With the Jan. 15 declaration deadline finalized for underclassmen, we can now start shaping up our prospects.
This is the year's first big board as of Jan. 16, 2009, and it will be updated periodically as senior bowls, workouts, and rumors take place. The big board is not a prediction of how the draft will go, rather it ranks the top 32 players in the draft. Comments are appreciated.
1. Aaron Curry, OLB, Wake Forest—Punishing tackler with the ability to get sacks and INTs.
2. Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech—Professional receiver who is good in open space.
3. Malcom Jenkins, CB, Ohio State—On-field production paired with great measurables, rare combo.
4. Andre Smith, OT, Alabama—Surprisingly agile giant, Sugar Bowl fiasco is a concern where his head is.
5. Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia—Big arm, quick release, savvy in the pocket, accurate up the sideline and with a man in his face.
6. Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia—Stud SEC running back has coveted pass-catching ability.
7. Rey Maualuga, ILB, USC—Rare size and speed combo, even in the NFL.
8. Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia—Prototype bookend is still developing.
9. Brian Orakpo, LB/DE, Texas—Perfect fit as a disruptor in the 3-4 scheme.
10. James Laurinaitis, ILB, Ohio State—Reads and reacts like a veteran with great toughness and durability.
11. Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State—Ability to split out in the slot and dominate blocking on the line.
12. Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois—Will have an eye-opening NFL combine with his speed, agility, strength and size.
13. Aaron Maybin, LB/DE, Penn State—Lean and long-armed, the perfect pass-rusher.
14. Mark Sanchez, QB, USC—Extremely polished and determined to win.
15. Jason Smith, OT, Baylor—Former TE is still refining his already impressive game.
16. Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina—His size and field awareness make the game look easy.
17. B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College—Stout plug has explosive get-off that allows him to get in the backfield.
18. Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri—Will have immediate impact in return game and as a downfield threat.
19. Michael Oher, OT, Mississippi—Erases defenders in the running game.
20. Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU—Only run-stop DE (295 LBs) at the top of the draft, likes to get physical.
21. Everette Brown, DE, Florida State—Has all the makings of an NFL sack artist.
22. D.J. Moore, CB, Vanderbilt—Corner has knack for the big play.
23. Brian Cushing, OLB, USC—Equally strong at stopping the run and pass.
24. Michael Johnson, DE, Georgia Tech—Giant in the college game has tools to make immediate impact at next-level.
25. Percy Harvin, WR, Florida—Injuries are the only thing that can stop this TD addict.
26. Clint Sintim, LB/DE, Virginia—Spent time in a three-point and a two-point but isn't effective in coverage.
27. LeSean McCoy, RB, Pittsburgh—Speed, vision, and catching ability make him a big play threat.
28. Duke Robinson, G, Oklahoma—Get behind him on third-and-one.
29. Sean Smith, CB, Utah—Safety-sized corner blankets receivers.
30. Chris Wells, RB, Ohio State—Deceptive burst and punishing blows get him the tough yards.
31. Sen'Derrick Marks, DE/DT, Auburn—Has room to add bulk, could play end in 3-4.
32. Max Unger, C, Oregon—Former tackle started every game on the line since he was a true freshman.