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2018 Pittsburgh Panthers prospect primer

Photo by Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire

Scouting Notes

2018 Pittsburgh Panthers prospect primer

Below are notable Pittsburgh Panthers players eligible for the 2018 NFL Draft.  Pittsburgh will have it’s hands full replacing some notable talent on offense, including QB Nate Peterman and OG Dorian Johnson. But perhaps the biggest loss Pitt incurred this off-season was losing Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada to Louisiana State. This team still has notable NFL talent on the roster.

Offense

Offensive Tackle Brian O’Neill – 6060, 300 – Junior

The standout Left Tackle touts the best pass blocking efficiency in the country, according to the fine folks at Pro Football Focus. He was credited with 0 sacks allowed on 366 pass protection reps in 2016.

Offensive Guard Alex Officer  – 6040, 335 – Senior

Quarterback Max Browne – 6050, 230 – Graduate Transfer

It’s hard to fault Browne for losing the starting gig at USC, when considering he lost it to a youngster named Sam Darnold. With the Pittsburgh Panthers, Browne looks to capitalize on an offensive approach that mirrors what he does well: play under center and in a drop back passing offense. Touting a big arm, Browne could be the guy to push the ball to big time play-makers Weah and Henderson.

Wide Receiver Jester Weah – 6030, 210 – Senior

Weah was a huge big play receiver last year, averaging over 24 yards per reception. But he’s an interesting case study on account of some build-up speed. That athletic flaw will be a big barrier to success unless Weah is able to identify ways to play with more physicality in 2017.

Panthers Wide Receiver Quadree Henderson (10) runs with ball (Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire)

Wide Receiver Quadree Henderson – 5080, 190 – Junior

A pocket dynamo, Henderson was one of the most electric utility men in football last year. But that listed size is no typo: Henderson is tiny at 5’8. He does have the pure speed to blow the doors off of defenders in open space and is capable of rushing, returning and catching the ball. Henderson’s average yards per kick return (30.5), punt return (15.8), and rush (10.5) are all notably impressive totals. He tallied over 2,000 all purpose yards and 10 touchdowns during his 2016 consensus All-American season.

Defense

Safety Jordan Whitehead – 5110, 190 – Junior

It was recently announced that Whitehead has been suspended for the team’s first three games in 2017; which could be crippling to a defensive unit that returns only three starters to begin with. Whitehead’s absence against both Penn State and Oklahoma State will put a ton of pressure on the defensive backfield, as both opposing offenses will look to target the void his missing athleticism on the back end will leave.

Whitehead’s suspension adds another layer to red flags surrounding him; he missed a good portion of playing time last year with durability issues as well. Regardless, Whitehead is an exciting athlete with a nose for making big plays. He draws eyeballs…when he’s on the field.

Kyle Crabbs

Kyle Crabbs is the founder/Director of Scouting of NDT Scouting Services, a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the lead NFL Draft analyst for the FanRag Sports Network.

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