Bryan Anderson is the third NFL-hopeful from Pitt

Bryan Anderson joined Gerald Hayes and Torrie Cox as Panthers who will be vying for NFL roster spots in 2003.

Bryan Anderson narrowly avoided the "Mr. Irrelevant" tag by being the next to last player selected in the seventh round by the Chicago Bears on Sunday. He was the 261st overall selection of the draft. Ryan Hoag of Gustavus Adolphus was picked after Anderson to have the yearly tag pinned on him. Bryan will be joining fellow Panther Bryan Knight in Chicago.

Bryan was a mainstay of the Pitt offensive line as a 4-year starter at guard. The team will be looking for others to step up and provide the veteran leadership that he so ably provided in 47 starts during his career at Pitt. The example that he set for younger players, with the constant improvement of his play and his work to recover from off-season shoulder surgery to have an outstanding senior season, will be missed.

Anderson was named to first team All-Big East and All-Eastern College Athletic Conference honors after his senior season, as well as being named Pitt's Most Valuable Offensive Lineman. He was a huge part of a 2002 Pitt running game that averaged over 358 yards a game.

Panthers in the league

  • Linebacker Bryan Knight (2002 class), after a fine rookie season of special teams play, is expected to take over the starting strong-side spot in Chicago this season.
  • The San Francisco 49ers failed to draft a running back in 2003, so Kevan Barlow's status with the team should be all the more solid. Kevan (2001 class) will be earning $389,000 this year with the niners on a 1-year restricted free agent tender and will be poised for free agency if he follows up last year's outstanding season with the same this year.
  • After being released by the Raiders earlier in the year, strong safety Anthony Dorsett (1996 class) will be joining the other NFL veterans who await the June 1st cuts to see what teams will be looking for veteran free agents. The current NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement sets salary cap rules that promote the hiring of vets in the league, so expect Anthony to wind up somewhere unless he decides to hang up the cleats.
  • With the Pittsburgh Steelers drafting cornerback Ivan Taylor (of Louisiana-Lafayette) in the fourth round of the 2003 draft, Hank Poteat (2000 class) will be be gearing himself up for a heated battle for a roster spot at this year's summer camp at St. Vincents.
John Steving
PittInsiders.com

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