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Recapping Pitt’s 2018 NFL Draft

Recapping Pitt’s 2018 NFL Draft

The 2018 NFL Draft is the books and no real surprises concerning players from Pitt.

The Panther program had three players drafted: OT Brian O’Neill (2nd Round/Minnesota), S Jordan Whitehead (4th Round/Tampa Bay) and CB Avonte Maddox (4th Round/Philadelphia).

With the trio from this year, eight Pitt players have been selected in the last two NFL Drafts.

As expected, O’Neill was the first player to hear his name called. Although he had mixed reviews in postseason workouts and is still considered raw, O’Neill has the talent, mindset and drive to be a successful NFL player. The Vikings had a need for lineman so this appears to be a good match.

It wasn’t a question of if but when Whitehead would get drafted. The Central Valley graduate is as physically gifted as anyone in this year’s class. Depending on what’s needed, he can probably play anywhere in the secondary as well as get snaps on offense.

The fact that Maddox was drafted wasn’t a surprise but getting picked in the 4th round is a testimate to how he shined in postseason workouts. Due to his versatility and work ethic, he appears to be someone that could have a long NFL career, like longtime Steeler cornerback William Gay.

Special teams ace Quadree Henderson didn’t get selected but immediately signed a free agent deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have a need for a legitimate kickoff and punt returner.

Other Panthers to sign free agent deals:

Per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, OT Jaryd Jones-Smith has signed as a priority free agent with Houston.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker

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