Seems like it was just yesterday when we were talking about the NFL draft hopes of several of Pitt's players after this season. Heck, there was even discussions about Pitt possibly having five first-rounders. At the time, I theorized that it was still crazy early to be talking about that kind of stuff, but thought it was exciting nonetheless.
So where do we stand now? Well, four games into Pitt's season and you can make the argument that Pitt might not have any first-rounders. ESPN.com's Draft Rankings currently have no Pitt players in the top 30 and only two in the top 50 (must be an Insider to view). Let's look at the five players that, heading into the season, were mentioned as the most likely to have a shot at going in the first round:
Dion Lewis- This one is pretty self explanatory. After his monster freshman season with 1,799 yards, he's struggled in a big way this season. Lewis only has 143 yards four games into this year and he's also injured. He figured to be a fairly safe bet to go into the NFL Draft if he put up anything close to what he accomplished last season, but barring a miracle, that doesn't look like it's going to happen. It's looking more and more like he'll be back for another season.
Jon Baldwin- JB is a bit of an enigma when it comes to NFL Draft prospects. I could see him leaving after this year even if he doesn't put up huge numbers. As I mentioned yesterday, the chemistry doesn't appear to be there between he and Sunseri and I don't know that he'd want to come back next season. I think if he puts up even modest numbers that he could be gone, but I'm not sure even his size is enough to get him into the first round ... especially with recent criticism of him not playing hard.
Greg Romeus- Romeus was all set to enter the first round until his back injury. He'll have missed most of this season and him getting into the first round could depend on how he looks when/if he gets back for the last few games of the regular season. The combine and individual workouts, which already count for a great deal, will be even more important for Romeus as he'll be trying to prove the back injury was merely a hiccup.
Jabaal Sheard- Sheard was a little less of a guaranteed first-rounder and his offseason trouble this season could eventually knock him out if he doesn't have a great year. But he's off to a pretty good start with three sacks already, though, so there's still a possibility he gets into the first round.
Jason Pinkston- Pinkston is part of the much-maligned offensive line, but should have a look at getting into the first round. He's been possibly Pitt's best offensive lineman this season and has done nothing to hurt his early projections. Not everyone sees him as first-round talent, but all it takes is one team to fall in love with him.
Pitt still has a shot at having several first-rounders come April, but at this point, no players are locks.