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Old 04-25-2005, 03:49 PM   #19
atlsteelers
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Default Re: 4th round pick: WR Fred Gibson

He makes me nervouse too, but i hope he can turn the corner with the steelers, thats why we were able to draft in the 4th round
here is what the athens paper said before the draft

Since Reggie Brown and Fred Gibson were born in 1981, the number of Georgia wide receivers selected in the NFL draft can be counted on one hand: Lindsay Scott (first round, 1982), Andre Hastings (third round, 1993), Brice Hunter (seventh round, 1996) and Hines Ward (third round, 1998).

That should change this weekend when Brown and Gibson answer calls from NFL teams. The guys who combined for 305 receptions, 4,892 receiving yards and 32 touchdowns in their college careers are both likely to be selected on Day One of the draft on Saturday, when the first three rounds are completed.

"It's kind of nerve-wracking, not knowing what round you are going to go in," Gibson said. "The only thing I can say is I've done everything I was supposed to have done - the Senior Bowl, the combine and my pro day and workouts. I think I did a great job. The only thing I can do is sit back, watch TV and see where I go."

Todd McShay, draft analyst for Scouts, Inc., and ESPN.com, said he projects Brown to go early in the second round as the sixth wide receiver taken. Gibson should go late in the second round or early in the third, McShay said. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper projects Brown late second and Gibson late third.

"A lot of people have observed, it's a big receiver year," Ravens coach Brian Billick told reporters last week. "You could pick maybe in the second, third and even the fourth round and have somebody that can come in and be a viable part of your team."

Georgia coach Mark Richt said both the 6-foot-15/8, 195-pound Brown and the 6-4, 196-pound Gibson have what it takes to make it as pros, but will leave it to NFL decision-makers to determine which one would fit their team better.

"I think they're both very capable of being extremely productive in that league and that's what you're looking for, but it has got to be the right fit whether it's a personality, a style of play or body type," Richt said. "Those guys have to decide that."

A record seven wide receivers were taken in the first round last year and some believe Brown, who has improved his stock since the end of the season, could go as early as late in the first round.

"He's a nice player, but he's not a first-round talent. He's a top 50 talent," said Frank Coyle, who runs draftinsiders.com. "He's a very good athlete, but he doesn't blow you away with it either. He doesn't have imposing size or imposing speed, but he just does everything well."

Brown's stock shot up after a strong showing during Senior Bowl week when Gibson did not distinguish himself, McShay said.

"With both players there and you just watched, Brown just seemed more polished," he said. "He was more fluid. He's in that 4.4 range and you compare him to Gibson, who has two inches on him but is not much bigger. (Gibson's) slower, not as fluid and is more inconsistent. If you watch both of those players as seniors and as participants in the Senior Bowl, it was just easier to tell that Brown was a more complete player."

Brown suffered a torn ACL early in his Georgia career and was bothered by a hamstring injury during his junior season, helped his pro prospects by flourishing as a senior, leading Georgia with 53 catches for 860 yards to go along with six touchdowns.

"College, I guess, was pretty much an interview for the NFL," said Brown, who has worked out privately for New England and Miami.

"He's got very good size, and he's a very good athlete," Buffalo national scout Marc Ross said in a pre-draft news conference. "He's quick, he's fast, he's a physical guy. He might have to improve his hands a little bit to be a top, top receiver in the NFL, but he can make big plays."

Gibson set a school-record with five 100-yard receiving games as a freshman but was dogged the next couple of seasons with questions about his durability and toughness. He put together a strong senior season but did not dazzle in pre-draft workouts.

"He could be a boom or bust guy," Coyle said. "He's got some speed to get deep, make a big play and he'll also drop a key ball on you. That's the risk-reward."

after the draft


A long wait in Waycross finally ended for Fred Gibson on Sunday afternoon when Pittsburgh selected the former Georgia wide receiver in the fourth round of the NFL draft.

Gibson, a first-team All-SEC selection as a senior, had to sleep on the disappointment of not getting picked on the draft's first day. He was emotionally drained after spending Saturday at a draft party at a community center in his hometown with family and friends, who left without him being drafted.

"It hurt so bad just to see it happen," said Gibson, who finished his Georgia career with 161 catches for 2,884 yards. "Things happen for a reason. I don't know why it happened, but things just don't go like you want them to go sometimes. I'm just honored and happy that Pittsburgh did pick me. When I get up there, I'm going to show them that I'm ready to work and they're going to have a great player."

Seventeen wide receivers, a kicker and a punter were taken before Gibson was selected with the 131st overall pick. He was by himself in his room at the home where his grandmother raised him when he was selected.

"Life is full of surprises," Gibson said. "I guess I'll learn from this."

Pittsburgh used the 30th pick in the fourth round to draft Gibson, the last of six Bulldogs selected.

Five Bulldogs were taken on Saturday.

David Pollack, who was selected by Cincinnati in Saturday's first round, was being interviewed on ESPN from Bengals headquarters when Gibson was selected.

The upside for Gibson is he will join former Bulldog Hines Ward in Pittsburgh, giving the Steelers two of the Bulldogs' top five career reception leaders.

"I basically know he's going to be my mentor," Gibson said.

The 6-foot-4, 196-pound Gibson offers the Steelers a tall receiver to replace the departed Plaxico Burress. ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. questioned the move, saying Pittsburgh should have picked Clemson's Airese Currie.

"He definitely has talent," Kiper said of Gibson. "When you look at some injury problems as a junior and consistency at times during his career, he needs to put it all together."

Gibson said he spoke with Ward leading up to the draft about the process. Ward was the last pick of the third round in 1998 and blossomed into a Pro Bowler.

Gibson was more high-profile during his Georgia career than Bulldogs wideout Reggie Brown, but Brown went with the 35th pick overall by Philadelphia. Brown could be in line for a signing bonus of about $2.25 million based on figures reported last year at that slot compared to about $270,000 for Gibson.

The player that hooked up with both at Georgia, quarterback David Greene, was drafted by Seattle in the third round with the 85th pick on Saturday night.

Greene was the sixth quarterback selected in the draft and landed in what some believe will be a comfortable spot with the Seahawks. Seattle runs the West Coast offense, a system that relies on shorter pass routes.

"I'm fired up," Greene said. "More than anything, I think it's going to be a great fit. I wanted to go to a good team. I'm going to a team that has gone to the playoffs and it's got a good quarterback situation."

Greene, the NCAA I-A all-time quarterback leader with 42 victories, will compete with former Iowa State quarterback Seneca Wallace for the backup job behind Matt Hasselbeck.

Greene will work with quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn, a former Seattle standout who is a lefty like Greene. Greene will make his first trip to Seattle later this week for a minicamp.

Green's heard good things about the city, adding "There's no state income tax."

Notes: The Georgia-to-Cincinnati connection continues. Former Bulldog fullback Jeremy Thomas said Sunday night that he has agreed to sign with the Bengals as an undrafted free agent. Cincinnati drafted Pollack and linebacker Odell Thurman on Saturday. "That must be the new hot spot," Thomas said. "The Bengals jumped on me quick. I'm happy to have a shot." ... Georgia's six players drafted, which also included safety/linebacker Thomas Davis to Carolina in the first round, tied with Louisville and Stanford for fifth most this year of any school. Oklahoma had 11, Florida State nine and Virginia and Wisconsin seven each. ... Brown said in a conference call with media in Philadelphia that he's planning to make his presence felt right away. "I plan to come in and start. That is my goal."
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