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Mel Kiper Names His Top 5 NFL Draft Prospects

Mel Kiper debates Jabrill Peppers in the NFL Draft.

ESPN.

On Thursday morning, ESPN NFL draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. updated his Big Board ahead of the 2022 NFL draft.

Before the 2021 college football season kicked off, he ranked Oregon star pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux as the No. 1 prospect. After the first four games of the season, that hasn't changed.

However, there was some significant shift in Kiper's rankings after the No. 1 spot. Notre Dame star safety Kyle Hamilton made the jump from No. 5 to No. 2 in the latest rankings after his hot start.

LSU corner Derek Stingley Jr. maintained his hold on the No. 3 spot, as did Alabama offensive lineman Evan Neal on the No. 4 spot.

Here's the full top five:

  1. Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon
  2. Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
  3. Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
  4. Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
  5. Aiden Hutchinson, DE, Michigan

One of the biggest jumps in Kiper's latest rankings came from the player that currently occupies No. 6. Mississippi State offensive lineman Charles Cross wasn't in Kiper's initial rankings, but is now viewed as a potential top-10 pick.

Another significant jump came from Penn State star wide receiver Jahan Dotson, who sits at No. 8 after entering the seasons unranked for Kiper.

His full Big Board can be found here.