NFL Draft Update: Levitre, Peerman

The Raiders have a definite interest in Andy Levitre, whose versatility makes him one of the more intriguing offensive linemen available in the NFL draft. Levitre recently spoke with Senior NFL Analyst Ed Thompson. Find out what he had to say and what other teams are interested in him.

Oregon State offensive tackle Andy Levitre finished his senior year at left tackle for the Beavers, but he's played every position on the offensive line except center, even getting some time at tight end during his freshman year. And although he was All-Pac-10 at left tackle as a senior and started every game at either left or right tackle as a junior, some talent evaluators think the 6-foot-3, 305-pound lineman could be even more successful as a guard at the next level.

Either way, Levitre's going to be a real asset to the team that drafts him at the end of the month.

"The NFL is so competitive, and you only have seven offensive linemen dress out on game day, so being a player who can cover multiple positions makes you more valuable to the team," Levitre told

At the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, the Raiders were among 12 NFL clubs that wanted to meet with the talented blocker one-on-one for a formal interview. Oakland especially is attracted to Levitre's versatility, given their lack of depth at tackle and guard.

Khalif Barnes was signed as a free agent in the off season and is expected to battle Mario Henderson for the starting left tackle job in Oakland while Cornell Green's hold on the right tackle spot is tenuous at best. He was arrested on domestic battery charges in the off season and the Raiders also signed Erik Pears as a free agent.

At guard, Oakland has Robert Gallery on the left side and Cooper Carlisle on the right side. Beyond that, the Raiders have only Paul McQuistan and Chris Morris, who is listed as a center but has played guard sporadically with the team.

The Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans, Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins, Indianapolis Colts, San Diego Chargers, New York Jets and New York Giants also set aside a 15-minute time slot to meet with the Oregon State star at the Combine.

A double-major student who graduated with degrees in Finance and Sociology, Levitre strives for excellence in all areas of his life, paying attention to the details along the way that others often overlook. And that trait also helps provide him with a competitive edge among this year's NFL draft prospects.

"I'm a hard worker who never quits. I'm a technician. I go out to practice every day with the thought of getting better," he said. "My love for the game is what drives me."

Levitre started 39 games for the Beavers, including the last 35 contests of his collegiate career. At his school's Pro Day, he sat down to talk with the tight ends coach from the Eagles, the offensive line coach from the Atlanta Falcons and the offensive coordinator of the Panthers.

In addition to conducting a private workout for the offensive line coach of the Denver Broncos, Levitre had a busy schedule that included visits with the Buffalo Bills, the New Orleans Saints, the Cleveland Browns, the San Diego Chargers and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The fastest running back at the Combine, Virginia's Cedric Peerman, has been getting plenty of attention from NFL clubs. But according to a source, the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers have been two of the teams that have been showing the most consistent interest in the well-rounded athlete. In addition to posting the top 40-time in Indianapolis, Peerman also placed fourth in the bench press and second in the vertical jump, displaying a balance of quickness, strength and leaping ability that is a real asset for him as a receiver.

Cedric Peerman at the Combine Scott Boehm/Getty Images "I was thankful to the Lord that he came out there and blessed me that day so much. I knew that I was going to be able to run a good time, but I didn't know that I was going to be able to run the best time out of all of the running backs," Peerman told

The 5-foot-10, 216-pound back noted that he learned a lot about the impact of nutrition as he prepared for the Combine and his school's Pro Day.

"It was a very big change for me. No fried foods -- and I've continued to be really good about that," he said. "A lot of shakes to make sure you get protein, a lot of grilled food, low-fat food. It was really good being able to make the right choices, because what you eat really helps you out."

One favorite treat that Peerman had to cut out of his diet while training was buttermilk pancakes.

"I actually had some at IHOP a few nights ago, and I redeemed myself in that area, to say the least," he said with a laugh.

The mature and focused running back has been hearing plenty of good comments from NFL talent evaluators over the past few months, and what is obvious is that everyone has noticed how he can contribute on so many fronts.

"They've noticed that I'm able to play special teams, that I'm able to catch the ball well out of the backfield or on screen passes," he said. "And they've seen that I'm able to pass block and be a guy that they can keep on the field on third downs -- in addition to being able to run the ball."

While the whole process has involved long days and plenty of hard work, Peerman has maintained a refreshing perspective that's going to serve him well in the NFL and in life.

"I'm just happy to be able to be part of this whole process, really thankful and humbled by it," he said.

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