Mel Kiper is one of the NFL draft analysts everyone loves to hate.
Each year he appears around the end of January to talk about draft prospects. He is all over ESPN until the week after the draft in April. Then he disappears again until the next draft season.
Here is a player-by-player look at his latest big board, which came out January 4th (that's why it includes Oklahoma QB Landry Jones, who has since said he's returning for his senior season).
Andrew Luck is going to be at the top of every single person's big board, except Tony Dungy, from here until the draft in April. He is the best prospect to come out of college since Peyton Manning.
Of course the Colts are lucky enough to stink for the first time in over a decade in a year where they get an obvious successor to Manning. There is no way they do anything other than take Luck with the first pick.
Matt Kalil, like Luck, is a lock for this position. He is a tackle that the Rams can take and know that they have a position locked up for the next decade. You cannot say that about many players in this draft.
Kiper says he has "the full range of skills" for a left tackle. Anyone who has watched him play will not argue with that.
Trent Richardson will not be the third pick in the draft because teams in the NFL do not value running backs like they once did.
That does not mean that Richardson will not be a star. He has everything you could possibly want in a running back with great speed, vision and strength.
So Richardson will be picked lower than he is on the board, but this is pretty good placement from Kiper.
For the second straight year, there is a stud NFL corner atop Kiper's big board. Last year it was Patrick Peterson. This year it is Morris Claiborne.
Claiborne will be a shutdown corner in the NFL. That is an extremely valuable thing in today's NFL, but Claiborne should not be ahead of Robert Griffin on anyone's board.
You could make an argument for him as high as two, but four is the absolute lowest he should ever be.
Warren Moon called Justin Blackmon "Dez Bryant with all of his brain cells" this week. That is very high praise and could be very true.
Again, there is no doubt that Blackmon is going to be a stud at a valuable position, but he should not be ahead of Griffin III. You would think that Kiper, who had Jimmy Clausen ahead of Sam Bradford a few years back, could see that.
Tony Dungy said he would take Robert Griffin III ahead of Andrew Luck. That is probably a stretch, but Griffin is going to have a really good career as an NFL quarterback.
It is going to be really fun to watch what happens with him on draft day. There are going to be quite a few teams wanting to move up and pick him. Someone is going to pay a really high price to do so.
Kiper has some interesting analysis on Reiff, saying he might be the best tackle right now but has limited upside.
This is the point in the draft where the talent really drops off. There is a significant drop-off from Griffin III to Reiff.
It will be interesting to see if Reiff is selected ahead of Richardson on draft night.
This is entirely too high for Coples. He had a very disappointing year, and has bust written all over him.
Someone will take him in the top 10, however, if he performs well at the combine. The NFL has fallen in love with the defensive ends who have combine numbers that jump off the board despite all of the busts in the last few years.
Jonathan Martin has protected Andrew Luck for the last couple of years and done a fine job. He will be a good left tackle in the NFL.
It is hard to see what makes Kiper rank him behind Coples. Martin plays a more valuable position, and is a much safer pick.
Luke Kuechly will make some NFL team very happy. He is probably not going to be one of the best linebackers in the NFL, but he will be a very solid player for years to come.
Kiper sees him as a complete linebacker who can stop the run and cover the pass. It is hard to argue with that.
Eleventh seems like a good spot for Devon Still. He has the ability to play the nose tackle in the 3-4, and the ability to be a 4-3 defensive tackle.
The only question with Still is his durability. That might scare a few teams off, but he will be off the board by the 15th pick.
Cordy Glenn is a large individual. He will probably end up playing guard in the NFL, and be a very good player.
Twelfth is too high, though, for a guy who projects as a right tackle or guard at the next level. Teams can find those guys without investing this high of a pick.
David DeCastro is another offensive lineman who had the pleasure of blocking for Andrew Luck in college. He did it very well.
Kiper says that DeCastro is "a rare guard who could get some looks in the first round."
That does not sound like a guy who should be in the top 15 on a big board, but that does not mean that DeCastro will not end up being a very good player.
This is low for Alshon Jeffery. He does have some concerns with his weight, but there is no concern when it comes to his ability.
The important thing for Jeffery will be how he runs at the combine. Some people think he compares to Mike Williams of USC coming out of college. He can silence those concerns with a good number at the combine.
This spot is irrelevant now that Landry Jones has announced he is staying in school. That was the best decision for Jones because he needs another year to get ready for the NFL.
The move to stay in school will also put him in a draft where he will be the No. 1 or No. 2 quarterback with Matt Barkley instead of the No. 3 quarterback in this draft.
Kiper says that Fletcher Cox is a guy who will either play inside in the 4-3 or defensive end in the 3-4.
Courtney Upshaw should be ranked ahead of Cox on this board. They do not play the same position, but Upshaw is clearly the better player. Cox managed just 56 tackles and five sacks in 2011.
Courtney Upshaw will end up being the best defensive player in this entire draft. He has put up unbelievable numbers in college.
Upshaw will have a leg up on a lot of players because he has played defense under Nick Saban. That will make NFL schemes easier for him to understand.
Kiper compares him to Lamarr Woodley. That is high praise.
Kiper says that Brandon Thompson "consistently plugs lanes." He obviously did not do much of that when his team gave up 70 to West Virginia this week.
Thompson only had 2.5 sacks in 2011. That does not seem like much of a "disruptive force."
Right now Dennard is best known for getting in a fight with Alshon Jeffery in Nebraska's bowl game.
He is a little bit undersized at 5'10", but Kiper says he has "great leaping ability." He is going to need that to match up with all of the big receivers in the NFL.
It seems like a guy would need at least one interception to be in the top 20.
Mel Kiper loves him some defensive tackles.
Jerel Worthy had better numbers in 2011 than Brandon Thompson, so it's hard to figure out why Worthy ranks so much lower.
It may be because of the inconsistency that Kiper talks about in his breakdown of Worthy. That will be something that Worthy needs to explain in his interviews with teams at the combine.
Zach Brown might be too low on this board. Kiper says he has the ability to "play the weak-side linebacker in the 4-3 or outside in a 3-4."
He also talks about Brown's ability in coverage. Brown had three picks in 2011. That will make him very valuable to a lot of teams.
Floyd is a wild card in this draft. Some people have him ahead of Alshon Jeffery. Some people do not have him in the top 25 at all.
The main concern with Floyd is some of the off-the-field stuff that has happened in his time at Notre Dame. If he can put NFL teams at ease about that stuff, he very easily could be a top-15 pick on draft day.
Vontaze Burfict will be an interesting player to watch in this draft. Kiper says he is "far more disciplined than he gets credit for." That discipline issue will be what holds some NFL teams back.
Watch for Burfict to make a big jump up boards if he performs well at the combine.
Dre Kirkpatrick is another guy who will have an easy transition to the NFL because of his time with Nick Saban at Alabama.
Kirkpatrick has excellent size and speed. He will go much higher than 24th in the draft because of his upside. The only reason Kiper has him this low is because of his inconsistent play.
Whitney Mercilus would be a top-10 pick next year if he returned to Illinois and put up similar numbers to the ones he posted in 2011. As Kiper noted, the knock on Mercilus is that he only has one year of numbers like that.
Teams are desperate for pass-rushers in today's league. Do not be surprised to see a team snatch Mercilus up long before the 25th pick.