Jackson, Hall debut

Two more juniors debut on my Big Board after declaring for the NFL draft: RB Steven Jackson and CB DeAngelo Hall. QB Eli Manning remains No. 1.

Originally Published: December 29, 2003
By Mel Kiper Jr. | Special to ESPN Insider
BIG BOARD: Kiper's Top 25 NFL prospects | Dec. 29
Two more juniors debut on my updated Big Board after declaring for the NFL draft: Oregon State RB Steven Jackson (at No. 10) and Virginia Tech CB DeAngelo Hall (at No. 16). Last week, another junior, Miami-Ohio QB Ben Roethlisberger debuted on my Big Board at No. 3 (where he remains this week).

Eli Manning
Ole Miss QB Eli Manning eyes the top spot in the 2004 NFL draft.
1. Eli Manning, QB, Ole Miss (6-4, 210) | previous ranking: same
Manning began the season at the No. 4 spot on my Big Board, and now he's up to No. 1. Why? It's due to the cumulative effect of his fantastic season. He makes plays at crunch time. He has an outstanding arm and possesses tremendous pocket awareness. He has stepped up his intensity in the huddle as well as his leadership on and off the field. He's accurate, poised and intelligent, and he added weight and strength last offseason.

Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst
Mel Kiper has served as an NFL draft analyst for ESPN since 1984. He is a regular contributor on SportsCenter and ESPN Radio and writes weekly for ESPN Insider.