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Old 04-26-2009, 01:21 AM   #1
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Default Getting to Know Steelers First-Round Pick Evander Hood

Getting to Know Steelers First-Round Pick Evander Hood

Posted Apr 25, 2009 8:15PM By JJ Cooper (RSS feed)

Of 18 national mock drafts that came out in the final days before the draft, none had Evander Hood coming to Pittsburgh. So it's safe to say there was some surprise when the Steelers took the Missouri defensive tackle.

But it wasn't a big surprise around Pittsburgh, as Pittsburgh Post-Gazette beat writer Ed Bouchette, the dean of the Steelers press corps, had picked it in his pre-draft preview. And when centers Alex Mack and Eric Wood both were picked earlier in the first round, Pittsburgh was left to take Hood as the best available player at a position of need.

So what are the Steelers getting in Hood? Here's what the draft experts think:

ESPN ($): Is a high-energy player with good awareness, but lacks strength and struggles to hold his ground when teams run at him.

NFL.com: Very quick first step and doesn't give up on plays. Recognizes traps and seems to love the game--he missed only three games after breaking his foot and having a screw inserted. But has a bad habit of playing too high which allows offensive linemen to get under his pads.

NFL Draft Countdown: Great motor and can collapse the pocket. Has good instincts and is good in pursuit. More of a solid player than a difference maker.

Rivals: Quick first step means he's the first lineman off the line. Has a variety of pass-rush moves and showed good strength and speed at the combine. More quick than powerful and will be best suited for a team that slants its defensive linemen instead of playing two gaps.

Pro Football Weekly: Should be able to play right away as a third-down pass rushing end, and will be groomed to become Aaron Smith or Brett Keisel's replacement as he has the size and height to handle the job.
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