Any team that gets Bernard Pierce in the third round will be happy they have him.
NFL.com's Chad Reuter laid out a full seven-round mock draft (hey, that thing is this weekend!) and I'm usually interested in where the MAC talent falls, and how many of them go to the Steelers. Somebody always does. You're going to get hop ons.
My excitement on the draft has been a bit muted this year because, for starters, there aren't many prime talent players this year. And those that are played for Temple — and I guess I can't fault them, they'll have played their entire college career in the MAC. It's just their school's moving on, and I can't help but wonder if their draft stock improved because their school profile made the jump to a major conference. Sigh.
Anyway, I hand-picked all the mocked selections for you. Bear in mind, it's all guesstimation and window-gazing, which is still fun:
(72) Offensive guard Brandon Brooks (Miami) to the Miami Dolphins. Reuters says he could start for them at right guard. This is what's so weird about the NFL: their idea of a successful player is usually different than a successful player in college. Brooks was a second team All-MAC lineman, and he's potentially the best we have to offer to the professionals. Scouts, man.
(94) Running back Bernard Pierce (Temple) to the New York Giants. Oh they're going to like him. How's that for a potential MAC weapon threat? Pierce in the backfield, a healthy Domenik Hixon going long.
(176) Outside linebacker Tahir Whitehead (Temple) to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The only defensive player likely to be drafted from the MAC. And, yes, he's was second team all-MAC.
(203) Fullback/tight end Evan Rodriguez (Temple) to the New York Jets.
(218) Wide receiver Eric Page (Toledo) to the Kansas City Chiefs. Man, if he drops that far he's a steal.
(220) Offensive guard Derek Dennis (Temple) to the Chicago Bears. And you thought the Brooks pick was surprising? Dennis didn't receive any MAC honors this past season.
(225) Quarterback Chandler Harnish (NIU) to the Seattle Seahawks. Sure, I could see it. All he needs is a chance to compete but I really don't think, especially after the pro disappointment, that Harnish has a future in the NFL. But if he goes to Seattle ... Canada is very close to him.
This leaves out gentlemen like Jordan White and LaVon Brazill, which is really strange to me. But everybody usually gets an UDFA contract signing, so at least they'll get a crack at making the roster — and you're not guaranteed that even by virtue of being drafted anyway.