kdka-sm kdka-am-sm fan-sm pittsburgh-cw-logo

Pitt

4-1-Zoo: NFL Draft, Defensive Player Previews

Jabaal Sheard

(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Sports Fan Insider

Keep up with your favorite teams and athletes with daily updates.
Sign Up

Pitt didn’t have the season most fans wanted in 2010, but quite a few Panthers from that squad may end up happy in the end.

The NFL Draft is just hours away, and I’m here to break down each player’s strengths and weaknesses along with where they’ll end up.

Let’s start with the defensive side of the ball.

Jabaal Sheard, Defensive Line:

Attributes: 6-foot-3, 264 pounds. 33.5-inch wingspan, 10-inch hand size. Was a top performer at his position in the NFL Combine in the 40-yard dash.

Strengths: Anyone that watched Pitt in 2010 saw that Sheard was the most consistent player on the team. He was constantly in the backfield causing havoc, blowing by would-be blockers with his size and strength. He is long, strong and quick and showed off his character by rebounding from off-field issues in the summer.

Weaknesses: The kid doesn’t seem to have many. His moral character will be a question whether he likes it or not because of an arrest in the summer of 2010. He can be a better student of the game in understanding offensive schemes and reading what’s presented to him.

My Take: After talking with quite a few people about Sheard, I’m convinced he has a serious chance to go late in the first round. Although it was a very unfortunate season on and off the field for Greg Romeus, Sheard benifitted and showed the entire country that he can be a premier defensive lineman. I won’t be surprised at all if he does the same some day in the NFL.

What others have to say: Pittsburgh Sports Depot, NESN, Pitt Script, Pitt Blather, Post-Gazette.

Greg Romeus, Defensive Line:

Attributes: 6-foot-5, 264 pounds. 35-inch wingspan, 11-inch hand size.

Strengths: First and foremost, his size is freakish and rediculously attractive to NFL scouts. He’s big and strong and can take up space along the offensive line while also possessing the ability to burst past blockers and get to the quarterback.

Weaknesses: His senior season hurt his stock tremendously. Drafting an injury-prone player is a huge risk for any team at any position. As far as his skill set goes, many say he needs to be better at reading offenses and showing an ability to drop back in to coverage when needed.

My Take: Romeus is a hard one to figure. I could see him going anywhere from the middle of the second day of the draft to the beginning of the final day. It all depends on how teams feel about his injury history. Outside of that, he’s a guy with all the tools to be great in the NFL.

Others involved, but with a lesser chance to be drafted:

- Dom DeCicco, Secondary
- Elijah Fields, Seconday/Linebacker
- Tommie Campbell, Secondary

*Fields and Campbell are technically former Panthers. Both were kicked off the team for rules violations.

Be sure to follow the blog during the NFL Draft and follow me on Twitter as well for immediate updates of Pitt players and where they end up.

Chris Gates | Area 4-1-Zoo Blog
Twitter.com/Chris_Gates
Chris.Gates@cbsradio.com