Mock Draft
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Mel Kiper's Top 25 Courtesy of ESPN
  • Here is Mel Kiper Jr.'s breakdown of the top senior prospects by position:
    1. Drew Brees, Purdue
    2. Chris Weinke, Florida St.
    3. Sage Rosenfels, Iowa St.
    4. Marques Tuiasosopo, Wash.
    5. Josh Heupel, Oklahoma
    Running Backs
    1. Deuce McAllister, Miss.
    2. LaDainian Tomlinson, TCU
    3. Lamont Jordan, Maryland
    4. James Jackson, Miami (Fla.)
    5. Kevan Barlow, Pittsburgh
    5a. Travis Henry, Tennessee
    1. Moran Norris, Kansas
    2. Dan Alexander, Nebraska
    3. Pat Coniff, Washington
    4. Jameel Cook, Illinois
    5. Wes Ours, West Virginia
    Wide Receivers
    1. Santana Moss, Miami (Fla)
    2. Chris Chambers, Wisconsin
    3. Reggie Wayne, Miami (Fla.)
    4. Rod Gardner, Clemson
    5. Quincy Morgan, Kansas St.
    Tight Ends
    1. Arther Love, So. Carolina St.
    2. Tony Stewart, Penn St.
    3. Jabari Holloway, Notre Dame
    4. Brian Natkin, UTEP
    5. Alge Crumpler, N. Carolina
    Offensive Tackles
    1. Leonard Davis, Texas
    2. Maurice Williams, Michigan
    3. Char-ron Dorsey, Florida St.
    4. Kareem McKenzie, Penn St.
    5. Brandon Winey, LSU
    Offensive Guards
    1. Steve Hutchinson, Michigan
    2. Chad Ward, Washington
    3. Scott Kempenich, Oklahoma
    4. Jordan Caruso, Penn St.
    5. Omar Smith, Kentucky
    1. Bruce Wiggins, Arizona
    2. Ben Hamilton, Minnesota
    3. Casey Rabach, Wisconsin
    4. Jeff McCurley, Pittsburgh
    5. Robert Garza, Texas A&M-Kingsville
    Defensive Ends
    1. Jamal Reynolds, Florida St.
    2. Andre Carter, California
    3. David Warren, Florida St.
    4. DeLawrence Grant, Ore. St.
    5. Karon Riley, Minnesota
    Defensive Tackles
    1. Richard Seymour, Georgia
    2. Willie Howard, Stanford
    3. Shaun Rogers, Texas
    4. Damione Lewis, Miami (Fla.)
    5. Marcus Stroud, Georgia
    Inside Linebackers
    1. Dan Morgan, Miami (Fla.)
    2. Kendrell Bell, Georgia
    3. Torrance Marshall, Okla.
    4. Zeke Moreno, USC
    5. Matt Smith, Oregon
    Outside Linebackers
    1. Quinton Caver, Arkansas
    2. Tommy Polley, Florida St.
    3. Brian Allen, Florida St.
    4. Markus Steele, USC
    5. Orlando Huff, Fresno St.
    1. Ken Lucas, Mississippi
    2. Fred Smoot, Mississippi St.
    3. Gary Baxter, Baylor
    4. Will Allen, Syracuse
    5. Tay Cody, Florida St.
    1. Adam Archuleta, Arizona St.
    2. Derrick Gibson, Florida St.
    3. Corey Hall, Appalachian St.
    4. Cory Bird, Virginia Tech
    5. Leo Barnes, So. Mississippi
    1. Jamie Rheem, Kansas St.
    2. Vitaly Piseteky, Wisconsin
    3. Jeff Chandler, Florida
    4. Brian Kopka, Maryland
    5. Dan Stultz, Ohio St.
    1. David Leaverton, Tennessee
    2. Dan Hadenfeldt, Nebraska
    3. Nick Harris, California
    4. Kevin Stemke, Wisconsin
    5. Ray Cheetany, UNLV
  • 1. Deuce McAllister, RB, Mississippi -- Clearly the top true senior available, holding a significantly higher grade than the players rated just below on my current board. Sure, he was hampered by shoulder and ankle injuries this season, but that doesn't detract in any way from what he accomplished at full strength during his outstanding career. In addition to his impressive skills and the fact that he's one of the top pass-receiving backs you will ever come across, what sets McAllister apart is his burning desire to do whatever it takes to help his team win. Baltimore Ravens first year dynamo Jamal Lewis was also held back by injuries over his final two seasons at Tennessee, yet because of his tremendous natural talent and superior work ethic, he has established himself as the potential Rookie of the Year on the offensive side of the ball along with Denver's Mike Anderson.

    2. Andre Carter, DE, California -- Although he won't always dominate with his pass rush skills, what elevates Carter to into the early portion of round one are the reliable performances he comes through with on gameday. And don't get me wrong, there were several occasions this season when he did manage to take over games, despite garnering so much attention from the opposition. He was at his best in Cal's upset victory over USC, recording nine tackles (eight unassisted), four stops behind the line, four QB pressures, and 22 sacks. Against Oregon he also recorded a pair of sacks.

    3. Jamal Reynolds, DE, Florida St. -- Lacks imposing size at 6'3", 255, but he's a natural pass rusher who forces offensive line coaches to account for his presence on every snap. However, I wouldn't necessarily to expect every personnel department in the NFL to agree that he deserves such an elite grade.

    4. Leonard Davis, OT, Texas -- Showed dominating skills from his LT spot in certain games, particularly his ability to move defenders off the line of scrimmage in run-blocking situations. With the improvement he showed as a pro-style pass blocker, Davis isn't automatically being looked at as strictly a RT prospect in the NFL.

    5. Richard Seymour, DT, Georgia -- Still carries a high grade as far as the seniors are concerned, but his up and down performances in the SEC could result in some mixed opinion on whether he's future Pro Bowl material. Folks, in order to establish yourself as a top 10 pick in round one, you'd better convince the NFL brass that a trip to Hawaii in early February is in the cards. Seymour certainly has the natural talent to wreak havoc, but there were games this season in which he didn't always perform up to the level expected. Ultimately, you could see the 6'5", 290-pounder be regarded as a gamble on greatness if selected in the early-mid portion of round one.

    6. Steve Hutchinson, OG, Michigan -- The more you study Hutchinson on film, the higher you move him on the draft board. He's a fiery, hard-working, consistent performer who shows the ability to shift to a RT spot in the NFL if that is where he's needed the most. However, if he's viewed as more of a pure guard after the process has been completed, you could see Hutchinson drop down a little further on round one than my rating indicates.

    7. Reggie Wayne, WR, Miami (Fla) -- At 6'1" and 193 pounds, Wayne has the size offensive coordinators in the NFL are looking for along with impressive natural pass receiving skills. He's a smooth, fluid athlete who is quick out of his cuts and rarely if ever drops a pass. The key for Wayne to secure a mid-first round grade will be proving to the NFL brass that he has the speed to justify such a high ranking.

    8. Quinton Caver, LB, Arkansas -- When you register over 20 tackles on several occasions, any linebacker prospect is sure to elicit some very favorable commentary. And when you combine the productivity with Caver's physical prowess, it's easy to see why he's gaining a great deal of momentum as the draft evaluation process moves along.

    9. Santana Moss, WR, Miami (Fla) -- Versatile playmaker, capable of lighting up the scoreboard as a wide-out, on reverses and also as the primary punt returner. Moss was basically uncoverable in the Hurricanes key games down the stretch. The only negative with Moss is his lack of ideal size.

    10. Chris Chambers, WR, Wisconsin -- Has the size (6'0", 205) and deep speed to provide key matchup advantages. With a little more consistency, Chambers could establish himself as a feared wide-out in the NFL. His strong finish this season seems to have compensated for the fact that he missed the first four games of the 2000 campaign due to a stress fracture in his right foot. Also keep in mind that the Badgers lack the big time passing QB to really allow Chambers to set the world on fire.

    11. Rod Gardner, WR, Clemson -- Depending upon how many underclassmen at the WR position decide to enter the draft, the middle portion of round one is right about where the run on senior wide-outs could begin. Gardner has imposing size (6'2", 213) along with superior hand/eye coordination which allows him to routinely come down with the brilliant catch on both intermediate and deep routes. He also understands how to position his frame when working against corners.

    12. Drew Brees, QB, Purdue -- Produced huge numbers in Joe Tiller's offense, but he lacks the height you would prefer. He'll have to silence skeptics who question how effective he will be when it comes to cutting through the wind late in the season. Ultimately, it will be the combine/individual workouts which determine if Brees ends up in the mid-first round or drops down a number of spots.

    13. Willie Howard, DT, Stanford -- The hard working, physically talented 6'3", 291-pounder didn't always dominate in the Pac-10 this past season, but he still managed to put together a very solid campaign. With his natural explosion to the QB once he separates, there will be an opportunity for Howard to possibly become a factor at a DE spot in the right defensive structure. What I really like about Howard is the hustle and desire he shows on every snap, along with his willingness in the off-season to do whatever it takes to improve his game.

    14. Kevan Barlow, RB, Pittsburgh -- The more you watch Barlow in game action from this season, the easier it becomes to elevate him on the draft board. Not only does the 6'1", 235-pounder have the ability to run effectively between the tackles, but you would be surprised by the bounce he shows to the outside and the quickness he displays when turning the corner. While he has lacked game-to-game consistency, Barlow may be the type of all-around talent who is worth rolling the dice for a little earlier in the draft than some may expect.

    15. Ken Lucas, CB, Mississippi -- I really like his combination of size (6'0", 200), athletic prowess, and ball skills, but in order to secure a mid-first round grade, he'll have to prove he has the necessary recovery speed to get the job done when working in man situations against the likes of Randy Moss, Jimmy Smith, Torry Holt, and Marvin Harrison.

    16. Damione Lewis, DT, Miami (Fla) -- Whenever Lewis is healthy, he has proven to be a real force in the middle. The 6'2", 283-pounder utilizes leverage, shows outstanding initial quickness and can also close effectively on sack or hurry opportunities. I also like the fact that he did his best to play through the toe injury in his right foot that he suffered early in the campaign against Washington.

    17. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, TCU -- I really like his combination of strength and balance along with the instant ability to hit the home run. The primary concerns are his lack of experience catching the football as well as the fact that he benefitted at TCU from the option attack that was employed. As far as his pass receiving talent and potential in this area is concerned, Tomlinson will have a chance to prove his worth in this area during individual workouts.

    18. Shaun Rogers, DT, Texas -- Like Miami's Lewis, he was also held back by injury this season. He was hampered by the lingering effects of a high-ankle sprain he suffered against Houston on Sept 23. When at full strength, not only is the 6'4", 320-pounder a major force when it comes to jamming up the interior against the run, but he'll also surprise you with his sound pass rush techniques.

    19. Dan Morgan, LB, Miami (Fla) -- Enjoyed a tremendously productive campaign as the Hurricanes' team leader from his mike spot, coming through with anywhere from 15-20 tackles in just about every game. The 6'2", 239-pounder doesn't hesitate at the snap of the ball, showing the instincts and determination of Zack Thomas. The concern with Morgan is whether he can continue to perform at such a high level even though he's not the most fluid athlete. That's why there figures to be a great deal of mixed opinion on whether Morgan should carry a super blue chip grade after all is said and done.

    20. Fred Smoot, CB, Mississippi St. -- Was beaten some in coverage this season, but he's a confident, very talented, pure CB who anticipates extremely well and has the ability to come through with the game changing play at key points. Assisting Smoot at the pro level will be the fact that he's experienced in man-coverage situations as well as a three-deep zone which is also employed by the Bulldogs top-flight defensive coordinator Joe Lee Dunn.

    21. Adam Archuleta, DB, Arizona St. -- Some have compared Archuleta to former Sun Devil Pat Tillman, but when you have him graded as a first rounder like I do, you had better believe strongly that he will be more along the lines of another former Sun Devil, Darren Woodson, at the pro level. While he hasn't been a true SS in ASU's scheme, he has all the physical skills as well as the tenacity and instincts to make the smooth transition. Keep in mind, the 6', 208-pounder will clock in the 4.43 range and can do 30 bench press reps.

    22. Ligarius Jennings, CB, Tennessee St. -- While he lacks ideal height at 5'9", like Tampa Bay's Donnie Abraham, he's quick as a cat and is also extremely competitive. Jennings is a strong, compact 193-pounder who will mix it up in run support and will also deliver a jarring blow in coverage to separate the receiver from the ball. If his performance is up to the high level I expect during post-season action, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see Jennings end up in the late first or early-mid second round.

    23. Derrick Gibson, DB, Florida St. -- Physically gifted, pure safety, able to clock in the 4.40 to 4.45 range at a sturdy 6'1" and 210 pounds. Gibson excels in the weight room where he bench presses over 400 pounds. On the field, his performance wasn't always up to the level of his eye-catching weight room numbers, but he did manage to flash just enough ability on gameday to warrant serious consideration when the draft moves into the latter stages of round one.

    24. Tommy Polley, LB, Florida St. -- Still not all the way back from the serious knee injury he sustained last January. But to his credit, Polley was out there every week, competing like a champion. When scrutinizing his play this year, Polley didn't take on blockers like he's capable and lacked the steady production to really jump out at you on film. In this case, Polley's final grade has to be based in a large degree to his performance in '99 when he paced the FSU defense with 109 tackles. When at full strength, Polley showcases explosive speed and tremendous athleticism.

    25. Maurice Williams, OT, Michigan -- Despite the fact that he never redshirted at Michigan and actually saw playing time in five games at DE as a true freshman in '97, Williams established himself as a quality bookend RT late in his college career in Ann Arbor. He also has starting experience inside at RG as well. Currently, the athletic 6'5", 300-pounder has just touched the surface of his future pro potential.

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