2012 NFL Draft: Previewing Lucas Nix

Nix geared up for the NFL Draft by participating in the Combine (Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE)

Lucas Nix is almost assured of being drafted. Where he lands is anybody's guess, but he should be taken somewhere.

One expert says that part of the uncertainty surrounding him is because he played tackle at Pitt, but projects as a guard in the NFL:

The position Nix is projected to play may hurt his draft value. He played tackle most of his Pitt career, but scouts see him as a guard in the NFL and, Butler explains, guards aren't generally a high draft priority.

"If you look at the numbers, on average, over the past four years, there have been roughly 11 or 12 guards taken each year in the draft," Butler said. "That's it, 12 guards a year, so that's what makes it tough to project where Lucas will go, but someone will definitely draft him because he has a lot of potential.

Don't expect to find him throwing a draft party - he's going into hiding during the draft:

Don't call Lucas Nix during the NFL Draft this week. Chances are he'll be at home in Jefferson Hills, but he won't answer the phone.

"I'm going in the basement with my brother, me and Nate, and I'm locking everybody else out," he said.

Okay, so where does Nix rate?

Here's CBS Sports' analysis. And here's Pro Football Weekly's. NFL Draft Scout calls Nix the ninth best offensive guard. Another site, Football.Draft-hub.com projects him as a fourth-rounder and future NFL starter.

So when did the NFL start looking like a reality? Nix was gearing up for being drafted heading into this season:

When Was NFL In Your Sights

"Probably leading into this season when I was getting put on the watch-list and all that stuff. Then overall in general when I would play I was realizing that I was definitely one of the better players on the field. I didn't want to put too much thought into it but it was in the back of my head and I knew I had a shot."

Nix' presence is clearly going to be missed on the offensive line this season. But if there was any positive to his injury, it's that other players got some experience on the line to help prepare them for this season.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt football and basketball.

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