Benson leads three RBs at top

Texas running back Cedric Benson is the new No. 1 on Mel Kiper's Big Board of the top 25 draft-eligible NFL prospects.

Originally Published: December 1, 2004
By Mel Kiper Jr. | ESPN Insider
BIG BOARD: Kiper's Top 25 NFL prospects | Dec. 1

Just as 2003 saw a quarterback battle at the top of the Big Board, 2004 is quickly becoming the year of the running back. Cedric Benson of Texas has supplanted USC wide receiver Mike Williams atop the board, while Auburn's dynamic running back tandem of Ronnie Brown and Carnell "Cadillac" Williams is close behind. Their teammate, cornerback Carlos Rogers, is the only new entry this week, debuting at No. 21

Rogers' arrival gives the Tigers three players among the top 25, tied with Oklahoma and Florida State for most on the board, while Michigan, Texas and USC all have two players in the top 25.

As for positions, defensive end leads the way with five entries while wide receiver, cornerback and offensive line each contribute four players. The Big board rounds out with three running backs, two defensive tackles, one linebacker and one tight end.

Here's how those players rank from 1-25:

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.