The Steelers will likely draft an offensive lineman with two of their first four picks in April’s draft. They could address the tackle, guard and center positions.
1. Alex Mack- California, Sr (6-4 316 lbs)- Legit first rounder. I don‚Äôt see a way he gets past the Steelers (if he does fall that far)
2. Max Unger-Oregon, Sr (6-5 300 lbs) – Unger is a very athletic and intelligent player.
3. Jonathan Luigs-Arkansas, Sr (6-4 314 lbs) – Luigs had Felix Jones and Darren McFadden there last year to make him look like the best center in the country. Well he should have left Arkansas with them because there is no way he is passing Alex Mack and at this point he has fallen behind Unger as well.
4. Antoine Caldwell- Alabama, Sr (6-3 293 lbs) – He has had some character issues but they were very minor. He should still get drafted in the first 5 rounds come April.
5. Eric Wood- Louisville, Sr (6-4 309 lbs) – Impressive senior season has gotten him to a point where he may be drafted
OFFENSIVE TACKLES Rankings
1. Michael Oher- Ole Miss, Sr (6-5 318lbs) – Oher nearly came out last year, but he decided to stay at the last second. He can play guard or tackle and he has all the skills to do so, good hands, good size, and great mobility. Look for him to go in the top 10.
2. Andre Smith- Alabama, Jr (6-5 340 lbs) – Smith is a hard worker and has great skills, and has greatly improved his mobility. Smith and Oher should go in the top 10.
3. Eugene Monroe- Virginia, Sr (6-6 315 lbs) – Monroe showed great improvement last season. He has continued to rise on the offensive tackle charts. I still have him behind Oher and Smith, but it looks like Monroe has solidified his first round status.
4. Eben Britton- Arizona, Jr (6-6 310 lbs)- Much improved this year. Looks to be a first round selection.
5. Russell Okung- Oklahoma State, Jr (6-5 300 lbs)- Well rounded blocker, also a first round prospect.
6. Ciron Black- LSU, Jr (6-5 314lbs) – Black has a lot of potential and great speed, but I think he will need a couple years to adjust to the NFL game. He is young though so he can afford to watch a little.
7. Jason Smith- Baylor, Sr (6-5 298 lbs) – Smith is above average at just about everything, but he doesn‚Äôt wow anyone in any area.
8. Phil Loadholt- Oklahoma, Sr (6-8 337 lbs) – Loadholt has slipped on my list. He now looks to be a late first day selection at best.
9. James Meredith- South Carolina, Sr (6-5 301 lbs) – Meredith‚Äôs athleticism may slip him into the first day of the draft.
10. Sam Young- Notre Dame, Jr ( 6-8 310 lbs) – Young rounds out the mass amount of junior offensive tackles on my list as one of the few consistent players on Notre Dame‚Äôs line.
OFFENSIVE GUARDS Rankings
1. Duke Robinson- Oklahoma, Sr (6-5 335 lbs) – Robinson would have probably gone in the 2nd round last year had he decided to leave. By returning to Oklahoma, Robinson has given himself a great chance to jump into the first round.
2. Sergio Render- Virginia Tech, Jr (6-4 334 lbs) – Render is a great talent, and originally I thought that he would need another year in college; however, he has shown great improvement this year and could go in the first day of the draft if he declares himself eligible.
3. Trevor Canfield- Cincinnati, Sr (6-5 295 lbs) – Canfield has the potential to slip into the first day if he finishes out the season well.
4. Andy Levitre- Oregon State, Sr (6-3 324 lbs) – Levitre had a fantastic season that pushed him up to a possible first day selection.
5. Louis Vasquez- Texas Tech, Sr ( 6-6 335 lbs) – Despite playing in Texas Tech‚Äôs offense, Vasquez didn‚Äôt allow a sack last season. Part of this is because of his great blocking but keep in mind that very few quarterbacks get the ball out as quickly as Graham Harrell.
6. Greg Isdaner- West Virginia, Jr (6-4 322 lbs) – Isdaner needed to play well this season to think about going into the draft. At this point he looks to be a second day selection which could get him to leave, but I think he could elevate his status to a first day selection if he returns for his senior season.
7. Herman Johnson- LSU, Sr (6-7 351 lbs) – Big guy who can play multiple positions on the line, should get drafted in the mid to later rounds.
8. Ray Feinga- BYU, Sr (6-5 331 lbs)- Looks to be a later round selection at this point.
9. Matt Slauson- Nebraska, Sr (6-5 320 lbs) – His character issues are weighing him down. This may cause him to fall to being an undrafted free agent. It is tough to see everyone passing on his skill though.
10. Mike Johnson- Alabama, Jr (6-6 298 lbs) – Johnson should return for his senior season. With a solid senior year he could vault himself to first day status.