The Panthers had 10 players complete their final football seasons at Pittsburgh last year, and nine will work out for what is expected to be a large contingent of NFL scouts, as well as members of other professional teams and leagues.
Former Pitt cornerback Darrelle Revis secured his first-round selection by the New York Jets last spring after a scintillating performance in the running drills. The Panthers are expected to get another first-round pick this year in offensive tackle Jeff Otah, who is rated as a mid-to-late first-round pick by many NFL Draft websites. His size and athleticism are what scouts look for in a tackle. His relative inexperience, just five years playing football, would be the only reason he could drop into the second round.
However, it is believed that Otah, who is 6-foot-6 1/2, 341-pounds, eventually could develop into a Pro Bowl left tackle. He likely will start out on the right side. Otah is ranked as the 11th-best prospect in this year's NFL Draft by Scout.com. He is also ranked 21st by Scott Wright's NFL Draft Countdown. Wright says that Otah is "very raw, but has rare size and hasn't begun to reach his full potential.''
Otah also is ranked 20th by DraftDaddy.com and is the No. 2 tackle, behind Michigan's Jake Long, by Mike Mayock from NFL.com. Jake Long is rated on most draft boards among the top five picks this year. ProFootballWeekly.com also rates Otah behind Long, but is extremely complimentary.
"Jeff Otah may have as much upside as any player in the draft,'' PFW.com said. "Having come from Nigeria when he was seven and not playing organized football until his senior year in high school, he is still learning how to use angles and take advantage of his immensely talented skill set.
"He has terrific size with long arms and great foot quickness. Despite being relatively raw and only starting two years (at Pitt), he has shown he could handle his own, having given Virginia DE Chris Long his most challenging matchup the past two years, getting the better of him this (past) season and not giving up a sack or allowing any penetration deep in the backfield.
Other former Panthers working out for the pro scouts Monday are offensive guard Mike McGlynn, tight end Darrell Strong, defensive ends Joe Clermond and Chris McKillop, cornerbacks Kennard Cox and Lowell Robinson, linebacker Jemeel Brady and safety Mike Phillips. Center Chris Vangas opted not to attend Pitt's Pro Day. McGlynn, Strong and Clermond are the only other players expected to be selected during the annual NFL Draft April 26-27.
McGlynn (6-4, 314) is ranked 83rd by Scout.com, while Clermond (6-3, 260) is 278th and Strong (6-4 1/2, 264) is 283rd. McGlynn, who was married earlier this year, has been training in Florida with his new agents and former Pitt star and long-time NFL player Jim Sweeney.
The event begins with weightlifting at about 11 a.m. and ends a couple hours later with the running drills.
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