PSR ANYTIME. ANYWHERE. Introducing the Pittsburgh Sports Report eMagazine. Click to read and watch the best sports coverage in the region.
Monday September 1 2014
Leave this field empty.

412 Draft Guide: Local Prospects

PSR Logo
While there are no first-rounders coming out of Pitt, Penn State or WVU this year, all three schools will likely have several players drafted before all is said and done in New York this month. Here's a look at where local college prospects might land in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Day Two Prospects (Rounds 2-3)
WR Jonathan Baldwin, Pitt:
A polarizing prospect, Aliquippa's Baldwin is blessed with elite size (6-foot-4, 230 pounds), good hands and home run-hitting ability. But teams question his separation skills and coachability. Still, a club could call his name early on Day 2.

OT Jason Pinkston, Pitt: His footwork could improve, but Pitt had a 1,000 yard rusher in each of Pinkston's three years as a starter. The Baldwin graduate packs a punch and is surprisingly agile. Pinkston figures to move to right tackle at the next level.

DE Jabaal Sheard, Pitt: Strong enough to bull rush offensive tackles and swift enough to play linebacker in a 3-4 system, Sheard's skills make him an intriguing prospect despite last summer's legal issues.

C Stefen Wisniewski, PSU: The Central Catholic product and All-American is expected to shift from guard back to center in the pros. Wisniewski's intelligence, versatility and bloodlines (father Leo and uncle Steve were standout linemen) make him an NFL-ready talent.

Day Three Prospects (Rounds 4-7)
SS/OLB Dom DeCicco, Pitt:
The Thomas Jefferson standout split the season between safety and linebacker, leading the Panthers in tackles and tying for first in picks. DeCicco's 4.64 40-yard dash time won't ease worries that he lacks NFL speed, though.

RB Noel Devine, WVU: Devine possesses electric speed and shiftiness that can make defenders sure that they have cornered him end up grasping at thin air. at the very least, Devine could be a special teams dynamo. He's undersized (5-foot-7, 175 pounds), however, and a toe injury that held him back in 2010 will amplify concerns about his long-term durability.

C Brandon Fusco, Slippery Rock: The Seneca Valley grad and pride of The Rock earned a Senior Bowl invite due to his strength and relentless style.

FB Henry Hynoski, Pitt: A star high school running back who became Lewis' battering ram at Pitt, Hynoski was a surprise underclassman entry but could pique interest late with his 260-pound frame.

OLB Thomas Keiser, Stanford: North Allegheny alumnus had a decorated college career, but he pulled a hammy on Pro Day and may regret declaring as a junior.

RB Dion Lewis, Pitt: After a stunning freshman season during which he racked up more yards than any Pitt running back not named Tony Dorsett, Lewis' production tailed off as a sophomore. He didn't get seriously dinged up in college, but NFL clubs are still wary of a 'back standing 5-foot-7 and weighing under 200 pounds.

DT Chris Neild, WVU: While his tools don't overwhelm, Neild is high-motor run-stuffer who gets under the pads of opposing lineman. He anchored a suffocating WVU defense that ranked in the top three nationally.

DE Greg Romeus, Pitt: Romeus is a lottery ticket pick: he's a play-making pass rusher with 3-4 linebacker possibilities if healthy, but his 2010 season was marred by lower back and right knee surgeries. His medicals and workouts in front of scouts could drastically change his draft status.

RB Evan Royster, PSU: The Lions all-time leading rusher has long been dogged by scouts for a lack of burst, and his 4.65 40-yard dash at the Combine did little to quell those concerns. A team valuing production over stopwatch times should take a flyer late in the draft.

WR Jock Sanders, WVU: Sanders hauled in more career receptions than another other Mountaineer, yet he's on the fringe of most teams' draft boards. At 5-foot-6 and 175 pounds, Sanders' best bet at making an NFL roster comes by utilizing his speed as a return man.

S Robert Sands, WVU: The 6-4 Sands is a punishing hitter who takes pleasure in making receivers pay for going over the middle. But his height might be a detriment -- it takes him a while to change directions. Sands has durability concerns as well, as his jarring hits have taken a toll on his shoulder.

OLB J.T. Thomas, WVU: Ultra-athletic and unafraid of contact, Thomas could be a special teams star. His odds of developing into a starter are longer, as he lacks size (6-foot-1, 235 pounds) and can be aggressive to a fault, getting out of position in the process.

CB Darrin Walls, Notre Dame: Woodland Hills' Walls didn't live up to his blue chip recruiting status, but someone could spare a late pick on his athleticism.  

Hopeful Free Agents
DT Scooter Berry, WVU
TE Brett Brackett, PSU
OG Elias Eliades, PSU
CB Ricky Gary, Pitt
OLB Bani Gbadyu, PSU
S Sidney Glover, WVU
CB Brandon Hogan, WVU
OG Eric Jobe, WVU
C Alex Karabin, Pitt
ILB Patrick Lazear, WVU
DT Ollie Ogbu, PSU
WR Graham Zug, PSU

Paul Chryst sat at a table in Greensboro, North Carolina, answering questions from the media. The third-year Pitt head coach was certainly anxious to wrap up the interview session and catch his plane back to Pittsburgh, but he was also at ease.
Editor's DeskFeature OnePitt Football
Quarterback Amos Luptak ran 7 yards for a TD with a second left and Quaker Valley beat Keystone Oaks 25-19 in the CoGo's Feature Matchup Friday night.
Feature TwoHigh SchoolPress RoomTop Story
McKeesport rode junior running back Khaleke "Hit Man" Hudson to a romp over visiting Connellsville, as the 6-foot-0, 210-pounder rumbled for 340 yards and five touchdowns to lead the Tigers to a 36-7 rout.
Feature ThreeHigh SchoolPress RoomTop Story
When Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco was called up from Triple-A Indianapolis June 10, he made an immediate impact, going on a 14-game hitting streak and adding a consistent bat at the top of the lineup.
Feature FourNorth Shore Notes
PSR VIDEO
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 1 USS HS GOTWHigh School TV Channel
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 2Pirates TV Channel
Full size video and summary... COGOS Feature MatchupMisc YouTube Player 3High School TV Channel
Pitt head coach Paul Chryst talked with the media last month in Greensboro, NC, and previewed the Panthers' upcoming about the upcoming season.
Custom 1Pitt FootballTop Story
A quick glimpse at the 2014 Pitt football teams reveals some major red flags. A veteran quarterback and the program's all-time leading wide receiver have departed for the NFL.
Custom 2Pitt Football
After 45 years of one head coach and two more of another, a different figure will be pacing up and down the sidelines at Beaver Stadium this season.
Custom 3Penn State
The last two years have not been what WVU football fans were expecting. Ever since the Mountaineers made the switch to the Big 12, their success has slowly dwindled.
Custom 4WVU