The Pitt football program has a chance to get as many as seven players selected in this year’s NFL Draft but none of those players were expected to get selected in the first round.
With that portion of the draft completed, Pitt fans can stay glued to the television or to their phones to see if and when a Panther gets selected.
Nathan Peterman, James Conner, Dorian Johnson, Adam Bisnowaty, Scott Orndoff, Ejuan Price and Ryan Lewis all could hear their names called in the next couple of days.
According to the NFL Mock Draft experts, Peterman, Johnson, Bisnowaty and Conner are the most likely to hear their names called first from the NFL Draft Headquarters in Philadelphia.
This afternoon, I caught up with Tony Pauline, an NFL Draft Analyst and publisher of Draft Analyst.com to get his take on a few of those Pitt prospects and when they might get drafted.
DORIAN JOHNSON: “He’s just a nasty blocker. He’s one of the most NFL ready offensive lineman in this year’s draft. He’s got a big body of work behind him. He’s a strong, dominant mauler and think he would be a good fit for a variety of systems.”
Pauline sees Johnson going in either the 2nd or 3rd round “if he’s not medically red flagged.”
NATHAN PETERMAN: “He’s a good college quarterback. You have to remember that the draft business is, one person makes a comment then you have people who don’t cover the draft year round and everyone then just follows along (with that one comment). Also, Peterman plays the quarterback position and quarterbacks are always overhyped. Peterman was an efficient college passer, who had adequate physical skills. He does have a lot going on between his ears, he’s accurate, he’s not much more than a game-manager. You can win with a game-manager in the NFL but you better put the right pieces around him. Which means he needs a good offensive line, which he had at Pittsburgh. You need good running backs, which he had at Pittsburgh and you’ll need solid pass catchers, which he had at times at Pittsburgh. I just don’t think game managers, without the great physical skills are going before the 4th or 5th round which is where I have him right now.”
JAMES CONNER: “Is he any everyday back? The answer is No. I actually think that he’s better off as a West Coast type fullback. He’s a decent pass catcher. He’s a solid short yardage runner. At no point in time did he ever show that great burst. He’s obviously a great story, a great college player and an inspirational player but that doesn’t necessarily add up to a good NFL prospect. So, if he’s drafted, it’s probably going to be late. If he’s drafted as a running back, he’ll be used as a short yardage back and a situational player who maybe will start on occasion. If he’s drafted by a West Coast offense team, he’ll be used as a fullback.”