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[Kiper]: Defense dominating Top 25 Big Board
Defense dominating Top 25 Big Board
Updated: Oct. 25, 2006, 7:21 PM ET
By Mel Kiper Jr.
Special to ESPN.com
There are no newcomers this week on the Big Board, but plenty of changes everywhere except the top where Brady Quinn and Joe Thomas still reign supreme.
1. Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame (6-3½, 225) | previous: Same
Poised, smart and at his best in pressure situations. After a comeback against Michigan State, Quinn had solid outings against Purdue and Stanford.
2. Joe Thomas, OT, Wisconsin (6-6½, 313) | previous: Same
Huge, quick and athletic with a long wingspan.
3. Gaines Adams, DE, Clemson (6-4½, 260) | previous: Same
Flashes dominating ability with his athleticism and quickness.
4. Leon Hall, CB, Michigan (5-11, 193) | previous: same
Tough customer who also shows very good anticipation and awareness in coverage.
5. Quinn Pitcock, DT, Ohio St. (6-3, 297) | previous: 8
Run-stuffing dynamo who does a great job of clogging the interior.
6. Jeff Samardzija, WR, Notre Dame (6-4½, 215) | previous: 9
Super hands and concentration with outstanding speed-to-size ratio.
7. LaRon Landry, DB, LSU (6-1½, 205) | previous: 10
Four-year starter who has proven to be Mr. Reliable throughout his career.
8. Quentin Moses, DE, Georgia (6-4, 254) | previous: 5
Mature, hard working and explosive off the edge.
9. Levi Brown, OT, Penn St. (6-4½, 325) | previous: 6
Steady and reliable at protecting the quarterback's blind side.
10. Victor Abiamiri, DE, Notre Dame (6-4, 270) | previous rank: 12
He has really stepped up as a big-time pass rusher this season. Abiamiri also is one of the more durable and battle-tested ends in the country.
11. Kenny Irons, RB, Auburn (5-10½, 199) | previous: 7
Deceptively strong with great vision and balance. Another chance to shine this week against Florida's defense.
12. Marcus Thomas, DT, Florida (6-2½, 288) | previous rank: 14
Thomas neutralizes the double team and plays with power.
13. Tom Zbikowski, S, Notre Dame (5-11½, 212) | previous: Same
An aggressive ball hawk who brings a swagger to the Irish's defense. A true play-maker who also excels as a punt returner.
14. DeMarcus "Tank" Tyler, DT, NC State (6-2¼, 310) | previous: 15
Extremely quick and very powerful. A player on the rise, Taylor was a one-man wrecking crew against Boston College.
15. Ryan Harris, OT, Notre Dame (6-4½, 297) | previous: 16
Light on his feet with a defensive mentality. Harris neutralizes quick outside pass rushers.
16. Marcus McCauley, CB, Fresno St. (6-0½, 200) | previous: 11
He has the size and speed (4.33 40-yard dash) with outstanding coverage technique.
17. Daymeion Hughes, CB, California (6-0, 187) | previous: same
Big-play cornerback for the Golden Bears. Finished strong in 2005 and it has carried over to this season. Hughes has five INT in five games.
18. David Harris, LB, Michigan (6-2, 240) | previous: Same
Fast, strong and very productive, Harris has been one of the elite defensive players in the Big Ten this season.
19. Aaron Rouse, S, Virginia Tech (6-4, 218) | previous: same
Incredible physical specimen with rare computer numbers.
20. Patrick Willis, LB, Mississippi (6-2, 235) | previous: 21
Tackling machine with great football sense and diagnostic ability.
21. Brian Leonard, Rutgers, (6-1, 239) | previous: 20
He will present the NFL with a tremendous amount of versatility, either as a traditional fullback or he could operate as an H-Back.
22. Adam Carriker, DE, Nebraska (6-6, 298) | previous: Same
You just don't see many defensive ends carrying 300 pounds who can move as well as Carriker.
23. Paul Posluszny, LB, Penn St. (6-1½, 235) | previous: Same
A productive and consistent player who studies and prepares as thoroughly as anybody.
24. Justin Harrell, DT, Tennessee (6-4 ¼, 302) | previous: Same
Prior to going down with a season-ending injury (torn biceps), Harrell was performing at the level you would expect from a first-round draft pick.
25. Michael Bush, RB, Louisville (6-2, 250) | previous: Same
He carried a first-round grade before breaking his leg in the first game of the season. If his rehabilitation goes well, Bush will be an intriguing prospect for next April's draft.
Drew Stanton, QB, Michigan St. (6-3, 232) | previous:22
Desire to win is unmatched. Stanton brings every intangible you want at the QB position, but did not looked solid in losses to Notre Dame and Illinois.
Kyle Young, C, Fresno State (6-5, 339) | previous: 23
Experienced anchor on the Bulldogs offensive line. Great physical skills and extremely durable.
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Re: [Kiper]: Defense dominating Top 25 Big Board
Defense Dominating is good news from a Rams perspective. We all know we need some more quality players on that side of the ball.:r