NFL Draft: Scouting the Pittsburgh Panthers

Oct 25, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Detail view of the revamped logo on a Pittsburgh Panthers helmet as it sits on the sidelines against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during the third quarter at Heinz Field. Georgia Tech won 56-28. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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Up to 4 PITT Panther football prospects could hear their name get called on draft day.

 

After the Pittsburgh Panthers wrapped up their season with a disappointing loss to Stanford in the Sun Bowl 14-13, Pat Narduzzi seemed to finally find the pieces to toy with on defense. Although the Panthers are coming off a mediocre 7-7 season, they have the title of Coastal Champs going into the 2019 College Football season. Pittsburgh didn’t help themselves losing to eventual National Champion Clemson in the ACC Title game, which was a dominated performance by the Tigers, 42-10.

As every season comes and goes, this one is no different. The Panthers have 19 seniors graduating and going into different directions. Some look ahead at their aspirations to play in the NFL and others try to get situated into new beginnings for other career opportunities. The Panthers are losing 3 key backfield threats in Running Backs Darrin Hall, Qadree Ollison, and George Aston, whom all likely to hear their name called during days 2 and 3 of the NFL Draft. The Panthers are also looking to fill the void at all 3 of their linebacker spots as Quintin Wirginis, Oluwaseun Idowu, and Elijah Zeise all depart from the program. The offensive line is taking a big hit as well with 4 departures from that particular position group as well.

 

Looking ahead toward the NFL Draft, the Panthers have some intriguing prospects in Darrin Hall and Qadree Ollison. Here are the reasons why these players are very intriguing and will capture the eyes of the NFL.

 

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RB Qadree Ollison

2018 Stats: 194 Attempts, 1,213 YDS, 11 TD’s, 6.3 AVG

 

Pitt’s lone representative at the NFL Combine, Ollison had an impressive senior season for the Panthers. Ollison has shown great burst along with power to combine for a menacing combo. A tough-as-nails steel beam of a running back, Ollison will sure be getting looks from some coaches and general managers across the league. As far as my prediction goes, I’d say he’s between a 3rd-5th round grade. Whichever team selects him sure won’t regret picking him up.

 

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See the source imageRB Darrin Hall

2018 Stats: 153 Attempts, 1,144 YDS, 10 TD’s, 7.5 AVG

Surprisingly, Hall did not receive an invite to the NFL Scouting Combine, although many amongst the Pitt fan base feel he was snubbed of that honor, had a tremendous Senior season as well just like his counterpart and teammate Ollison. Pitt relied heavily on the run game as apparent as to why both Hall and Ollison ran over 1,000 yards, a school record for 2 running backs in the same season to do so at Pittsburgh. Hall hasn’t seen the field as much as Ollison but still has a tough mentality to run through defenders and has split the workload the past couple seasons. Hall could hear his name called on day 3 as I project him to get selected between round 4 through 6.

 

 

 

OL Stefano Millin

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Millin was a graduate transfer from Kent State and had immediate playing time and ultimately got the starting gig as an offensive tackle for Kenny Pickett’s blind side. Millin came in to fill the void left by 4th round pick Brian O’Neill by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2018 NFL Draft. Millin held his own and filled in for O’Neill exceptionally well. With Millin possibly going pro, I could see him moving to the interior at offensive guard or right tackle. I could see Millin possibly going anywhere between rounds 5th-7th as teams will be looking for players for competition and depth.

 

OL Alex Bookser

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Bookser was the opposite starting tackle of Millin, but unlike his teammate, Bookser played out his entire collegiate career for the Panthers. As evident, Bookser was a mainstay along an offensive line that helped pave the way for the running game. Bookser will most likely stay at right tackle in the NFL or be moved inside to guard. Nonetheless, Bookser has good size to be a professional and will offer competition to whichever team selects him. As for the grade, I give him between rounds 6th-7th.

 

Other Possible Draftees:

FB George Aston (6th-7th), DL Dewayne Hendrix (6th-7th), LB Quintin Wirginis (7th)

 

Possible Undrafted Signees:

DB Dennis Briggs, LB Oluwaseun Idowu, OL Mike Herndon, OL Connor Dintino, DL Shane Roy, LB Elijah Zeise

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