NFL Draft '07: Scouting Pittsburgh

Entering the second year of the Dave Wannstedt era, the Panthers began to build momentum during the late part of last season. The team possesses a pair of first round choices from the defensive side of the ball and also offer potential on offense.

Quarterback Tyler Palko is an intelligent signal caller who consistently makes solid decisions in the pocket. A left-handed passer, Palko patiently waits for receivers to come free and displays a good sense of timing. Offering just marginal arm strength, he is a late round choice best suited for a west coast system. Receiver Dereck Kinder now becomes Pittsburgh's go-to pass catcher. Showing a lot of skill as a sophomore, Kinder is a sturdy wide out who gets vertical in a crowd to grab the throw. Consistent in all aspects of his game, he must be watched the next two years. Pittsburgh offers a pair of prospects at tight end. Senior Steve Buches is a solid pass catcher with nice size. Effective as a position blocker, Buches potentially sits as a late round choice for a team needing a second tight end. Junior Darrell Strong is a star in the making. A former quarterback, Strong is a terrific athlete with outstanding size. Still growing into the position, expect a breakout year from the underclassmen. Guard John Simonitis offers outstanding size on the inside and will get late round looks with a good senior campaign.

Defensively two outstanding prospects reside in the back seven. H.B. Blades offers intelligence and good bloodlines at linebacker. A willing run defender, Blades effectively diagnoses the action and remains disciplined with assignments. Possessing less then desirable size/speed numbers, he is easily held up by blocks and does not play a fast game. The ability to consistently be in the right place at the right time will get Blades top 45-consideration. Cornerback Darrelle Revis offers outstanding size for the position and shuts down opponents. Mechanically sound Revis has an excellent burst of closing speed and quickly breaks to the ball. Staying with opponents anywhere on the field, he also displays top hands for the pick. Expected to enter next April's draft, Revis is first-round material. Finally Sam Bryant is a hard-hitter from his strong safety position and offers potential as a backup/special teams player.

Pittsburgh Prospect List

Full Name Pos # Year
H.B. Blades OLB 51 4Sr
Sam Bryant S 46 5Sr
Steve Buches TE 84 5Sr
Derek Kinder WR 81 3Jr
Tyler Palko QB 3 5Sr
Darrelle Revis CB 25 3Jr
John Simonitis G 60 5Sr
Darrell Strong TE 14 3Jr


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