2017 NFL Draft: Mel Kiper Updates His Top 25 Big Board

The 2017 NFL Draft is nearly a full year away, but draft experts have already started to turn their attention towards prospects who could enter the draft. ESPN's Mel Kiper has posted an update top 25 Big Board. Since Kiper's big board is blocked by the ESPN Insider Pay Wall, we've compiled the list below for you. 

All 25 players are listed below, along with their positions and schools. Not every player on this list is guaranteed to turn pro, and several might elect to stay for the senior (or in a few cases, junior) years. Kiper's big board will likely look much different closer to the draft, but this look does give us a glimpse at some of the top prospect after several college games. With that in mind, let's get to the big board.

1. Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
Kiper: "Garrett appeared to have been hurt in the Aggies' win over Arkansas, but Texas A&M hasn't released information about his injury. Regardless, he's a brilliant, natural pass-rushing talent who, at 6-foot-5 and 265 pounds, has the length, strength and ability to bend the edge. He has 3.0 sacks this season after totaling 22.0 in his first two, and he looks like a top-five lock if he stays healthy. He comes from an athletic family -- both his brother and sister are great athletes."

2. Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
Kiper: "The LSU offense has been built around Fournette, for better or worse, and he is really special when he's healthy. I usually devalue running backs at the top, but Fournette has an incredible combination of size, speed and power that can make him look like a varsity player hanging with the JV. His carries are down this season -- he did miss one game because of an ankle injury -- but that could actually help his NFL value, because he won't match the 300 carries he had last season. Mileage is a concern here."

3. Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State
Kiper: "McDowell has had some growing pains, but he has matured into an elite-level prospect. He's a fantastic athlete with a huge, 6-6, 290-pound frame. The production will come, because I see him overwhelming blockers one-on-one, or winning with quickness. He could be the top pick when it's all said and done."

4. Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
Kiper: "I moved up Peppers a couple of more spots. He's one of my favorite players in college football and has been the most impressive Big Board player so far this season. Coach Jim Harbaugh raves about Peppers (6-0, 210 pounds), who plays safety, corner and outside linebacker and is a dynamic returner, as he showed on a punt return TD this season. He also has plays a little offense. Could he become a Deone Bucannon at the next level? I expect him to test off the charts at the NFL combine."

5. Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama
Kiper: "Allen is the best prospect on the best team in college football. He was brilliant in 2015, leading the Crimson Tide in sacks (12) and tackles for loss (14.5), and he has 3.0 sacks this season. Defensive end, defensive tackle -- he can play anywhere on the line. He could be in the mix for the top pick by April, and he has already risen a few spots on my board."

6. Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
Kiper: "I moved Foster up five spots from my last Big Board. He's a big-time inside linebacker, and he might have been Alabama's best linebacker last season. Yes, better than Reggie Ragland, who went in the second round to the Bills in this year's draft and whom I had as the No. 24-ranked player. Foster has more range, runs sideline to sideline and is a more complete player. Expect him to follow in the footsteps of inside linebackers from Alabama who have gone in the first round, such as Rolando McClain, Dont'a Hightower and C.J. Mosley."

7. Jamal Adams, S, LSU
Kiper: "The Tigers gave up only 16 and 18 points in their two losses. In other words, don't blame Adams and the defense. He has great bloodlines -- his dad, George Adams, was the No. 19 overall pick in the 1985 NFL draft -- and he is built for today's NFL: a versatile safety who can play in the box effectively and make tackles against the run and can also move to the edges and track slot receivers. There is a premium on these monsterbacks."

8. Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Kiper: "Watson seems to have leveled off after a funky start in his first two games. He has been more efficient in the Tigers' last two games, and he has just one interception. He's my top-rated quarterback and now the only QB on the Big Board. At 6-2 and 210 pounds, he might not have ideal size, but he's not small. He combines arm strength and touch and has tremendous ability with the ball in his hands, and that doesn't just mean running; he also throws well on the move. He needs to get stronger, but as the nation saw in January's national title game, although Alabama won, Nick Saban's defense couldn't stop Watson."

9. Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama
Kiper: "Williams, my top-ranked prospect in my preseason Big Board, has dropped a few more spots. I'm just concerned about the production. Still, he has flashed the ability to be a premium pass-rusher and can be unblockable at times. But the numbers just aren't there this season after 10.5 sacks in 2015, even though he played only about 20 percent of defensive snaps."

10. Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
Kiper: "Cook had a huge game in Florida State's win over South Florida, rushing for 267 yards and two touchdowns -- averaging 9.5 yards per carry -- and adding 62 receiving yards on just four catches. He is a home run hitter, and he can turn small creases into massive gains. With good hands and the ability to find and pick up blitzes, he's versatile. The thing you like about Cook is that he can flat-out run away from defenses but still packs a punch at 210-plus pounds. His return to form against the Bulls was impressive."

11. Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
Kiper: "Williams has put behind him the scary neck injury that prematurely ended his 2015 season, and he's back to being Watson's go-to target in the Tigers' offense. Williams, who is averaging 15.2 yards per catch, has great burst and speed for his size (6-2, 225 pounds). He put up more than 1,000 receiving yards as a sophomore in 2014. I think he could be the first wideout off the board in April."

12. Charles Harris, DE, Missouri
Kiper: "Harris has moved up and down a couple of times on my Big Board, but this is the highest he has been, mostly because of his performance in the Tigers' loss to Georgia. He was tremendously disruptive, recording three sacks, a tackle for loss and a batted-down pass, and he showed off a variety of pass-rushing moves. A 6-3, 255-pound pass-rusher, he can stand up in a 3-4 or put his hand on the ground in a 4-3. He even moved inside to defensive tackle a few times to rush the quarterback. Last season, he led the SEC with 18.5 tackles for loss.."

13. Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
Kiper: "Humphrey is a big lockdown corner at 6-1, but he's still a little green. He had three interceptions as a redshirt freshman last season, and he was a key playmaker for the national champs. He already has an interception this season, returning it for a touchdown in the Tide's beatdown of USC in Week 1. He has great bloodlines: His father, Bobby, was a big-time running back at Alabama who was picked by the Broncos in the first round of the 1989 supplemental draft."

14. Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State
Kiper: "Ohio State lost a lot of talent to the 2016 draft, and now McMillan is its top draft-eligible prospect. But this isn't a new development -- the former five-star prospect is a tackling machine who led the Buckeyes in tackles as a sophomore last season. He's a big, rangy linebacker who still needs to show teams that he's capable of being a three-down linebacker."

15. JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC
Kiper: "USC has had a few problems getting the ball to Smith-Schuster, who has just 19 catches and is averaging only 10.4 yards per catch through four games, but he has the talent and ability to be an an elite wide receiver at the next level. With a coveted combination of size and speed, he's what teams look for out of No. 1 wideouts, and he isn't shy when it comes to delivering a blow or playing through contact."

16. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
Kiper: "Like LSU with Fournette, the Stanford offense is built around McCaffrey. He runs, catches passes, blocks and returns kicks and punts. McCaffrey has incredible balance and could be an every-down back in the NFL. It helps that he plays in a pro-style offense at Stanford. He's averaging 5.5 yards per carry on his 79 carries, and he has 12 catches in three games. His father, Ed, had a long NFL career as a wide receiver, and his brother, Max, was a good receiver at Duke."

17. Teez Tabor, CB, Florida
Kiper: "Tabor just makes big plays. He showed up in big moments every time I turned on last season's tape, breaking up passes and locking down defenders. He returned two interceptions for touchdowns in 2015. You can argue that Tabor was the most consistently effective Florida cornerback last season -- and Vernon Hargreaves III went No. 11 overall to the Bucs. Tabor was suspended for the Gators' first game of the season, but he already has two more interceptions in the three games he has played."

18. Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
Kiper: "Barnett was spectacular in the Volunteers' win over Florida, piling up 2.0 sacks and multiple disruptions. "I don't think I've ever seen a person quite take over a game like he did," defensive coordinator Bob Shoop said after the game. Barnett is a great pass-rusher and had 20 total sacks in his first two seasons. At 6-3, 265 pounds, he has the frame to play defensive tackle, too."

19. Jake Butt, TE, Michigan
Kiper: "After breaking out last year (51 catches), Butt is off to a great start in 2016. He has the length NFL teams covet (6-6) and strong hands. He consistently makes catches through contact and can pluck the ball away from his body. He's not a big-time athlete, but he is above-average and has everything else you'd want in a tight end, and the Wolverines trust him to block, too."

20. Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
Kiper: "I bumped down Robinson a little bit because I'm just not sure he can be a left tackle in the NFL. He could be a great right tackle, though. At 6-6, 327 pounds, Robinson was a starter from day one at Alabama, and he's already a known commodity around the NFL. He's battle-tested and extremely consistent."

21. Mike McGlinchy, OT, Notre Dame
Kiper: "Like Robinson, McGlinchey has dropped a little bit. After playing right tackle last seaso, with 2016 first-round pick Ronnie Stanley manning the left side, McGlinchey moved to left tackle this season and has had a few hiccups. He is a massive athlete (6-7, 310) who looks like a tight end with pads on, but his future in the NFL might be on the right side."

22. Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson
Kiper: "Tankersley is a big corner (6-1) who didn't play much until last season, when he led the Tigers with five interceptions. He has impressed again in 2016, even without any picks. The key for Tankersley will be the combine: He needs to run in the 4.4s in the 40-yard dash. I like what I see on tape, though."

23. Roderick Johnson, OT, Florida State
Kiper: "At 6-7, Johnson is a natural left tackle with tremendous feet and good balance. After getting starts at left tackle as a true freshman, he was superb as a true sophomore and could rise up the board with another solid season. I could see him being picked in the top 10."

24. O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama 
Kiper: "The senior hasn't been a prolific pass-catcher at Alabama, but he has all the tools scouts look for in an NFL tight end. At 6-6, 250, Howard is going to light up the NFL combine. He can stretch the deep middle of the field and become a more dynamic weapon. Howard's numbers this season aren't eye-popping -- he has 10 catches for 152 yards and a touchdown so far -- but he could be a playmaker in the NFL. Just look at last season's national title game, in which he had 208 receiving yards and two touchdowns. I could see a team taking him in the top 12."

25. Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU
Kiper: "White is a four-year starter at corner for LSU who passed up the NFL draft last year. He shows instincts on tape, even though he doesn't have the interception numbers of an elite cornerback (just five in his career). Like I noted with Adams, the LSU defense -- and secondary -- isn't the problem. White is also a stellar returner, with three punt-return touchdowns in his career."

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