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PSU_dropout43
03-24-2010, 01:43 AM
http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=A ... &type=lgns (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=Ai8o1nDbNjeqUnnD114oNstDubYF?slug=pfw-20100319_top_10_ol_prospects&prov=pfw&type=lgns)

1. OT Russell Okung
Oklahoma State senior
Ht: 6-5 1/4 | Wt: 307 | Sp: 5.21 | Arm: 36 | Hand: 10 1/2

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Notes: Started the final eight games at offensive right tackle as a true freshman in 2006. Moved to left tackle and started all 13 games in ’07 after the departure of New England Patriots 2007 sixth-round pick Corey Hilliard(notes). In ’08, started all 13 games at left tackle. Was an Outland Trophy finalist in ’09 when he started all 13 games at left tackle. Team captain.


Positives: Looks the part - has prototypical size with a big bone structure, a muscular, well-proportioned build and vines for arms. Very good upper-body strength - bench-pressed 225 pounds 38 times at the Combine. Plays with a load in his hands. Latches on to defenders and runs his feet - can steer and control. Good initial quickness and flexibility to hook defensive ends - can work his hips around and seal. Very good balance. Powerful run blocker. Very difficult to run the arc against and anchors in pass protection. Shuffles and slides smoothly to mirror - fine body control. Intense and competitive. Passionate about the game.


Negatives: Is not loose-hipped and lacks elite agility. Can do a better job sinking his hips to anchor. Tends to play tall and can be stressed by speed rushers. Falls off blocks when he bends at the waist and overextends. Can do a better job consistently keeping his hands inside. At times, opens up his shoulders, allowing rushers upfield. Not overly explosive when pulling and trapping.


Summary: Can stand to polish his technique but passes the eye test and has a desirable playing temperament. Dominated collegiate competition for stretches and has terrific length and good enough feet to ably man the blind side or become a top-notch right tackle. Emerged from the Combine as a surefire lottery pick and figures to be the first tackle drafted because of his intangibles and solid, all-around traits.


NFL projection: Top-10 pick.





2. OLT-OLG Bryan Bulaga
Iowa junior
Ht: 6-5 3/8 | Wt: 314 | Sp: 5.24 | Arm: 33 1/4 | Hand: 9 1/4


Notes: Parade All-American as a left tackle (did not allow a sack during his career at left tackle), though he also played defensive end, tight end and linebacker in high school. As a true freshman in 2007, appeared in seven games and started the final five at left guard. Missed six games due to a shoulder injury that required offseason surgery and sidelined him during ’08 spring practice. In the fall, started all 13 games at left tackle. Started all 10 games played in ’09 - missed three September contests while dealing with a thyroid condition.


Positives: Looks the part and has very good feet. Can shuffle, slide and mirror in pass protection. Excellent base and balance. Good agility to cut off the wide rush. Keeps his shoulders square and handles inside moves and counters. Rolls off the ball and drives defenders off the ball. Great finisher - plays nasty and seeks to bury defenders. Plays with pop and power in his hands - shoots his hands and punches with authority. Controls defenders - does an outstanding job steering and sustaining. Good quickness to the second level to cut off linebackers. Has proven capable of dominating. Outstanding work ethic and character. Motivated to succeed. Versatile and has played inside and outside. Footwork was very clean in drills at the Combine.


Negatives: Lacks great arm length for the left tackle position and will let defenders into his frame. Shows some upper-body stiffness. Could improve his anchor strength. Does not come off the ball low consistently - loses the leverage battle and can be bull-rushed. Does not have elite foot quickness. Was outleveraged by Michigan’s Brandon Graham. Looked raw early in the season, and thyroid condition must be evaluated.


Summary: Nearly the prototype from a measurables standpoint, save for less-than-exceptional arm length, and comes from a program with a rich tradition of producing well-coached, blue-collar offensive linemen. Solid technician who possesses the athletic ability and balance coveted in a blind-side protector along with the physicality and playing temperament highly desired on the right side. May wind up fitting at left guard but has the mental makeup, intelligence and toughness to develop into a Pro Bowl player. Versatility is a big plus, with potential to play any of four positions.


NFL projection: Top-10 pick.





3. OLT-OG-C Trent Williams
Oklahoma senior
Ht: 6-4 5/8 | Wt: 315 | Sp: 4.88 | Arm: 34 1/4 | Hand: 9 3/4


Notes: As a true freshman in 2006, saw action in 11 games, starting the final seven at right tackle after Branndon Braxton broke his leg. Posted 75 knockdowns in 462 snaps. Split time with Braxton in ’07, starting six games at right tackle. Took ownership of the position in ’08 and earned first-team All-Big 12 honors (coaches) after starting all 14 games - the season opener at left tackle in place of the suspended Phil Loadholt(notes) and the final 13 at right tackle. Totaled 131 knockdowns, including 18 in the BCS title game against Florida. Sprained an ankle against TCU. Moved to left tackle in ’09 and started all 12 games played (injuries forced him to the center position in the Sun Bowl against Stanford). Did not play against Oklahoma State (concussion) and was slowed by hip and knee injuries.


Positives: Exceptional athletic ability and outstanding agility. Ran exceptionally well at the Combine and posted a 34 1/2-inch vertical (tops among offensive linemen). Quick-footed and loose-hipped to handle edge speed. Excellent lateral movement - shuffles, slides and mirrors with ease. Drops anchor in pass protection. Protects his frame, gets extension and locks out. Natural bender. Fires into blocks, rolls his hips and shows snap on contact. Has explosive power. Can control and steer defenders. Good body control and coordination to fit on moving targets. Finishes blocks - plays with a snarl. Is battle-tested and has played both sides of the line. Played hurt much of his senior season and battled through injuries.


Negatives: Does not have ideal height or arm length. Struggled adapting to the left side as a senior. Conditioning is a concern - does not like the weight room and appeared to carry a sloppy midsection. Can be slow off the snap and lax with back-side assignments. Needs to do a better job sustaining blocks. Will dip his head and fall off blocks. Can be mentally overloaded against the blitz (see Sam Bradford injury vs. BYU). Suspect commitment to the game. Was not voted a team captain. Marches to the beat of his own drum and lacks passion for the game. Skates by relying too much on his natural athletic ability. Too flashy and easily distracted and has a diva attitude.


Summary: Has as much athletic talent as any O-lineman in the draft, but teams will have reservations about investing too heavily given his selfish makeup at a blue-collar position. Has the talent to play all five positions and is strong, physical and extremely athletic and capable of becoming a Pro Bowl-caliber performer in the pros. However, his lazy streak will likely prevent him from ever reaching his potential, and teams need to be fearful about how he will react to instant fame and fortune. A top-five talent whom most sound decision makers will wrestle with giving a top-15 payday. Has bust potential.


NFL projection: Top-10 pick.





4. OLG-OT Mike Iupati
Idaho senior
Ht: 6-5 1/8 | Wt: 331 | Sp: 5.28 | Arm: 34 3/4 | Hand: 10 5/8




Mike Iupati

(Mike Iupati/Getty Images)


Notes: Born in American Samoa. Two-way high school lineman who competed in wrestling and track and field. Greyshirted in 2005 and saw very limited action as a backup in ’06. Stepped into the lineup in ’07, starting all 12 games at left guard. Underwent offseason reconstructive surgery on his left shoulder that sidelined him the first two games of the ’08 season. Returned to start 8-of-10 games played. Started all 13 games at left guard in ’09. Team captain.


Positives: Looks every bit the part with excellent size - thickly built with long arms and large mitts. Has a very strong upper body and base to anchor - outstanding functional playing strength. Can manhandle defenders with his hands - packs a powerful punch to jar defenders. Nice balance. Strong drive blocker - consistently generates movement and opens running lanes. Carries his weight well. Able to bend his knees and shuffle and slide when isolated in pass protection. Very good awareness and peripheral vision. Nice agility to zero in on linebackers and eliminate them - can block multiple defenders. Effective short-puller. Good effort and intensity.


Negatives: Tends to clutch and grab and is not a natural puncher. Footwork can use refinement - crosses his feet, which limits recovery ability. Can be more patient - slips off blocks when overaggressive. Did not face quality competition on a weekly basis. Could require some time to adapt to playing on the outside and did not show well at tackle at the Senior Bowl. Did not regularly face top competition.


Summary: A powerful, big-boned interior force, Iupati stands out on tape. Will be the first guard drafted and offers versatility to one day play either tackle position. Combination of size, brute strength, movement skills and arm length should enable him to dominate as a road-grading left guard for years to come.


NFL projection: First-round pick.





5. C Maurkice Pouncey
Florida junior
Ht: 6-4 1/2 | Wt: 304 | Sp: 5.24 | Arm: 32 1/2 | Hand: 10


Notes: Full name is LaShawn Maurkice Pouncey. Lined up alongside his twin brother, Michael, who played right guard for the Gators. Played at prep powerhouse Lakeland (Fla.), where he won three state titles. As a true freshman in 2007, started 11-of-13 games at right guard. Sprained his right ankle against both Tennessee and South Carolina, costing him starts against Mississippi and Florida Atlantic. Moved to center and started all 14 games for the national-champion Gators in ’08. Missed spring practice while recovering from surgery to repair a torn labrum. Healthy in ’09, won the Rimington Trophy after starting all 14 games and declared early, in part so his brother could move to center. Admitted to the hospital with kidney stones in the days leading up to the Sugar Bowl but played in the game. Chose not to bench-press or jump at the Combine.


Positives: Excellent size. Good snap-and-step quickness - rolls off the ball and plows running lanes. Natural bender - plays with a good base and balance and is seldom on the ground. Creates good positioning - can swing his hips around and seal defenders. Intense and competitive - plays though the echo of the whistle. Has an aggressive, nasty playing temperament and seeks to bury defenders. Drops anchor and can handle space eaters - held up against Alabama’s Terrence Cody and Tennessee’s Dan Williams. Good awareness in pass protection - feels threats and switches off blocks. Reaches the second level with ease and tees off on linebackers. Durable and battle-tested. Versatile skill set - could help at guard or tackle in a pinch. Is a well-respected line leader who can keep a huddle loose and command respect.


Negatives: Arms are shorter than desired. Can do a better job sustaining - overextends and slips off some blocks. Tends to play a bit upright and struggles to break down in space and connect with third-level defenders. Not an explosive athlete and is still growing into his body.


Summary: The best center to enter the draft in some time, Pouncey is a powerful, athletic, big-framed mauler who plays to his size and has proven his ability at the highest level of college football. Should be able to step in to a starting job immediately and play a long time in the league. Has Pro Bowl potential. Will be the first center drafted, and value could be enhanced by the lack of available talent at the position.


NFL projection: First-round pick.





6. OLT Anthony Davis(notes)
Rutgers junior
Ht: 6-5 | Wt: 323 | Sp: 5.39 | Arm: 34 | Hand: 10 1/8


Notes: Highly recruited Parade All-American who won a New Jersey state championship at Piscataway Township. Also played basketball as a prep. Chose in-state Rutgers over offers from the likes of USC, Miami, Notre Dame and Ohio State, representing arguably the biggest recruiting “get” in school history. Reported overweight and worked as a guard initially in 2007. On the season, played in all 13 games, starting the final eight at right guard. Kicked outside in ’08 and started 12 games at left tackle. Was suspended for the Morgan State contest (team rules). The staff was once again unhappy with his weight during ’09 fall camp when he was temporarily demoted to the second team. Started 12-of-13 games in ’09 - did not start against Army after he was late to a team meeting. Was a 20-year-old junior.


Positives: Excellent size - looks the part with a large frame and long arms to keep defenders at bay. Natural bender with very quick, piston-like feet. Plays with great balance and has a solid base in pass protection. Flashes power in his punch to shock defenders. Does an excellent job sealing defenders, churning his legs and finishing blocks as a run blocker. Good agility to reach and sustain second-level blocks. Flashes a mean streak. Versatile and has played guard and tackle.


Negatives: Immature. Accountability could be an issue - was repeatedly late to meetings and undisciplined maintaining his weight. Can be late out of his stance. Inconsistent hand placement - lets defenders inside his frame and can be controlled. Too easily engaged. Questionable work ethic and mental makeup - does not like the weight room and it shows. Bench-pressed 225 pounds only 21 times at the Combine. Needs to improve anchor strength. Can be susceptible to the outside speed rush when he gets caught flat-footed. Relies too much on his natural talent. Could be vulnerable to the trappings of success.


Summary: Possesses the size, agility and functional playing strength to man the left tackle position, but his immaturity raises questions about his commitment and ability to maintain success after a big payday. Has potential to excel as a run blocker and emerge as a very solid pro if he learns what it means to work and takes the game more seriously.


NFL projection: Top-15 pick.





7. ORT-OG Vladimir Ducasse
Massachusetts senior
Ht: 6-4 3/8 | Wt: 332 | Sp: 5.24 | Arm: 34 3/4 | Hand: 9 5/8


Notes: Born in Haiti, Ducasse, who lost his mother when he was five, was sent to the U.S. by his father in 2002 in order to attain a college education. He did not know the game of football until his junior year of high school but became an all-state (Connecticut) player who also competed in track and field. Played as a true freshman at UMass, seeing action in four games as a reserve guard in 2006. Took over at left tackle in ’07, starting all 12 games. Started all 23 games over the course of 2008-09. Team captain who speaks three languages.


Positives: Has excellent size - massive frame, thick trunk and very long arms. Gets into blocks quickly and mauls defenders. Good anchor strength to stop a charge. Has strong hands and a powerful punch. Plays with an attitude. Very tough and will play hurt. Operated in a pro-style offense and worked out of a three-point stance. Has been very durable and is highly motivated.


Negatives: Raw. Technique needs refinement - inconsistent hand placement and footwork need to be cleaned up. Is a bit heavy-legged and can struggle cutting off the outside speed rush. Inconsistent leverage - needs to learn to sink his hips. Vulnerable to counters and inside moves. Lacks elite balance and body control. Does not consistently dominate inferior competition like he should. Had some struggles handling speed and counters against better competition in one-on-one drills at the Senior Bowl.


Summary: Big-bodied college left tackle who projects best to right tackle or guard in the NFL. Got away with leaning and relying on his size at UMass and is not polished, but most of his flaws are coachable, and he possesses legitimate physical ability and significant upside. Could handle the left side for a power-running team such as the Cowboys, Steelers or Cardinals. Could blossom into a left tackle with good coaching but may have to start his career inside.


NFL projection: Top-40 pick.





8. OLT-OLG Rodger Saffold
Indiana senior
Ht: 6-4 5/8 | Wt: 316 | Sp: 5.24 | Arm: 33 5/8 | Hand: 9 3/8




Roger Saffold

(Darron Cummings)


Notes: Father, Rodger II, played at Iowa in the mid-1970s. Rodger III was a two-way high school lineman. As a true freshman in ’06, started 6-of-7 games played at left tackle. In ’07, started all 13 games at left tackle. Played hurt in ’08, starting all 10 games at left tackle. Strained the trapezius muscle in his back against Indiana State and missed two games (Central Michigan, Wisconsin) with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee. Started all 12 games at left tackle in ’09. Team captain.


Positives: Very good athletic ability and foot quickness. Plays with balance and shows lateral agility to cut off the outside rush and mirror speed rushers (shut down Wisconsin’s O’Brien Schofield). Natural knee bender. Dominated in one-on-one drills at the East-West Shrine Game. Can pull and maneuver in space. Swings his hips around, gains positioning and walls off defenders. Can create some movement as a run blocker and work up to the second level. Handles man assignments well and works to finish blocks. Good work ethic and character.


Negatives: Not a finisher, and game lacks nastiness. Is not explosive and does not play with pop or power. Does not drive defenders off the ball. Punch strength is just average - plays a bit short-armed and can do a better job gaining extension. Leaves his frame open and catches too much contact. Back injury needs to be evaluated carefully after being restricted in practice as a result of it.


Summary: Solidified his standing at the East-West Shrine Game, where he impressed evaluators with his athletic ability and showed clear starter potential as a left tackle. Does not have great length to handle the edges and could project inside to left guard in a lateral-moving, zone-slide protection scheme, but he has convinced scouts he could be a competent edge protector on the blind side after moving very fluidly at the Combine, bulking up, measuring longer and working out very well. Could warrant some late first-round interest as a left tackle prospect if he is given a clean bill of health and should start right away, at left guard or tackle.


NFL projection: Top-50 pick.





9. OLT Bruce Campbell
Maryland junior
Ht: 6-6 3/8 | Wt: 314 | Sp: 4.84 | Arm: 36 1/4 | Hand: 10 1/2


Notes: Father was drafted by the NBA’s New Jersey Nets in 1978. Bruce also lettered three times in basketball and competed in track and field (shot put) as a prep. Underwent a relatively minor brain surgery as a sophomore, in which fluid was drained in order to relieve pressure, as his body was growing too fast for his bones. Two-way lineman who won a pair of Connecticut state championships before attending Hargrave Military Academy (Va.) in 2006. With the Terps in ’07, saw action in five games, starting one (Clemson) at left tackle. In ’08, played in all 13 games and started the final seven at left tackle. Started all nine games played in ’09 - missed two games in September (turf toe) and did not play against Clemson or Wake Forest (strained left MCL). Praised for his strength and conditioning work, he has been called “the offensive line version of Vernon Davis(notes)” by Maryland assistant Dwight Galt.


Positives: Physical specimen - looks like he was chiseled for the position with vines for arms. Has the body length, wingspan and foot quickness to excel in pass protection. Has an exceptional weight-room work ethic and boasts rare workout numbers. Stole the show at the Combine - clocked under 4.8 seconds on some stopwatches and bench-pressed 225 pounds 34 times. Outstanding athletic ability. Very quick and agile and can reach the second level with ease. Gains extension, locks out and steers defenders in pass protection. Latches on to his man and shows the ability to control defenders.


Negatives: Very raw. Does not play to his strength numbers - uses too much finesse. Does not roll off the ball flat-backed, unlock his hips and drive defenders off the ball - very inconsistent run blocker. Lacks awareness, and mental lapses show up too often. Cannot redirect quickly, gives up the inside and struggles with counters. Needs to play with better balance - spends more time on the ground than an elite athlete should. Can do a better job moving his feet and engaging targets. Does not take a power step. Finishing ability is just average - does not impose his will physically. Inconsistent leverage - plays too tall. Could struggle to handle line adjustments. Has very little body fat to protect his joints from collisions, and durability has been, and could continue to be, an issue. Surrounded by hangers-on who are banking on his success and could be overwhelmed by the transition to the bright lights of the pro game.


Summary: Looks like the eighth wonder of the world and is a first-round cinch on talent alone but is far from a finished product and should be considered a developmental project at this stage in his career. Still must learn how to run block and polish his feet and technique in pass protection and prove he can stay healthy. A bold decision maker will likely gamble on his great upside in the first round, hinging on his “special” talent and banking that he will be able to hone his athletic gifts. Is most ideally suited for a zone-blocking scheme. A gamble-on-greatness pick.


NFL projection: First-round pick.





10. ORG-ORT John Jerry
Mississippi senior
Ht: 6-5 3/8 | Wt: 328 | Sp: 5.18 | Arm: 34 | Hand: 9 3/4


Notes: Brother, Peria, starred for the Rebels at defensive tackle and was the Falcons’ 2009 first-round pick; cousin, Jamarca Sanford(notes), played safety for the Rebels and was a seventh-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings in ’09; cousin, Eddie Strong, played at Ole Miss (1998-2002); and cousin, Dwayne Rudd, played for the Vikings, Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1997-2003). John did not qualify academically in 2005 and attended Hargrave Military Academy (Va.). Enrolled at Ole Miss in ’06, starting all 12 games at right guard and posting 26 pancake blocks. Also blocked a PAT against LSU. Appeared in all 12 games in ’07, starting nine. Did not start in three contests because he violated team rules. Missed most of ’08 spring practice (hemorrhoids). Following the arrival of head coach Houston Nutt, Jerry shifted to right tackle, where he started all 13 games. Was forced out of the Florida contest with a sprained shoulder but returned to the lineup without missing a start. Started all 12 games played in ’09 - eight at right tackle and four at right guard. Was suspended against Northern Arizona for an academic violation. Team captain.


Positives: Exceptional size and sheer mass, with good arm length. Good run blocker - generates power in his hips and envelops defenders. Flashes some violence and can move defenders off the line and re-establish the line of scrimmage. Could help outside in a pinch. Has NFL bloodlines. Shed weight after the season and helped himself at the Senior Bowl and Combine.


Negatives: Is tall, tight-hipped and a bit high-cut - can be outleveraged. Does not have the type of anchor strength expected for a player his size. Lacks agility to handle edge speed or play in space. Labors to the second level and struggles to sustain blocks on the move. Slow reacting to blitzes and can be stressed by stunts and line games. Needs to do a better job using his hands and sustaining. Questionable stamina and mental acuity. Weight has tended to fluctuate.


Summary: Continually shed weight and worked out better than expected at the Combine. A big, power player who can knock defenders off the ball and would be better inside than outside. How quickly he can adapt mentally to the pro game and handle adjustments will determine his success. Ability to mash defenders in the run game could be offset by mental mistakes and blown assignments in pass protection. Could benefit from the external motivation of having a weight clause in his contract.


NFL projection: Second- to third-round pick.

PSU_dropout43
04-09-2010, 01:43 PM
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09029/945372-66.stm

TAMPA, Fla. -- Bill Cowher will be rooting for the Steelers Sunday.

Wait.

He will be rooting for the Arizona Cardinals, too.

"Yeah, I'm happy for both," Cowher said yesterday as he and his daughter, Lauren, were driving through North Carolina yesterday to watch the Wake Forest-Duke men's basketball game last night.

Cowher has split allegiances in Super Bowl XLIII. He coached the Steelers for 15 seasons, including Super Bowl XL. Men from his staff are still coaching, and his former players make up the brunt of their current roster. Yet, some of his former coaches run the Cardinals, including head coach Ken Whisenhunt, assistant head coach Russ Grimm, special teams coach Kevin Spencer and wide receivers coach Mike Miller.

"I certainly am happy for the Rooneys and the opportunity to separate them from everyone else, deservedly so," Cowher said of a possible sixth Lombardi Trophy for the Steelers. "Coach [Dick] LeBeau and Bruce [Arians] and the whole defensive staff and players, and I'm happy for Mike [Tomlin]. He's done a very good job there.

"From the same standpoint, I'm happy with what Kenny accomplished this year and changed the whole culture there, and Kevin, Russ, Spence and Mike Miller.

"I look at it from the standpoint that whoever wins, I'm happy for that team for those reasons."

Cowher will watch the game at home in Raleigh, N.C., with a couple of friends and not come near the festivities here this week.

He said he has no second thoughts about leaving as Steelers head coach two years ago, even though they've reached another Super Bowl.

"No regrets, I enjoy everything I'm doing," said Cowher, a CBS-TV studio host for NFL games. "It will not match the quality time I've been able to have the last two years with my kids and family. I'm happy and I enjoy it with CBS."

Cowher has stayed in touch with both sides of the Super Bowl, reaching out to congratulate Dan and Art Rooney and Kevin Colbert, the Steelers' director of football operations, as well as Whisenhunt and those in Arizona.

"I talked to coach LeBeau and told him to give the boys a 'hey' for me."

He has not offered his successor, Mike Tomlin, any advice, and said it does not look as if he needs any.

"I know when I came aboard, my conversations with Chuck Noll were ones when I reached out to him. Mike seems to be doing a pretty good job on his own. I think if Mike had any questions, he knows I have an open door."

Cowher took obvious pleasure in seeing so many close associates and players from his teams reach the Super Bowl. He even knew how many of his former players will start for the Steelers Sunday.

"You look at 15 of the 21 starters, and three other guys came on to start, Ryan Clark, Santonio Holmes and Willie Colon. You look at coach LeBeau and the guys in Arizona. I'm not proud but I'm happy for them.

"You know what? That was a good team, and I knew it was a good team, with good coaches. Bruce was a natural guy to take over as offensive coordinator, and he's done a good job.

"Ben [Roethlisberger] will probably go down as one of the all-time great quarterbacks. You look at him in the fourth quarter and I don't know if there's another guy I'd want with the ball in his hands to score."

Cowher finds himself closely connected to a Super Bowl again, and he can't wait to watch it from his living room.

"I want to see all the commercials. That's the best part of the game. Tell all the guys I say 'Hi.' It should be a great game, and I'll enjoy it."