BTSC Community Mock Draft Pick #63 -- Pittsburgh Steelers Select James Carpenter, O-Line, Alabama

Many thanks to maryrose for this fine writeup. As it turns out, datruth4life and some of the rest of you were correct in identifying Carpenter as a guy that was rocketing up draft boards and worthy of a good, hard look by the Steelers in either round one or two. Well, turns out Carpenter went off the board even earlier than we expected, taken at No. 25 by the Seattle Seahawks. Nevertheless, let's take a look at the writeup by 'rose and see what he has to say about the kid and the Steelers' potential thoughts in round two. Keep in mind this was penned prior to Thursday night's developments. - Michael B. -

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Some believe you should build a football team from the inside out.  After securing its core last year with Maurkice Pouncey, the next logical move for Pittsburgh is to get high quality dance partners lining up next to him.  Enter James Carpenter, who by the way was picked by Todd McShay to go number one in the second round.  He brings two elite qualities to the table. First, his blend of height, weight and speed is right up there with the top linemen in the draft.  Dude is 6-5, 324 pounds and brings a surprising amount of speed for a guy his size.  Second, Carpenter is tough as nails with a mean streak, an element not lost on the Kuglinator himself.  He plays through nagging injuries and started all 27 games during his Alabama career.

 James_carpenter_1_medium

Carpenter also brings unique talent to both run block and pass block with relatively equal effectiveness, both above the line, though neither spectacular at this point in his development.  The better news is that Carpenter is a young guy on the rise.  His place on everyone's draft boards has gone up from the end of the season.  He now carries an impressive 85 NFL Scouts grade, and he won Alabama's Bart Starr Award as the Tide's most improved player. 

Carpenter is an upside kind-of-guy that will only continue onward and upward under the tutelage of Sean Kugler.  He is unquestionably one of the most versatile linemen in the draft, having been listed at various sites as a guard and tackle.  Carpenter is a rich man's Trai Essex, interestingly around the same height and weight.  The Steelers would probably use him at guard, but could move him outside in a pinch if needed.  Pittsburgh loves that type of versatility, especially on the offensive line.

James_carpenter_3_mediumJames_carpenter_2_medium

Carpenter was All-SEC for both of his years at Alabama starting at left tackle.  He came from Coffeyville Community College after struggling academically at Iowa State.  Fortunately for Carpenter and the Steelers, he no longer needs to worry about biology and Russian Literature.  Carpenter was a pivotal part of the offensive success the Tide had during the past two seasons and, obviously, has played in some very big games on the big stage.  An impressive athlete, Carpenter has excellent technique and uses his strong hands, knees and feet well.  He can anchor, seal, trap and pull and is not shy about getting to the second level.  He is well schooled for an NFL-style offense, though at times rough around the edges.

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On the downside, Carpenter is not quick enough to play left tackle, but can play right tackle and either of the guard spots.  His stiff hips match the lack of foot-quickness, resulting in trouble changing directions.  His extra-long legs don't help in that regard.  He's really better suited to play guard, playing better in small spaces, and would be effective at pass blocking from an interior position.  He also needs to make up for the two years lost at Coffeyville, where big-time football instincts do not get developed.  This is both bad news and good.  The bad news is that Carpenter would be more refined and polished now had he been at Alabama all four or five years.  The good news is that by flying a little under the radar right now, better days are surely ahead.  The Pittsburgh Steelers invited Carpenter into town for a visit recently.  He'll come back to town this Tuesday wearing a black and gold cap.

 

BTSC 2011 Community Mock Draft Selections:

  1. Carolina Panthers -- Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
  2. Denver Broncos -- Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
  3. Buffalo Bills -- Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M
  4. Cincinnati Bengals -- Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
  5. Arizona Cardinals -- Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
  6. Cleveland Browns -- 'The Snow Cone Machine'A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
  7. San Francisco 49ers -- Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
  8. Tennessee Titans -- Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
  9. Dallas Cowboys -- Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
  10. Washington Redskins -- Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina
  11. Houston Texans -- Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri
  12. Minnesota Vikings -- Tyron Smith, OT, USC
  13. Detroit Lions -- JJ Watt, DE, Wisconsin
  14. St. Louis Rams -- Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
  15. Miami Dolphons -- Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
  16. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Brooks Reed , DE, Arizona
  17. New England Patriots -- Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
  18. San Diego Chargers -- Ryan Kerrigan, DE/OLB, Purdue
  19. New York Giants -- Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA
  20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
  21. Kansas City Chiefs -- Martez Wilson, LB, Illinois
  22. Indianapolis Colts -- Cameron Jordan, DL, California
  23. Philadelphia Eagles -- Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
  24. New Orleans Saints -- Justin Houston, DE/OLB, Georgia
  25. Seattle Seahawks -- Jake Locker, QB, Washington
  26. Baltimore Ravens -- Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland
  27. Atlanta Falcons -- Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
  28. New England Patriots -- Mike Pouncey, OG, Florida
  29. Chicago Bears --Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
  30. New York Jets -- Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple
  31. Pittsburgh Steelers -- Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
  32. Green Bay Packers -- Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor

ROUND 2

  1. New England Patriots -- Cameron Hayward, DE, Ohio State (33rd overall)
  2. Buffalo Bills -- Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame (34th overall)
  3. Cincinnati Bengals -- Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State (35th overall)
  4. Denver Broncos -- Mikel LeShoure, RB, Illinois (36th overall)
  5. Cleveland Browns -- Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois (37th overall)
  6. Arizona Cardinals -- Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada (38th overall)
  7. Tennessee Titans -- Andy Dalton, QB, Texas Christian (39th overall)
  8. Dallas Cowboys -- Danny Watkins, OG, Baylor (40th overall)
  9. Washington Redskins -- Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh (41st overall)
  10. Houston Texans -- Aaron Williams, CB, Texas (42nd overall)
  11. Minnesota Vikings -- Brandon Harris, CB, Miami (43rd overall)
  12. Detroit Lions -- Bruce Carter, OLB, North Carolina (44th overall)
  13. San Francisco 49ers -- Rahim Moore, FS, UCLA (45th overall)
  14. Denver Broncos -- Benjamin Ijalana, OL, Villanova (46th overall)
  15. St. Louis Rams -- Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina (47th overall)
  16. Oakland Raiders -- Stefan Wisniewski, OG/C, Penn State (48th overall)
  17. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Ryan Mallet, QB, Arkansas (49th overall)
  18. San Diego Chargers -- Leonard Hankerson, WR, University of Miami (50th overall)
  19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Jabaal Sheard, DE, Pittsburgh (51st overall)
  20. New York Giants -- Mason Foster, LB, Washington (52nd overall)
  21. Indianapolis Colts -- Rodney Hudson, G/C, Florida State (53rd overall)
  22. Philadelphia Eagles -- Marcus Cannon, OG, Texas Christian (54th overall)
  23. Kansas City Chiefs -- Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State (55th overall)
  24. New Orleans Saints -- Robert Sands, S, West Virginia (56th overall)
  25. Seattle Seahawks -- Brandon Burton, CB, Utah (57th overall)
  26. Baltimore Ravens -- Christian Ballard, DE, Iowa (58th overall)
  27. Atlanta Falcons -- Randall Cobb, WR, Kentucky (59th overall)
  28. New England Patriots -- Ras-I Downling, CB, Virginia (60th overall)
  29. San Diego Chargers -- Marcus Gilbert, OT, Florida (61st overall)
  30. Chicago Bears -- Drake Nevis, DT, Louisiana State (62nd overall)
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