Athlon names Jabaal Sheard as Pitt's best defensive lineman of BCS era

Andy Lyons

Athlon continued their release of top players by position in the BCS era recently and are up to the defensive linemen. Pitt didn't have any listed in the top 50, but Jabaal Sheard ranked in the next tier of guys, checking in at No. 73.

Another guy that could have been there but didn't make it was Greg Romeus. Romeus and Sheard have virtually the same career numbers. Both had 19 1/2 sacks and 142 tackles. Sheard had five more solo tackles, but Romeus had three more for losses. Sheard also had five forced fumbles to Romeus' four.

Both were great players for Pitt, but if I had to pick one, I'd probably go with Romeus. He missed most of his senior season and would have surpassed Sheard's numbers if not for injury. And while off-field issues probably weren't taken into account, there was this unfortunate incident involving Sheard back in 2010.

Beyond those two, though, a guy that could rank at the top when all is said and done is Aaron Donald. Donald, a senior this season, could wind up with the best numbers of them all. He should easily get the 21 tackles and one sack that he needs to pass both of them. And if he's healthy, of the three, Donald should also be the highest drafted player.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author, the manager/editor of Cardiac Hill, @AnsonWhaley

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