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Insider Only Some early draft chatter: Will Te’o now be in play at No. 17 after being exposed in BCS game? Potential 1st rd WR caught Steelers eye this season

The BCS National Championship Game was a joke with Alabama beating Notre Dame, 42-14, and all of the buzz in the coming weeks is going to be about Manti Te’o’s draft stock plummeting. Te’o was exposed against Alabama and draft pundits are already buzzing about whether Te’o is still going to be a first round pick. That talk might be a bit off-base but it was a nightmarish game for him.
With outside and inside linebacker expected to be under strong consideration for the Steelers in the early rounds, Te’o figures to be a name to pop up in Steelers circles leading into April’s draft.
Prior to this game, some draft evaluators had him rated as a top-10 prospect and Mel Kiper has him rated as the No. 2 rated prospect on his big board.
If Te’o’s draft stock plummets, there will still be some evaluators who would see Te’o as a steal for Steelers at No. 17 and he could be attractive to the Steelers as he’s a three down linebacker, a playmaker in underneath coverage, shown the ability to be a run stopper prior to tonight and has the character and intangibles that teams like the Steelers love.
However, there’s a serious upside question about Te’o. I texted with a college evaluator today who doesn’t feel the top-10 talk is accurate for Te’o and told me Te’o’s not even a Lawrence Timmons.
NO RB IN PROJECTED DRAFT CLASS VIEWED AS GOOD ENOUGH TO GO IN TOP-20
I’d put the percentages at less than 5 percent that the Steelers would end up going running back in round 1 in April’s draft. There’s not a running back viewed as being worthy for a top-20 pick but one player who’s stock is going to be on the rise is Alabama running back Eddie Lacy (6-1, 220) who has the look of a possible first round prospect. He was impressive in the championship game and sure would look good in the Black and Gold.
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SOURCE: STEELERS SCOUTS WERE BUZZING ABOUT WR CORDARRELLE PATTERSON DURING SEASON

Here’s a name I’m told Steelers scouts have been buzzing about during 2012 college season; Tennessee receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (6-3, 207). Patterson has a very small sample size as he played just one season at Tennessee, coming from junior college, but he has the upside of a No. 1 receiver and is also extremely versatile as he can return kicks and had 1,858 all-purpose yards this season. In the receiving game, Patterson had 46 receptions for 778 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Patterson has a special skill set and could be a special player at the NFL level, which has the Steelers very intrigued about him and I’m told the Steelers will be doing a lot of homework on him in the coming months.
With the Steelers prepared to lose Mike Wallace, indications are wide receiver will be a high priority early in the draft. Mel Kiper’s scouting report on Patterson.”Great size and leaping ability, strong hands, with explosiveness as a runner with the ball in his hands. Can go up and get it. Helps his QB. Ceiling of a very good No. 1.”

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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