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Looking at the Big East's first-round prospects

4/21/2010

Unless you've been living in a cave the past three months, you know it's NFL Draft time. (And even then, I've bet at least one mock draft made it to your underground dwelling).

Anyway, the first round is tonight at 7:30 in New York City (on ESPN, naturally). Let's look at the potential first-rounders from the Big East:

Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers: Davis had a disappointing junior year and he had some ups and downs during the scouting process. But none of that changes the fact that he's 6-foot-5, 325 pounds and wildly athletic at left tackle. Those types of guys just don't come around very often, which is why someone will take him early. Todd McShay currently pegs him a No. 8 to the Oakland Raiders, which is a fate I wouldn't wish upon anyone.

Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida: Pierre-Paul might be the biggest risk/reward guy in the first round. There's little doubt he has incredible upside or physical tools. However, he played only one year of major college football and is incredibly raw. Some NFL team will have to hope he loves the game and is willing to work at it; his potential, though is too much to ignore. McShay has him going 14th to the Seattle Seahawks.

Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers: McCourty is being pegged as a late first-round pick, and I think whatever team lands him is going to be very happy. McCourty is a terrific corner but also an extremely versatile player who can do a bunch of things on special teams. And there will be no questions about his character or leadership; Rutgers coaches could not say enough good things about McCourty and what he meant to their team. McShay has him going No. 30 to the Minnesota Vikings, which would be a great situation for McCourty to walk into a team built to win now.

That should do it for the Big East in round one. South Florida safety Nate Allen has occasionally had his name mentioned as a late fist-rounder, but it looks more likely that he'll go in the second round unless a team really likes him.

Three first-round picks would match the number for the Big East last year. Rutgers had its first-ever, first rounder last year in Kenny Britt, and now the Scarlet Knights look to double the total from their previous 141 years.