Gamble is top CB

Here's a look at my top five draft-eligible NFL prospects by position (including the worthy juniors who have already declared).

Originally Published: December 15, 2003
By Mel Kiper Jr. | Special to ESPN Insider
TOP FIVE PROSPECTS BY POSITION | updated Jan. 13
Here's a look at my updated lists of the top five draft-eligible NFL prospects at each position -- including a projection of the round I expect each to be drafted in. There are 13 juniors listed who have declared for the draft (six juniors are rated No. 1 at their positions, including newcomer Tommie Harris at defensive tackle).

OFFENSE
Quarterback
Eli Manning
Will the Chargers once again miss out on a franchise QB named Manning?
1. Eli Manning, Ole Miss, top five overall -- Improved pocket awareness this season has turned Manning into one of the top five players on the board overall. He was expected to be the top senior quarterback at the beginning of the year and that's what happened.
2. Ben Roethlisberger (jr.), Miami-Ohio, early first round -- Roethlisberger has great size (6-5, 245), surprising mobility and great physical ability. He possesses all the intangibles NFL teams looks for: passion for the game, intelligence and work ethic.
3. J.P. Losman, Tulane, late first-early second round -- Surrounded by a below-average line and did not have a top-flight receiver, yet posted solid numbers while taking some vicious hits. Has a very live, snappy arm and is decisive with his throws. Late-first to second round.
4. Philip Rivers, NC State, second round -- Compares favorably to former Miami-Florida and Cleveland Browns great Bernie Kosar. Rivers is smart and instinctive with a quick release -- probably the quickest since Dan Marino -- that compensates for his unorthodox delivery.
5. Matt Schaub, Virginia, third-fourth round -- A big quarterback at 6-5, 245 pounds, Schaub has an NFL arm and better feet and athleticism than most give him credit for.

Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst

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