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Chris Steuber

Steuber's FINAL Big Board (Top 25 Prospects)

By Chris Steuber | Twitter: @ChrisSteuber
Player Personnel Director & Senior NFL Draft Analyst
Updated: 04/22/2013 7:41PM ET
An extension of my recently released Top 100 NFL Draft rankings, my big board highlights the top 25 five-star prospects listed on my top 100 list. Also appearing on my big board are the prospects from years past that this year's prospects reflect.

A lot of analysts like to compare current draft prospects to players currently playing in the NFL, as a way to project their future and to help fans identify with players they don't watch on a consistent basis. Personally, I prefer to compare current draft prospects to prospects of the past, before they were stars or busts in the NFL.

For example, Alabama guard Chance Warmack is rated No. 1 overall on my board and I've compared him to former Pitt star Ruben Brown when he entered the NFL. There are many factors that go into comparing players, including similarities in athleticism, body type, production, etc.

How Warmack and other prospects ultimately pan out at the next level is anyone's guess. But, I am a true believer that a prospects' success is determined by the situation they're placed in; meaning the coaching they receive, the system a team implements, how soon they are expected to perform, the talent that surrounds them and much more.

Here's a look at my top 25 prospects...
RankPlayerPositionSchool
1 Chance WarmackOG
Alabama 
It is extremely rare to see an offensive guard as the top prospect in a draft, but Warmack is the most complete player available and will instantly improve a team’s run game. He over powers the opposition in the trenches and demonstrates outstanding mobility for a man of his size. It's highly unlikely that he will be the top pick in the draft, but he's a dominant presence.

Prospect Reflection: Ruben Brown (Pittsburgh), 1995: 1st Round (14th overall) by Buffalo Bills
2 Luke Joeckel*OT
Texas A&M 
Joeckel, who is considered by many as the safest player available in the draft, has a lot of experience and is savvy with his approach. He was a three-year starter at Texas A&M, and that experience along with his steady play will only help his case to become the top pick in the draft.

Prospect Reflection: D'Brickashaw Ferguson (Virginia), 2006: 1st Round (4th overall) by New York Jets
3 Eric FisherOT
Central Michigan 
Fisher started the draft process as an unknown only because he played at Central Michigan. But, he's had a strong offseason and has solidified his status as a top-five draft pick. The only question that remains is, how high will Fisher be drafted? It's very possible that the Kansas City Chiefs end up favoring Fisher over Joeckel. It would be quite a meteoric rise.

Prospect Reflection: Joe Staley (Central Michigan), 2007: 1st Round (28th overall) by San Francisco 49ers
4 Dee Milliner*CB
Alabama 
Milliner has great size and embraces the physical aspects of the game. He matches up well against big receivers and is able to shield them with his positioning. He's still learning the nuances of the position, but has a high ceiling.

Prospect Reflection: Carlos Rogers (Auburn), 2005: 1st Round (9th overall) by Washington Redskins
5 Dion JordanDE/LB
Oregon 
Jordan is an incredible athlete. He has a great frame, tremendous range and is extremely explosive off the edge. He gives the opposition fits with his length and disrupts the action at the line of scrimmage. As promising as Jordan is, he's had his share of injuries and long-term durability could play a factor on draft day.

Prospect Reflection: Aldon Smith (Missouri), 2011: 1st Round (7th overall) by San Francisco 49ers
6 Matt BarkleyQB
USC 
Barkley has received a lot of criticism this year and many doubt how good he will be at the next level. Don't listen... he is the top quarterback in the draft. Obviously, Barkley doesn't have the strongest arm and is limited athletically, but he's the most polished and NFL ready signal caller available. Not to mention, he's extremely intelligent, understands how to operate in the pocket and measured in better than expected at the Scouting Combine.

Prospect Reflection: Troy Aikman (UCLA), 1989: 1st Round (1st overall) by Dallas Cowboys
7 Sharrif Floyd*DT
Florida 
An extremely athletic and versatile defensive lineman, Floyd is scheme diverse and has an extremely high ceiling. Like most of the defensive tackles in this year's class, Floyd didn't produce eye-popping stats during his collegiate career. But his ability to line up at multiple positions and help others around him will attract many teams, regardless of their defensive scheme. Floyd has a lot of momentum at this point and has a chance to be a top 5 - 7 pick.

Prospect Reflection: Glenn Dorsey (LSU), 2008: 1st Round (5th overall) by Kansas City Chiefs
8 Geno SmithQB
West Virginia 
Smith has natural passing ability and showcased that he can complete a high percentage of his passes, but he has to improve his awareness and footwork. He's also a good athlete and can make plays on the run. There's a lot to like about Smith, but NFL teams have to do their homework and determine if Smith is purely a system quarterback or if he can adapt to any situation.

Prospect Reflection: Jason Campbell (Auburn), 2005: 1st Round (25th overall) by Washington Redskins
9 Tavon AustinWR
West Virginia 
A multi-dimensional playmaker, Austin is a reliable target and a consistent performer. He doesn't have the size many teams desire, but his versatility and game breaking ability set him apart from many of the receivers in this class.

Prospect Reflection: Antonio Brown (Central Michigan), 2010: 6th Round (195th overall) by Pittsburgh Steelers
10 Star LotuleleiDT
Utah 
Lotulelei flashes dominance, but has trouble handling double teams consistently and can be controlled at the line of scrimmage. However, although he doesn't always generate impact stats, his presence alone makes others around him better. The natural skills and unique mobility that Lotulelei possesses could easily propel him to a top 3 - 5 selection, now that the medical concern was cleared.

Prospect Reflection: Richard Seymour (Georgia), 2001: 1st Round (6th overall) by New England Patriots
11 Lane JohnsonOT
Oklahoma 
As a former high school quarterback and college tight end and defensive end, Johnson isn't the most polished offensive tackle in the draft. Even with his inexperience at the position, he's the most athletic tackle available, and the performance he had at the Combine raised his status around the league. He could come off the board in the 7 - 11 range.

Prospect Reflection: Trent Williams (Oklahoma), 2010: 1st Round (4th overall) by Washington Redskins
12 Bjoern Werner*DE
Florida State 
Despite starting his football career late, the German-born Werner has emerged as one of the country's top pass rushers. He improved his game every year at Florida State and has demonstrated that he is very coachable. Under the guidance of NFL coaching and in the right scheme, Werner's high ceiling will rapidly become a reality.

Prospect Reflection: Grant Wistrom (Nebraska), 1998: 1st Round (6th overall) by St. Louis Rams
13 Barkevious Mingo*DE/OLB
LSU 
Mingo is a disruptive defender, and there's more to his game than his statistics suggest. He's extremely explosive and can cover a large area in a hurry. He's an ideal fit for a 3-4 defense. As high as his upside is, Mingo could be viewed as a boom or bust prospect. He's undersized and can be blown up by the opposition.

Prospect Reflection: Jarvis Moss (Florida), 2007: 1st Round (17th overall) by Denver Broncos
14 Jarvis Jones*DE/OLB
Georgia 
Jones is a perfect fit for a team looking for a 3-4 rush linebacker. He is a relentless defender and has a knack for getting after the quarterback. There are some concerns about Jones' injury history, which is well documented, and his lackluster 40-time during his Pro Day. Jones has the film to warrant a top-five selection, but he could also experience a Da'Quan Bowers like fall in the draft, if teams are overly concerned.

Prospect Reflection: Shawne Merriman (Maryland), 2005: 1st Round (12th overall) by San Diego Chargers
15 Ezekiel AnsahDE/OLB
Brigham Young 
Ansah is a complete wildcard and should be viewed as a high risk, high reward proposition. There's no denying his physical ability, but he's extremely raw and it's unknown how he will fair at the next level. The team that selects Ansah better have a strong coaching staff in place, and the patience to develop his raw, but potentially dominant skill set.

Prospect Reflection: Jason Pierre-Paul (South Florida), 2010: 1st Round (15th overall) by New York Giants
16 Sheldon Richardson*DT
Missouri 
Richardson is as talented as any defender in the draft. He had a strong junior season and based on his play, he could ultimately be a top-20 pick. But, he's had troubles off- the-field that will concern teams. Those concerns were likely addressed during the Scouting Combine and will emerge again during team visits. If Richardson checks out well and teams are confident in what they hear, the sky is the limit.

Prospect Reflection: Marvin Austin (North Carolina), 2012: 2nd Round (52nd overall) by New York Giants
17 Johnathan Hankins*DT
Ohio State 
Hankins is a massive interior force and controls the interior. He's strong inside and also has the versatility to play along the defensive line. However, Hankins must work on his technique and concentrate on his conditioning. He offers great value to a 3-4 team.

Prospect Reflection: Sam Adams (Texas A&M), 1994: 1st Round (8th overall) by Seattle Seahawks
18 Jonathan CooperOG
North Carolina 
Some may say that Cooper isn't too far behind Warmack as the draft's top interior lineman, but it all depends on what teams value in their linemen. If a team is looking for an athletic guard who moves well in space and gets to the second-level with ease, Cooper should be their target. But, Cooper has to get stronger and work on his technique in pass protection. It wouldn't be a surprise if Cooper is ultimately selected in the top 15.

Prospect Reflection: Ben Grubbs (Auburn), 2007: 1st Round (29th overall) by Baltimore Ravens
19 Matt Elam*SS
Florida 
Elam is the most complete safety available in the draft. He's extremely physical and has good ball skills. He doesn't have the stature some teams look for in a safety, but he has an elite skill set and many characteristics that should generate top-20 interest.

Prospect Reflection: Brian Dawkins (Clemson), 1996: 2nd Round (61st overall) by Philadelphia Eagles
20 Manti Te'oILB
Notre Dame 
Te'o is an incredibly instinctive defender who is always around the ball and makes plays. He offers great leadership qualities to a defense. Although, some might dispute that last statement, after the 'Catfish' controversy he got caught up in. Teams should chalk that situation up to being a learning experience, because passing on Te'o could end up being a major mistake.

Prospect Reflection: Rey Maualuga (Southern Cal), 2009: 2nd Round (38th overall) by Cincinnati Bengals
21 DeAndre Hopkins*WR
Clemson 
Hopkins exploded on the scene this past year, and displayed the ability to be a No. 1 wide receiver at the next level. He had an incredible junior campaign, as he recorded 1,405 yards and 18 touchdowns, but Hopkins is still developing many aspects of his game, especially his route running. He's an intriguing prospect and has only scratched the surface.

Prospect Reflection: Donte' Stallworth (Tennessee), 2002: 1st Round (13th overall) by New Orleans Saints
22 Tyler Eifert*TE
Notre Dame 
Eifert is a playmaking tight end, who can stretch the seam and make plays downfield. He has the upper-hand against most defenders and is a dangerous weapon in the redzone. He has improved as a blocker and will only get better.

Prospect Reflection: Jeremy Shockey (Miami), 2002: 1st Round (14th overall) by New York Giants
23 Xavier RhodesCB
Florida State 
Rhodes is a rangy defender, who has a great frame and matches up well against most receivers. He's physical at the line of scrimmage and demonstrates the ability to locate the ball in the air from all angles. Rhodes showcased his speed at the Combine and had a solid offseason. However, he will have to work on his tackling and adapt his game to the next level. He could be a star, but it will take sometime before he reaches his full potential.

Prospect Reflection: Antonio Cromartie (Florida State), 2006: 1st Round (19th overall) by San Diego Chargers
24 Keenan Allen*WR
California 
Allen has a great frame and an attractive catching radius. He is a solid route runner and works to help his quarterback in the passing game. Allen missed the last three games of the season due to a knee injury, and there are many questions about the health of his knee, after a disappointing 40-time at his Pro Day. Where Allen is ultimately selected will be based on the medical reports team's receive and how comfortable they are with the information they have.

Prospect Reflection: Reggie Williams (Washington), 2004: 1st Round (9th overall) by Jacksonville Jaguars
25 Damontre Moore*DE/OLB
Texas A&M 
Moore may have had the worst performance at the Scouting Combine and failed to impress scouts in any department. Once considered a sure top-five pick in the draft, Moore has incredible potential and could develop into a special player at the next level, but many concerns were raised from the Combine, and the re-evaluation of his film and interview process during team visits will determine where he is selected in the first-round, if at all.

Prospect Reflection: Jevon Kearse (Florida), 1999: 1st Round (16th overall) by Tennessee Titans
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