft,
    I stated that my Draft Selections were based on the Eagles already signing quality Free-Agents at
    the DE,CB,Guard Positions therbey using teh Draft to address some of the other needs.

  24. I say draft the O line in later rounds. Let them be mediocre, we got vick. Draft friggin LB’s and a SAFETY for crying out loud. I don’t know why everyone hates on our DLine? We can go FA with DLine, we need freaking Linebackers and A FREAKING SAFETY! This is has been 5 years in the damn making for a safety. Nate Allen great, get another one. Dump Kolb for a first round pick. I like what I saw out of Kafka.

  25. Paulmoron…..was this team really read to compete for a Super Bowl in ’08, ’09, or this year? The answer is absolutely not. In ’08 they snuck into the playoffs. Last year, they got their butts kicked twice in 2 weeks. You can’t go for it every season. If that’s the type of management you’re looking for, 90 miles south is the team you’d be interested in. You have to understand that when a team is rebuilding (like the Eagles have done since ’08) there are going to be holes and weaknesses that are going to be filled by Sean Jones and Ernie Sims. You can’t fill 6 spots every offseason with free agents.

    Roseman and Heckert are totally irrelevant. Banner and Reid are the guys pulling the strings….and that’s been the same way all 12 years. I hate to break it to you, but disregarding the last 10 years in terms of how this team was run is the philosophy of a simpleton. It’s not a new regime. Banner and Reid are still in charge whether Roseman, Heckert or Modrak was the GM. The history is there and you MUST take that into account since it’s the same guys making decisions in 2011 as it was in 2000.

    Obviously, you don’t agree with the philosophy, but that’s a whole different argument. This one between you and I is about how the Eagles do spend money on free agents (when it’s beneficial and they’re not re-building) and they do sign players from different defensive schemes. I’ve proven both. You change the topic.

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