Last year, Highsmith’s Packers grabbed an undrafted gem in former Cane Sam Shields. “Guys like Shields are going to help guys like DeMarcus Van Dyke,” Highsmith said. “Some of these UM players are not developed. They will be better pro players than college players.”
• First round: UF guard/center Mike Pouncey. “Easily the draft’s top interior lineman,” Mel Kiper said. Kiper and Mike Mayock like him better at guard. But ESPN’s Jon Gruden said Pouncey should play center, despite some past struggles with shotgun snaps.
• Late first or second: UM cornerback Brandon Harris. “Tested out better than he played,” Kiper said. “Had an average year.” Kiper has him going 40th; ESPN’s Todd McShay has him 31st. Mayock said he’s “more equipped for the nickel position” than starting in a base defense. One scout said he’s concerned about taller receivers outjumping him at 5-91/2. … FSU quarterback Christian Ponder. Many now expect him to go in the first round. The pluses: intelligence, toughness, leadership, can get rid of the ball quickly and extend plays with his feet. “He’s got enough arm strength, more than enough mobility, but I think he’s a good backup at most, because I don’t see the vision,” the scout said. “He reminds me of J.P. Losman, who would stare down a receiver and wouldn’t see the linebacker waiting to make a play.”
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