McDowell, Peppers charging up Kiper’s Big Board

Jim Russ
The Detroit News
Malik McDowell

Michigan State defensive tackle Malik McDowell is up to No. 3 from No. 6 and Michigan linebacker Jabrill Peppers has moved into the top 10 on the new NFL draft Big Board published Wednesday by ESPN’s Mel Kiper.

Peppers, who will have two years of college eligibility remaining after this season but will be eligible for the draft, is No. 6 on the Big Board. McDowell, who will have one year of eligibility remaining, could end up being the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, Kiper says.

“I want to see his production this season, but he's a fantastic athlete with a huge frame (6-6, 290), and he can overwhelm blockers one-on-one,” Kiper says of McDowell, who played at Southfield High. “What happens when it's all double-teams is a question. He could be the top pick when it's all said and done.”

Jabrill Peppers

Ranking above McDowell on Kiper’s Big Board is Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett at No. 1 and LSU running back Leonard Fournette at No. 2.

Kiper on Peppers: “Coach Jim Harbaugh raves about Peppers, who might be the most versatile player in college football. I had Peppers just outside the top 10 in my last Big Board, but I had to move him up. At 6-0 and 210 pounds, he plays safety, corner and outside linebacker – he had a sack off the edge vs. Hawaii – and is even a dynamic returner. … I expect him to test off the charts at the NFL combine. He has been the most impressive player on my Big Board so far this season.”

Other notables on Kiper’s 25-player Big Board:

* Clemson QB Deshaun Watson at No. 8

* Georgia RB Nick Chubb at No. 15

* Michigan TE Jake Butt at No. 22

Go here for the full Big Board (pay site).