I’m not saying that if Pitt had stuck to the 4-3 defense and the pro-style offense, that Pitt players would not have been shut out of the NFL Draft for the first time since 1999. I’m thinking it, but I’m not saying it.
Brandon Lindsey went from being a break-out player at the defensive end in 2010 to no-mans land with a change in defensive schemes. Playing in a hybrid linebacker/DE position that had him in no-mans land too many times.
Lucas Nix also suffered from the change in schemes with the O-line that made him look less productive. More importantly he suffered from injury that kept him out for over half the season. When you factor in the fact that Fraud Graham started questioning Nix’s toughness for not coming back from the injury as quickly as hoped, that probably raised flags for the NFL teams.
No doubt if Ray Graham had stayed healthy, he would have come out as a junior. The running back was putting up huge numbers and surely would have been a pick in the first 3 rounds.
Instead Pitt players will have to go the undrafted free agency (UFA) route to be on NFL squads. The conventional wisdom, being that it is better to be a UFA than a 7th round pick since you can pick the team and have a better chance/situation.
Here are the seven Pitt players that have already agreed to go to training camps with certain teams:
Brandon Lindsey — Pittsburgh Steelers
Lucas Nix — Oakland Raiders
Chas Alecxih — Miami Dolphins
Max Gruder — Atlanta Falcons
Greg Williams — Houston Texans
Buddy Jackson — Indianapolis Colts
Antwuan Reed — Cleveland Browns
Noted that none of the defensive players ended up signing with the Bills where former coach Dave Wannstedt is the DC.
Good luck guys.