Ryan Lownes’ Top 50 Big Board

Written by Ryan Lownes on August 29, 2011



With the college football season only days away, Ryan Lownes offers a peek at his top fifty prospects for 2012. Based on plenty of tape study, his big board is an tremendous resource: both for die-hard draftniks and fans familiarizing themselves with college football’s top talents.

 

Love, hate, or feel ambivalent about Ryan’s rankings? Make sure to share your thoughts in the comments below and over at the Draft Breakdown message board.
 
 

Top 50 Overall

 

#

Name

Position

School

Notes

1

Andrew Luck

QB

Stanford

Signal caller with prototype physical tools and rare intangibles.

2

Alshon Jeffery

WR

South Carolina

Physically dominant receiver with incredible production.

3

Landry Jones

QB

Oklahoma

Pocket passer has size and the arm to fit balls into tight windows.

4

Trent Richardson

RB

Alabama

Violent, relentless runner with balance and breakaway speed.

5

Justin Blackmon

WR

Oklahoma State

Very productive player possessing great hands, strength, and concentration.

6

Luke Kuechly

ILB

Boston College

Extremely active, instinctual backer with size and speed.

7

Matt Barkley

QB

Southern Cal

Gifted QB could take next step this season and make a splash in the win column.

8

Vontaze Burfict

ILB

Arizona State

Outstanding size and athleticism, but questionable maturity.

9

Dre Kirkpatrick

CB

Alabama

Long, rangy corner with ball skills and competitiveness.

10

Matt Kalil

OT

Southern Cal

Prototypical left tackle kept Tyron Smith on the right side at USC.

11

Donte Paige-Moss

DE/OLB

North Carolina

Long, athletic edge rusher loaded with potential.

12

Stephon Gilmore

CB

South Carolina

Man-cover corner possessing NFL size, athleticism, and toughness.

13

Michael Floyd

WR

Notre Dame

Productive but injury-prone receiver with terrific size, body control, and hands.

14

Quinton Coples

DE

North Carolina

Enormous left end with length, power, and disruptive ability.

15

Brandon Jenkins

DE/OLB

Florida State

Gifted pass-rusher with an excellent first step.

16

Jonathan Martin

OT

Stanford

Andrew Luck’s blind side protection since he walked on campus.

17

Ryan Broyles

WR

Oklahoma

A bit small, but is an ultra-reliable target with NFL starter ability.

18

Riley Reiff

OT

Iowa

Hawkeye left tackle comes equipped with good size and quick feet.

19

Jerel Worthy

DT

Michigan State

Physically imposing interior lineman may be on the verge of a breakout season.

20

Cliff Harris

CB

Oregon

Dynamic return man that has NFL starting corner potential.

21

Devin Taylor

DE

South Carolina

Long limbed edge rusher with a great frame and solid production.

22

Alfonzo Dennard

CB

Nebraska

Often was the most imposing corner on the field for the Huskers last season.

23

Marcus Forston

DT

Miami

Disruptive tackle coming into his own and will make plays in the backfield in 2012.

24

Courtney Upshaw

OLB/ILB

Alabama

Versatile backer has a knack for making plays behind the line of scrimmage.

25

Manti Te’o

ILB

Notre Dame

The Irish’s leading tackler a year ago and a budding star.

26

David DeCastro

OG

Stanford

Left Guard brings size and grit to the nation’s best offensive line.

27

Zach Brown

OLB

North Carolina

Rare athlete lacking elite instincts for the positions.

28

Dont’a Hightower

ILB

Alabama

Promising linebacker will start the year healthy and should bounce back in 2012.

29

Jared Crick

DT

Nebraska

Was just as productive last season after losing line-mate Ndamukong Suh.

30

LaMichael James

RB

Oregon

Heisman candidate is a dynamic runner with vision, quickness, and speed.

31

Kelechi Osemele

OG/OT

Iowa State

Big, experienced lineman with experience at left tackle and guard.

32

Brandon Lindsey

DE/OLB

Pittsburgh

Pass-rushing specialist that may fit best standing up in the NFL.

33

Knile Davis

RB

Arkansas

Smooth runner with power who’ll be sidelined with a knee injury.

34

Nico Johnson

OLB

Alabama

Talented player will have a chance to break out in his first year as a starter.

35

Juron Criner

WR

Arizona

Tall, long-limbed receiver with good hands and body control.

36

Cordy Glenn

OG

Georgia

Four-year starter at guard has size and solid technique.

37

Chase Minnifield

CB

Virginia

Tall, rangy corner with hands eased the loss of Chris Cook and Ras-I Dowling.

38

Bruce Irvin

DE/OLB

West Virginia

Pass-rushing specialist that will likely be looking at a stand up role at the nezt level.

39

Kenny Tate

FS

Maryland

Big, athletic free safety that improved his play a year ago.

40

Travis Lewis

OLB

Oklahoma

Experienced and productive backer, but too often out of position.

41

Robert Lester

FS

Alabama

Ball-hawking center fielder who’s arguably the top playmaker on a talented Tide defense.

42

Ronnell Lewis

OLB

Oklahoma

End-linebacker tweener who will have a chance to excel this season with more responsibility.

43

Kheeston Randall

DT

Texas

A cornerstone player inside for the Longhorns with NFL size.

44

Mark Barron

SS

Alabama

Hard-hitting, active safety will need to cut down mistakes in 2012.

45

Cyrus Gray

RB

Texas A&M

Explosive back with game-breaking speed but questionable toughness.

46

Jeff Fuller

WR

Texas A&M

Big, talented receiver was first-team all Big XII a year ago.

47

Dwayne Allen

TE

Clemson

Thick tight end is an effective blocker and receiver.

48

Mike Adams

OT

Ohio State

A minor part of Ohio State’s scandal, but a major part of their offensive front.

49

Greg Childs

WR

Arkansas

Injuries derailed a promising 2010 season, but the big, physical wideout remains one of the SEC’s elite.

50

Ryan Tannehill

QB

Texas A&M

Former receiver kick-started the Aggies and was 6-1 as the team’s signal caller.

 


Ryan Lownes

Ryan is currently an undergraduate student at Ohio University pursuing a degree in Sport Management. He has been attending the NFL Draft in New York City since 2005 and has aspirations of a career in scouting. He is currently a draft writer and analyst on the Draft Breakdown team, posting his latest rankings, mock drafts, scouting reports, and more. Be sure to follow Ryan on twitter for year-round NFL Draft analysis. See all posts by Ryan Lownes.