Pitt DL continues ascent while Wisconsin LB Chris Borland makes debut
Updated: March 20, 2014, 12:07 PM ET
Mel Kiper Jr. | ESPN Insider
Getty ImagesPitt defensive lineman Aaron Donald and Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland are on the rise.
Quarterback prospects Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater had their pro days this week, but you won’t see any changes in their rankings on the Big Board. The reason behind that is because I’m waiting for Johnny Manziel’s pro day workout March 27 before finalizing my QB rankings — separating and ordering those three players is very difficult right now.
There is some movement on the board, however, with Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald continuing his rise by jumping five spots, and Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland entering the Top 25.
Remember that I’ll keep the scouting reports similar week to week, though you’ll see tweaks over the next couple of months as pro days take place and I continue to gather information.
Pro days are in motion, so that could change a few things in the rankings that I’ll publish closer to the draft.
Asterisks denote juniors, and two asterisks denote redshirt sophomores. The early-entry deadline has passed, so all players are now either officially in or out of the 2014 NFL draft.
Clowney’s outstanding workouts at the NFL combine — the 4.53 40 and a ridiculous 1.56 10-yard split time — did nothing to hurt his stock, and now it’ll just come down to how he handles interviews and answers teams’ questions about his work ethic. As a player, he’s special. He isn’t just a speed rusher looking to beat a tackle upfield and quickly turn the corner. He has strength as well, and as a speed-to-power rusher who can drive a tackle back, Clowney can be great. He’ll go through you, and he can succeed in any scheme. Team needs will factor into where he lands in the draft.
He belongs here, it’s just a question of whether he gets drafted here. The remarkable thing with Robinson is his growth curve. Brought in as a guard, he started at left tackle in the SEC as a redshirt freshman and held his own. In 2013, he was dominant, with increased strength making him closer to the complete package at tackle. He moves well, can get out in the run game and block in space, and pass protects well with a wide base and quick feet. He also has long arms and delivers a solid punch. A future star.
Mack’s stock is set. It’s about versatility as much as his pass rush. You see Mack lining up both at the line and on the perimeter. He is capable of rushing the passer with quickness and power, or dropping into coverage with a great ability to shed tackles and make plays in the open field. He uses good leverage to take on blocks and drive people back, and uses quickness and strong hands to shed. He plays with a great motor and tackles with form.
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ESPN NFL Draft analyst since 1984
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Writes weekly for ESPN Insider