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NFL Draft: The Top 110

April 22, 2009 by Steel Haven

  Round 1 Round 2 Round 3
QB *Matt Stafford, Georgia
*Mark Sanchez, USC
*Josh Freeman, Kansas St
Pat White, WVU (WR/RB) Stephen McGee, Texas A&M
Rhett Bomar, Sam Houston St
The dropoff after the top three is steep. Stafford (6'2", 225) and Sanchez (6'2", 227) should be gone in the first ten picks. Freeman (6'6", 248) by pick nineteen. There is an outside chance all three could go in the top ten. Stafford and Freeman were three year starters so experience is not much of an issue even though they came out early. Sanchez only started thirteen games in college which is a concern. White (6'0", 197, 4.55) should be able to contribute immediately running the wildcat formation and/or in a slash role. He was an accurate passer in college, but whether he can ever develop into an every down starter at QB is unknown. McGee (6'3", 225) and Bomar (6'2", 225) could sneak into the top three rounds. McGee has done well in workouts after being held back by injuries and turmoil in his college program. Bomar's off the field troubles at Oklahoma have been well documented.

Nate Davis (6'1", 226) should have stayed in school. He supposedly had a decent enough on campus workout after a disasterous combine. Alas only one team attended. Davis did come to Pittsburgh for a visit. Not sure whether they would consider using a fifth rounder on him with Leftwich out of the picture on the off chance Dixon supplants Batch as the backup. Seems unlikely. The Steelers also showed some interest in Drew Willy (6'3", 215). Likely as a free agent camp arm.
RB *Chris Wells, Ohio St
*Knowshon Moreno, Georgia
*Donald Brown, UConn
*LeSean McCoy, Pittsburgh
*Shonn Green, Iowa
Rashad Jennings, Liberty
Javon Ringer, Michigan St
Andre Brown, North Carolina St
Forty times at the combine for backs were pretty much universally poor. Only D. Brown (5'10", 210, 4.51) and A. Brown (6'0", 224, 4.49) from among the top prospects met expectations. D. Brown likely moved himself into the first round. A. Brown lacks agility and elusiveness as illustrated by the 4.28 short shuttle and 7.04 three-cone drill at his pro day. Wells (6'1", 235, 4.59), Green (5'11", 227, 4.65), Jennings (6'1", 231, 4.67) and Ringer (5'9", 205, 4.60) all rehabilitated their prospect status at their respective pro days. Wells improved his 40 time to 4.44 and 4.38. Green ran a 4.55 and 4.59 in the 40, had a 39" vertical jump, 10'6" broad jump, 4.25 short shuttle and did 23 bench press reps. Jennings ran 4.52 in the 40 and 6.79 in the three-cone drill. Ringer ran a 4.50 40, amazing 3.89 short shuttle and 6.66 three-cone drill. Moreno (5'11", 217, 4.68) was said to be under the weather at his pro day and ran in the same mid-4.6 range as the combine. McCoy (5'10, 198) did not work out at the combine due to the flu. He ran decent enough 40 times of 4.50 and 4.51 at his pro day. He disappointed with a 29" vertical jump, 8'11" broad jump, 4.18 short shuttle, 6.82 three-cone drill and 17 bench press reps.

RB coach Kirby Wilson attended the pro day of UNLV to see Frank "the Tank" Summers (5'9", 241). He put up 4.63 and 4.64 40 times, 34.5" vertical jump, 9'4" broad jump, 4.35 short shuttle and 30 bench press reps. The surprise release of Gary Russell makes Summers a real possibility in the mid-to-late rounds.
WR *Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech
*Jeremy Maclin, Missouri
*Darrius Heyward-Bey, Maryland
*Percy Harvin, Florida
*Kenny Britt, Rutgers
*Hakeem Nicks, North Carolina
Brian Robiskie, Ohio St
Juaquin Iglesias, Oklahoma
Derrick Williams, Penn St
Louis Murphy, Florida
Mohamed Massaquoi, Georgia
Ramses Barden, Cal Poly
Mike Thomas, Arizona
Jarrett Dillard, Rice
Two time Biletnikoff Award winner Crabtree (6'1", 215) has not dropped despite measuring two inches shorter than expected and not being able to work out due to a broken foot. A testament to his talent. Maclin (6'0", 198, 4.48) is another top ten possibility. He is a quick, agile playmaker that could also help in the return game. Heyward-Bey (6'2", 210, 4.30) can stretch the field. Hands and consistency are the issue. Harvin (5'11", 192, 4.41) failed the drug test a the combine which of course will cause him to drop. How far? His speed and playmaking ability are tough to ignore. Britt (6'3", 218, 4.56) combines great size, long arms and excellent body control. He has Plaxico Burress or Terrell Owens type upside despite a lack of blazing speed. Unfortunately he has the ego to match. Nicks (6'1", 212, 4.63) has a similar game to Britt except he is slightly smaller and not quite as fast. His 8 catch, 217 yard, 3 touchdown performance in the Mieneke Car Care Bowl to end his college career was one for the ages. Robiskie (6'3", 209, 4.59) is the son of former NFLer and current Falcons receiver coach Terry Robiskie. He waited behind first rounders Anthony Gonzalez, Santonio Holmes and Ted Ginn Jr before breaking out as a junior. Unfortunately his production took a step back this past season with Terrelle Pryor at QB. He showed in post season workouts that he can be more than just a possession receiver. Iglesias (6'1", 210, 4.54) profiles as a solid possession receiver that does the little things well despite a lack of explosiveness. Williams (6'0", 194, 4.68) was utilized as more of a slash type player than pure wideout in Happy Valley. He scored last season on the ground, through the air, by kick return and punt return. WIlliams was sick at the combine and ran the 40 in 4.47 and 4.50 at his pro day. Murphy (6'2", 203, 4.43) visited Pittsburgh. He is a vertical threat with good size that was somewhat overshadowed by Harvin. Massaquoi (6'2", 210, 4.66) is a polished, experienced receiver and team leader. He ran the 40 in 4.54 and 4.51 at his pro day. Barden (6'6", 229, 4.68) is an interesting prospect because of his size. He shattered all the receiving records at Cal Poly for what it is worth. Thomas (5'8", 195, 4.40) could sneak into the top three rounds due to his speed and kick return ability. His size is limiting despite his overall toughness. He visited Pittsburgh. Dillard (5'10", 191, 4.57) was a four year starter and his career numbers are ridiculous including the NCAA record for career touchdown receptions. A hard worker that might top out as a third down slot receiver bacause of his physical limitations. Then again he might become the next Wes Welker.
TE Brandon Pettigrew, Oklahoma St Shawn Nelson, Southern Miss
*Jared Cook, South Carolina
Cornelius Ingram, Florida
*James Casey, Rice
Travis Beckum, Wisconsin
Pettigrew (6'5", 263, 4.83, 22 reps) has been unable to work out since the combine because of a hamstring injury. Improving his 40 time wouldn't hurt. In any case he remains the top traditional, multi-purpose TE in the draft. Nelson (6'5", 240, 4.56, 19 reps) was a productive four year starter that has dazzled in the post season with his surprising athleticism. The other top TEs are receivers first. Cook (6'5", 246, 4.50, 23 reps), Ingram (6'4", 245, 4.68, 21 reps), Casey (6'3", 246, 4.66, 28 reps) and Beckum (6'43", 239, 4.62, 28 reps) can all stretch the field. Cook came out early after being underutilized due to South Carolina's problems at the QB position. Ingram returned for his senior year only to tear an ACL and miss the season. His ability to work out has helped his stock. Casey came out after two incredibly productive seasons playing primarily at WR. He spent three years in the White Sox organization. Beckum was projected as a first rounder in 2008, but decided to return for his senior year.

I can't shake the idea that the Steelers will use a second day pick on a blocking TE like Richard Quinn (6'4", 264, 4.88, 24 reps) or Anthony Hill (6'5", 265, 4.81, 21 reps). Quinn actually made an official visit. McHugh looks to be a fulltime FB next season. Adding a pure blocker to the position would free up Spaeth in short yardage situations to use his size in the passing game.
OT Jason Smith, Baylor
Eugene Monroe, Virginia
*Andre Smith, Alabama
Michael Oher, Mississippi
*Eben Britton, Arizona
William Beatty, UConn
Jamon Meredith, South Carolina (G)
Phil Loadholt, Oklahoma
Gerald Cadogan, Penn St
Troy Kropog, Tulane
Fenuki Tupou, Oregon
J. Smith (6'5", 309, 5.22, 33 reps), Monroe (6'5", 309, 5.23, 23 reps), A. Smith (6'4", 332) and Oher (6'5", 309, 5.32, 21 reps) will be long gone by the time the Steelers pick. A. Smith's disasterous off season has been well documented. He left the combine early. At his pro day he ran the 40 in 5.28 and 5.33, had a 25" vertical leap, 7'10" broad jump, 7.88 three-cone drill, 4.93 short shuttle and 19 reps. Most of his numbers were not even close to the top ten offensive linemen at the combine. Yet his on the field play will be tough to ignore. The chances that Britton (6'6", 309, 5.16, 24 reps) will be available at 32 are slim. Tackles are just in too much demand. Beatty (6'6", 307, 5.12, 27 reps) is a project with incredible athleticism. His upside could also get him picked before the Steelers. He would at least have to be considered at 32, although there are no signs that the Steelers have interest. Loadholt (6'8", 332, 5.53, 24 reps) came to Pittsburgh for a visit. He is a huge road grader with somewhat limited athleticism that could only play RT. Meredith (6'5", 304, 5.03, 31 reps) and Cadogan (6'5", 309, 5.12, 26 reps) are more athletic and versatile. Cadogan could possibly play the left side. Merideth may project better inside. Kropog (6'5", 309, 5.25, 21 reps) is a developmental prospect with the athleticism to project to the left side. Tupou (6'5", 314, 5.40, 24 reps) is a mauler only suited to the right side.

Offensive line coach Larry Zierline worked out Andrew Gardner (6'6", 305, 4.96) personally at the Georgia Tech pro day. Gardner is a four year starter with long arms and a huge frame that will need to add bulk and improve his footwork at the next level. His strong work ethic helps to make him a legitimate second day LT project.
OG   Duke Robinson, Oklahoma Andy Levitre, Oregon St
Kraig Urbik, Wisconson
Herman Johnson, LSU
TJ Lang, Eastern Michigan (T/C)
Somewhat unusually the top interior linemen in this draft are all centers. Robinson (6'5", 329, 5.33, 20 reps) has not fared well in the post season despite dominating in the Big 12 for three season and being named first team All American in each of the last two years. The questions surround his commitment, work ethic. maturity and concentration. Levitre (6'3", 305, 5.30, 23 reps) and Urbik (6'5", 328, 5.30, 29 reps) are smart, tough and versatile. Both lack top athleticism. Johnson (6'7", 364, 5.51, 21 reps) is huge, powerful and relentless with a nasty streak. Just don't ask him to do anything but block straight ahead at the point of attack in the running game or engulf a pass rusher coming right at him in the passing game. Conditioning can be an issue. He obviously won't be every team's cup of tea. Former defensive lineman Lang (6'4", 315, 5.11) is versatile, tough and powerful if somewhat raw.

Levitre, Johnson, Tyrone Green (6'2", 309, 5.43, 22 reps) of Auburn and Louis Vasquez (6'5", 333, 5.22, 39 reps) of Texas Tech visited the Steelers.
OC Alex Mack, California (G)
Max Unger, Oregon (G)
Eric Wood, Louisville (G)
Jonathon Luigs, Arkansas (G)
Antoine Caldwell, Alabama (G)
The order that Mack (6'4", 311), Unger (6'5", 309, 5.35, 22 reps) and Wood (6'4", 310, 5.25, 30 reps) come off the board will be based solely on team preferences. They are all borderline first rounders worth the 32nd pick given the Steelers' team needs. While none have the upside of tackles like Britton or Beatty, they also don't have near the downside. Mack was the only top interior offensive lineman not to run or lift at the combine. He ran 5.17 and 5.23 40s and did 20 bench press reps at his pro day. Unger is a versatile performer that started at LT as a freshman and sophomore. Wood is a four year starter that surprised in the post season by first dominating BJ Raji in the Senior Bowl and then showing much better athleticism than expected in workouts. Rumblings are that the Steelers actually prefer Wood. Luigs (6'4", 311, 5.14, 26 reps) and Caldwell (6'3", 309, 5.30, 23 reps) are a step below. Either would be a solid pick at the end of the third round.

Mack, Unger, Wood, AQ Shipley (6'1", 304, 5.26, 33 reps) of Penn St and CJ Davis (6'2", 308, 5.55, 21 reps) of Pitt all made official visits. Shipley is probably limited to center because of his lack of height.
DT BJ Raji, Boston College (NT)
Peria Jerry, Mississippi
Evander Hood, Missouri
Jarron Gilbert, San Jose St (DE)
Ron Brace, Boston College (NT)
*Sen'Derrick Marks, Auburn
Fili Moala, USC (DE)
Alex Magee, Purdue
*Ricky Jean-Francois, LSU
*Chris Baker, Hampton (NT)
College teamates Raji (6'2", 337, 5.23, 33 reps) and Brace (6'3", 330, 5.50. 32 reps) are pure two-gap run stuffing nose tackles. Jerry (6'2", 299) and Hood (6'3", 300, 4.97, 34 reps) are quick, athletic one gap penetrators best suited for the 4-3. Jerry ran a 4.98 and did 28 bench press reps at his pro day after not working out at the combine. Gilbert (6'5", 288, 4.88, 28 reps) has the size to project as a 5-technique end in the 3-4. His athleticism and upside have him moving up draft boards. Marks (6'2", 306, 5.08) like Jerry and Hood is a prototypical 3-technique interior lineman. He came out early after a so-so season and probably should have stayed in school. Moala (6'4", 305, 5.16, 25 reps) is the cousing of Haloti Ngata. He has the quickness to shoot the gap inside in the 4-3 and the size to develop into a 3-4 DE. His production never matched the hype in college. Magee (6'3", 298, 5.09, 30 reps) also seems versatile enough to be a gap penetrator inside in the 4-3 or a 5-technique end in the 3-4. Jean-Francois (6'3", 295, 25 reps) could have made himself a lot of money by returning to school and dominating. He sat out the entire 2007 season as a disciplinary measure and then returned to win player of the game honors in the National Championship. He shared time this season on a deep defensive line barely flashing his incredible potential. Baker (6'2", 326, 5.12, 24 reps) was a top recruit at Penn St that was kicked off the team for off the field issues. He is a boom or bust project with top skills that would fit in either the 4-3 or 3-4.

Dorell Scott (6'3", 312, 4.97, 4.97, 29 reps) of Clemson, RaShon Harris (6'4", 298, 5.05, 28 reps) of Oregon and Sammie Lee Hill (6'4", 329, 5.17, 27 reps) of Stillman College visited Pittsburgh in addition to Gilbert and Moala. Scott and Harris sort of remind me in a broad way of 2006 fourth rounder Orien Harris. Athletically gifted, high upside gambles that appear to lack football instincts and were less productive than their skills would indicate. Suffice it to say they are not my favorites. Hill's size if nothing else is intriguing.

Terrance Taylor (6'0", 306, 5.39, 37 reps) of Michigan, Roy Miller (6'1", 310, 5.09, 36 reps) of Texas, Terrence Knighton (6'3", 331, 5.33) of Temple and Marlon Favorite (6'1", 314, 26 reps) of LSU haven't been strongly connected to the Steelers this off season. I wanted to include their numbers because they project as second day or undrafted free agent NT prospects and Casey Hampton is a candidate to break down at any time due to his age and girth.
DE Brian Orakpo, Texas (OLB)
Tyson Jackson, LSU
Robert Ayers, Tennessee
*Aaron Maybin, Penn St (OLB)
*Everette Brown, Florida St (OLB)
Larry English, Northern Illinois (OLB)
Connor Barwin (OLB/TE)
Michael Johnson, Ga Tech
Lawrence Sidbury, Richmond (OLB)
*Paul Kruger, Utah
Cody Brown, UConn (OLB)
Thomas Veikune, Hawaii (OLB)
*Brandon Williams, Texas Tech
Orakpo (6'3", 263, 4.70, 31 reps) is a physical freak that has been accused of sometimes taking plays off. He still played well enough to win the Lombardi and Hendricks awards. Jackson (6'4", 295, 5.00) is likely to go higher than some expect because he is the only true 3-4, 5-technique end available that is worth a mid-to-high first round pick. Ayers (6'3", 272, 4.90, 18 reps) is flying up draft boards based on off season workouts after starting only one year in college. Maybin (6'4", 249, 4.89, 22 reps) appeared to be more used to the extra weight he put on for the combine at his pro day workout. He ran 4.71 and 4.64 in the 40, had a 40" vertical and 10'10" broad jump at 250 pounds. That is helping move him back up draft boards even though teams realize he will have to begin his career as a pass rushing specialist while developing other skills. Maybin, E. Brown (6'2", 256, 4.73, 26 reps) and English (6'2", 274, 4.88, 24 reps) could play in either a 3-4 or 4-3. E. Brown and English are more likely to step in immediately, but lack Maybin's upside. Barwin (6'4", 256, 4.66, 21 reps) played TE his first three seasons before moving to the defensive side of the ball as a senior. He is obviously raw, but his athleticism is phenomenal. Speaking of extraordinary athleticism, Johnson (6'7", 266, 4.75, 28 reps) would likely be a top ten pick based on measurables alone. That just goes to show you how disappointing he was on the field. Sidbury (6'2", 266, 4.64, 28 reps) has been on the rise since recording 4 sacks in the Division I FCS National Championship game. He dominated the Shrine Bowl, held his own at the Senior Bowl and tested as well or better than any other edge defender at the combine. Kruger (6'4", 263, 5.00, 24 reps) is overaged despite coming out as a redshirt sophomore after serving a Mormon mission. He lost his spleen and kidney in a car accident at 13 and then survived a stabbing in January 2008 in a fight which he didn't instigate. Sort of someone you would like to root for.... Kruger actually has the frame to possibly bulk up to play 3-4 DE, although his best fit is in a 4-3. C. Brown (6'2", 244, 4.84, 26 reps) will most likely be limited to OLB in a 3-4 due to his frame. He has burst and makes plays. Veikune (6'2", 257, 4.87) is a productive, high motor player that lacks top measurables. Williams (6'5", 252, 5.00) should have probably stayed in school. At least he improved his 40 time to 4.80 at his pro day. He could get picked near the end of the third round based on physical projectability.

Sidbury and Brandon Long (6'3", 254) of Michigan St visited the Steelers. Both project at OLB in the 3-4. Long blew up at his pro day running 4.61 and 4.63 40s with a 10'9" broad jump, 37.5" vertical leap, 4.37 short shuttle, 6.88 three-cone drill and 32 reps.
ILB Rey Maualuga, USC James Laurinaitis, Ohio St Derry Beckwith, LSU
Jasper Brinkley, South Carolina
Maualuga (6'2", 249, 4.91, 23 reps) and Laurinaitis (6'2", 244, 4.88, 22 reps) are dropping because of the fear that they might be limited, two down run stuffers. Both at least improved their 40 times to the mid-to-low 4.7 range at their respective pro days. Beckwith (6'0", 242, 4.79, 23 reps) is reliable and instinctive, but lacks explosiveness. Brinkley (6'2", 252, 4.72, 26 reps) has fought his way back from a torn ACL.

Scott McKillop (6'1", 244, 4.80, 27 reps) of Pitt and athletic, undersized Spencer Adkins (5'11", 230, 4.48, 30 reps) of Miami-Florida both visited Pittsburgh. James Farrior is aging and Larry Foote will probably not be back in 2010 so even with Lawrence Timmons set to break out and Keyaron Fox back in the fold an ILB in the late rounds is not out of the question.
OLB Aaron Curry, Wake Forest (ILB)
Brian Cushing, USC
Clay Matthews, USC
Clint Sintim, Virginia
Marcus Freeman, Ohio St
Tyrone McKenzie, South Fla
*Gerald McRath, Southern Miss (ILB)
Curry (6'2", 254, 4.56, 25 reps) is a versatile, every down linebacker that probably fits best in the 4-3 on the strong side. That could push him down a little farther then expected if 3-4 teams like the Chiefs and Browns decide he is not worth top five money. Cushing (6'3", 243, 4.74, 30 reps) and Matthews (6'3", 240, 4.67, 23 reps) could both get picked higher than teamate Maualuga. Quite a change from when this process started. Sintim (6'3", 256, 4.82), Freeman (6'0", 239, 4.87, 30 reps) and McKenzie (6'2", 243, 4.83, 27 reps) ran slower than hoped at the combine. Sintim has experience outside in the 3-4 under Al Groh. Freeman rebounded to run a 4.52 at his pro day. An ankle injury that bothered him all season reportedly was part of the problem in Indianapolis. McRath (6'2", 231, 4.61, 18 reps) projects best either outside in a standard 4-3 or the middle in a cover-2 after playing inside in college.
CB Malcolm Jenkins, Ohio St
*Vontae Davis, Illinois
Darius Butler, UConn
*Sean Smith, Utah (S)
Alphonso Smith, Wake Forest
*DJ Moore, Vanderbilt
Sherrod Martin, Troy (S)
*Donald Washington, Ohio St
Kevin Barnes, Maryland
Mike Mickens, Cincinnati
*Jarius Byrd, Oregon (S)
Coye Francies, San Jose St
Victor Harris, Va Tech
Keenan Lewis, Oregon St (S)
Jenkins (6'0", 204, 4.54) didn't run as fast as hoped, but will still be the first corner off the board. A move to FS at some point in his career is not out of the question. Davis (5'11", 203, 4.49) and Butler (5'10", 183, 4.46) would be hard to pass up at 32. S. Smith (6'4", 214, 4.51) and Martin (6'1" 198, 4.52) have good size/speed ratios. Both could also project at FS. A. Smith (5'9", 193, 4.51) and Moore (5'9", 192, 4.56) were dominant college players that lack top measurables. Washington (6'0", 197, 4.49) probably shouldn't have come out early. His athleticism and upside will likely get him picked earlier than many expect. Barnes (6'0", 187, 4.52) and Mickens (6'0", 184, 4.57) are both fluid and solid in run support. Either would be a bargain at 96. Byrd (5'10", 207) and Francies (6'0", 185, 4.63) have run much slower than hoped. Everyone knew Harris (5'11", 187, 4.68) wouldn't run fast, but he is a gamer that has the quickness and agility to succeed in a zone blitzing scheme despite the lack of pure speed. Lewis (6'0", 208, 4.49) has flown under the radar. He is big, instinctive, a hard hitter and ran faster than expected.

The Steelers had eleven corners in for visits. They are clearly interested in bolstering the position after the loss of Bryant McFadden. Davis, Butler, A. Smith, Martin, Washington and Mickens came to Pittsburgh from among the top at the position. Joe Burnett (5'9", 192, 4.57) of Central Florida, Ellis Lankster (5'9", 191) of West Virginia, Don Carey (5'11", 192, 4.54) of Norfolk St, Greg Toler (5'11", 191, 4.45) of St Paul's College and Pete Ittersagen (5'11", 186, 4.47) of Wheaton also made the trek to the South Side headquarters. Burnett and Lankster are accomplished return men. Carey actually got a combine invite. His and Toler's workouts have created a buzz. Ittersagen would add versatility as a possible option at FS.
S   Louis Delmas, Western Michigan
Patrick Chung, Oregon
Rashad Johnson, Alabama
William Moore, Missouri
Chip Vaughn, Wake Forest
Michael Hamlin, Clemson
Darcel McBath, Texas Tech
Delmas (5'11", 202, 4.50) and Johnson (5'11", 203, 4.53) would provide value at the bottom of the second round and be nice fits next to Polamalu. Delmas made a visit to Pittsburgh. Johnson was a walk-on that developed into a two year starter and team captain. Chung (5'11", 212, 4.51), Moore (6'0", 221, 4.51), Vaughn (6'1", 213, 4.51) and Hamlin (6'2", 214, 4.62) profile as in-the-box strong safeties. McBath (6'0", 198, 4.58) was a productive team leader and former corner with good coverage skills.
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