Thursday, April 17, 2008

Getting Draft Ready: The Big Hitters

There are several resources that Pittsburgh Steelers Fanatic leans on pretty heavily -- specifically, Football Outsiders, Pro Football Weekly, and Ourlads Scouting Services. In recognition of that fact we decided to feature their mock drafts in a separate posting, and alert you to an update to Mel Kiper's prediction as well.
  • Football Outsiders: Jonathan Stewart, Running Back, Oregon.

    The experts at Football Outsiders describe Mr. Stewart as "an elite talent," and "a steal" at the twenty-third spot.

  • Pro Football Weekly: Gosder Cherilus, OT, Bostone College.

    Currently available only in the print edition of the the magazine, PFW personnel analyst Nolan Nawrocki believes that Mr. Cherilus could be pressed into starting for the Steelers in his rookie season. And in an online article, Mr. Nawrocki tells us that in conversations with NFL personnel people there is a growing belief that Jonathan Stewart will "become the best pro from this year’s draft."

  • Ourlads Scouting Service: Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt.

    In their print Guide to the NFL Draft: 2008 Ourlads rates Mr. Williams as the third bast offensive tackle available -- ahead of both Jeff Otah and Gosder Cherilus. Of Mr. Williams they say, in part, "[c]an deliver an explosive jolt and punch in pass protection. Good arm length and big hands. Eplosive first step into target."

  • Mel Kiper & Todd McShay, ESPN (subscription required): Mr. Kiper: Maclolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma. Mr. McShay: Kentwan Balmer, DT, North Carolina.

    We mentioned in our previous post that Mr. Kiper had done a spot on ESPN indicating that Mr. Kelly would be the Steelers' first round pick. We can't say that we are very excited about another first round wide receiver. The time that it takes for young receivers to learn the offense seems reason enough not to choose another -- and given the Steelers' re-signing of Nate Washington it would seem especially ill-advised.

    As for Mr. McShay's prediction . . . Mr. Balmer seems a bit of a reach even late in the first round. Though he has good size -- 6'4", 308 pounds -- his limited experience (he was a one-year starter at UNC). He is less developed in terms of technique than some who are less physically gifted.

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