Bouchette reviews the NFL Draft Class of 2010

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Experts say the depth of talent in the NFL draft that begins Thursday goes well beyond the first round. Time will tell. For now, Post-Gazette football writer Ed Bouchette introduces you to the stars of this week's show.

Centers

Maurkice Pouncey
Florida, 6-5, 305
By far the best center in the draft and only one worthy of possible first-round. Big dropoff after him.
Matt Tennant
Boston College, 6-4, 300
Needs to add weight and strength but has good skills for the position and should be a starter.
J.D. Walton
Baylor, 6-3, 300
Overachiever who gives everything he has, but does not have the top physical skills. Short arms.
Ted Larsen
North Carolina State, 6-3, 305
Converted from DT in 2008, so he still is in developmental stage at the position but shows good promise.
Eric Olsen
Notre Dame, 6-4, 305
A coach's dream, he could be a steal on the third day of the draft. Guard moved to center last year.

Guards

Mike Iupati
Idaho, 6-5, 330
Powerful run-blocker who won't take a step back in pass-blocking. Also can play tackle if need be but potential Pro Bowl guard.
John Asamoah
Illinois, 6-4, 305
Great attitude, gives all he has but needs to get bigger to play against the big defensive tackles. 2nd round at best.
Mike Johnson
Alabama, 6-5, 312
Part of a powerful Tide line, he also filled in capably at left tackle. Strength is his pass-blocking.
John Jerry
Mississippi, 6-51/2, 330
Some list him at tackle, but with the abundant talent there and his ability to play both, a better value here.
Mitch Petrus
Arkansas, 6-3, 310
Has played tight end, fullback, tackle, guard, on special teams, and some scouts think he should be a center.

Tackles

Russell Okung
Oklahoma State, 6-5, 317
In a deep draft for tackles, none is better. Starter since first season and pure left tackle.
Trent Williams
Oklahoma, 6-5, 315
Had knockout combine workout and showed last season he can play on left side.
Bryan Bulaga
Iowa, 6-6, 315
Strong run-blocker on the left side, although his quickness vs. speed rushers remains a question.
Anthony Davis
Rutgers, 6-5, 325
Another good left tackle and sure-fire first-rounder. Has had issues keeping his weight down.
Rodger Saffold
Indiana, 6-5, 315
Excellent athlete and team leader and shows the nastiness of a linebacker.

Tight ends

Jermaine Gresham
Oklahoma, 6-5, 260
No. 1 had he come out last year, but he lost 2009 to knee injury and lost much money, too.
Rob Gronkowski
Arizona, 6-5, 315
Woodland Hills High product and another who missed 2009 after back surgery.
Jimmy Graham
Miami, 6-6, 260
Tony Gonzalez-like hoopster with just one year of football for the Hurricanes.
Dorin Dickerson
Pitt, 6-2, 226
Receiving specialist who does not have size to be on-line blocker.
Aaron Hernandez
Florida, 6-2, 245
Some rate Mackey Award winner higher but may be better suited as H-back.

Wide receivers

Dez Bryant
Oklahoma State, 6-2, 224
By far the best, but many teams dropping him because of character issue.
Golden Tate
Notre Dame, 5-10, 199
Hines Ward-like receiver with great hands and attitude.
Demaryius Thomas
Georgia Tech, 6-3, 224
Bay-Bay should have gone to a passing team. Broken foot scares some.
Arrelious Benn
Illinois, 6-1, 219
Multiple injuries last season and lack of top-notch speed holding him back.
Damian Williams
USC, 6-1, 197
Outstanding producer at the highest level collegiately, he could move up a notch or two.

Running backs

C.J. Spiller
Clemson, 5-11, 196
Versatile ACC Player of Year. Can do it all; only question is size.
Ryan Matthews
Fresno State, 6-0, 218
Averaged 6.5 yards a carry and has size and good enough speed to get outside.
Jahvid Best
California, 5-10, 199
Injuries, including one to his back, are only question, but a big one.
Montario Hardesty
Tennessee, 6-0, 225
Breaking tackles a speciality but tends to run "high" at times.
Jonathan Dwyer
Georgia Tech, 5-11, 230
Punishing inside runner who avoids injuries. Has great vision

Quarterbacks

Sam Bradford
Oklahoma, 6-4, 236
Heisman Trophy winner headed to St. Louis at No. 1.
Jimmy Clausen
Notre Dame, 6-3, 222
Has all qualities to become good NFL QB despite failings of past Irish.
Tim Tebow
Florida, 6-3, 236
Scouts love this guy's attitude and willingness, and he will be overdrafted.
Colt McCoy
Texas, 6-1, 216
His arm strength and height a question. West Coast offense type.
Tony Pike
Cincinnati, 6-6, 223
Only questions are injuries. Could be steal of the draft.

Fullbacks

Rashawn Jackson
Virginia, 6-1, 240
Best overall ability of the bunch, which again is a poor group.
John Conner
Kentucky, 5-11, 245
Classic old-style lead blocker who can plow ahead on the run, too.
Jameson Konz
Kent State, 6-4, 234
Former linebacker and almost exclusively a receiver and H-back.

Defensive ends

Derrick Morgan
Georgia Tech, 6-3, 265
Had 12.5 sacks last season. Junior. Would play LB in a 3-4.
Jason Pierre-Paul
South Florida, 6-5, 270
Raw talent with just one season of big-time play as JUCO transfer.
Everson Griffen
USC, 6-4, 275
A few red flags, including inability to remain a starter in 2008.
Carlos Dunlap
Florida, 6-6, 277
Great potential but in a character draft, his DUI arrest looms large.
Correy Wootton
Northwestern, 6-6, 270
Long arms, quick rush, could grow into a great 4-3 defensive end.

Defensive tackles

Ndamukong Suh
Nebraska, 6-4, 307
The perfect tackle, including his maturity, attitude and work habits.
Gerald McCoy
Oklahoma, 6-4, 295
Close to Suh in every aspect in a deep, quality DT draft.
Dan Williams
Tennessee, 6-2, 327
Ideal nose tackle in a 3-4, but four-man front will covet him as well.
Terrence Cody
Alabama, 6-4, 350
Plant the Mount at NT and he cannot be moved, but he has to come out on passing downs.
Jared Odrick
Penn State, 6-5, 304
Has strength and quickness to play end in 3-4 or tackle in 4-3.

Outside linebackers

Brandon Graham
Michigan, 6-2, 269
LaMarr Woodley-like 4-3 end who will convert nicely to a pro 3-4.
Sean Weatherspoon
Missouri, 6-1, 239
Once considered small for OLB's, James Harrison changed all that. Can play inside.
Sergio Kindle
Texas, 6-3, 250
Red flag on character issues, but can play end in 4-3 or LB in 3-4.
Jerry Hughes
TCU, 6-2, 255
He'll play 3-4 OLB because he's probably too small for 4-3 end.
Daryl Washington
TCU, 6-2, 230
Postseason play shows he can easily make switch to OLB from inside and play 3-4 or 4-3.

Inside linebackers

Rolando McClain
Alabama, 6-4, 250
Butkus winner is the perfect ILB in both stature and in his play.
Sean Lee
Penn State, 6-2, 235
Upper St. Clair kid who overcame 2008 ACL tear with a vengeance. Could also play outside.
Brandon Spikes
Florida, 6-3, 250
Three-year starter whose play suffered in 2009 because of a groin injury.
Donald Butler
Washington, 6-1, 245
Bounced between inside and out, he has made big move since season ended.
Jamar Chaney
Mississippi State, 6-1, 240
Steady, unspectacular 5-year player who has Larry Foote-like qualities

Cornerbacks

Joe Haden
Florida, 5-11, 195
Best of a deep crop but not high in the first round because of speed.
Kyle Wilson
Boise State, 5-10, 195
Some like him No. 1, others a tad leery of Boise's competition but played well vs. top teams.
Devin McCourty
Rutgers, 5-11, 193
Three-year starter, extra year helped his stock immensely.
Patrick Robinson
Florida State, 5-11, 190
Feast or famine, he could be Pro Bowl or Pro Bust.
Kareem Jackson
Alabama, 5-11, 195
Three-year starter, he employs physical, sticky pass coverage from the line.

Safeties

Eric Berry
Tennessee, 6-0, 210
Considered among surest things in the draft. Did it all in a great conference.
Earl Thomas
Texas, 5-10, 200
Some think he should play corner, especially with his size.
Taylor Mays
USC, 6-3, 231
God built the perfect safety, but his play did not measure up to his measurables.
Nate Allen
South Florida, 6-1, 207
Smart, speedy, tough and versatile; can play all over the field.
Morgan Burnett
Georgia Tech, 6-2, 210
Decent player who some believe should have stayed one more year. Ball hawk.

Kickers

Leigh Tiffin
Alabama, 6-1, 210
Connected on 30 of 34 ffield-goal tries last season. Tide record-holder with 83 in his career.
Aaron Pettrey
Ohio State, 6-1, 202
Strong, accurate, excellent on kickoffs. Had MCL injury last season.

Punters

Zoltan Mesko
Michigan, 6-4, 240
Romanian native who can hang 'em high and deep. Don't mess with the Zoltan.
• • Brent Bowden
Virginia Tech, 6-2, 200
When it's said he out-kicks his coverage, draft him.
Matt Dodge
East Carolina, 6-2, 223
Good distance but hang-em-high time (get out of Dodge!) a concern


Ed Bouchette: ebouchette@post-gazette.com .


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