Well, that took less time than I expected. After only forty bajillion hours of live coverage (thank you, ESPN, for reminding me why looking at Mel Kiper and listening to Chris Berman both annoy me to death after three minutes) the Mid-American Conference has finally seen its top end talent taken in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
First came offensive lineman Brandon Brooks, the guard from Miami, with the 76th pick of the draft. He was listed as the fifth best guard in the draft, and it looks like the Houston Texans intend to plug him right in as either an upgrade at left guard or a replacement for free agency losses at right guard. Some question his conditioning and durability a bit, but he's a big dude, and the one thing he does well is run block — which is exactly what the Texans like.
Then, eight picks later, MAC pseudo-expatriate Bernard Pierce of Temple was taken by the Baltimore Ravens with the 84th pick. This makes me happy, because I can now proceed to hate his dirty guts as a Steelers fan. He was listed by Scouts, Inc. as the eighth best running back in the draft, largely due to concerns about his usefulness in the passing game and therefore his status as an every-down back. They also expressed concern over the fact that he is physically impressive, but doesn't necessarily do anything really well. For now, he can work on that while he fills his primary role as (likely) a "change of pace" back for Ray Rice — I use quotes because he's pretty similar, so it would be more about giving Rice rest than a true change of pace.
We'll keep an eye on day... 74? Oh, day three, and let you know if any more of our boys get snatched up such as Jordan White, Eric Page. Stay tuned!