Mel Kiper Jr., NFL Draft analyst for ESPN, has released the latest edition of the Big Board — his look at his favorite 25 prospects for the upcoming 2012 Draft held next April. As for any signs of life from the Big 12, the best moments for the conference come early with the likely top picks of Justin Blackmon and Landry Jones.
Kiper has Blackmon listed as the fourth best prospect for the NFL Draft. He writes, “He should surpass last year’s 111 catches, which is remarkable. A better prospect than recent OSU star Dez Bryant. Versatile and explosive and really works to get open. Great ball skills; breaks tackles. Exceptional work ethic.”
Blackmon is in the midst of another incredible season for the Oklahoma State Cowboys. He’s been listed as a finalist for this year’s Biletnikoff Award for the nation’s top wide receiver — an award he already took last year. It’s likely he will win it again with the year he’s having. So far he has 103 catches for 1,241 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Given the attention for elite players like A.J. Green in the draft, there’s no way Blackmon lasts past the top five. Perhaps a team like the Minnesota Vikings, who have a poor record and should be picking early, could use a top target for Christian Ponder.