Mel Kiper's Big Board: Ranking top 2018 prospects

In this edition of my Big Board for the 2018 NFL draft: a new No. 1 offensive tackle, inside linebacker, guard ... and oh, yeah, quarterback and top overall prospect. There are some big changes below:

A reminder:

  • The write-ups here won't change much week to week.

  • I'm projecting to the NFL. This is about much more than stats. My projections are based on size, athletic ability, statistics and what I hear from people around the league.

  • Speaking of size, what's listed here is provided by the schools. These numbers could vary greatly when players show up at the NFL combine. True height and weight really matter for almost every position.

Note: One asterisk denotes the player is a junior, and two asterisks denote the player is a redshirt sophomore for the 2017 season.

1. *Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

Previous rank: 2

It's a new No. 1 for the first time this season. Barkley is a lights-out athlete with a great lower body and quick feet who shows tremendous balance. He rushed for 1,496 yards and 18 touchdowns last season and had 1,076 yards as a freshman. He has 1,205 yards from scrimmage and 11 total touchdowns this season. Barkley (5-foot-11, 230 pounds) also will help in the passing game; he has 32 catches this season after having 48 in his first two seasons at Penn State. I think he'll run under a 4.4 40-yard dash and test well at the combine. Barkley could be a top-five pick in 2018, and he's going to get an elite grade from me, barring injury.