Safety Dom DeCicco had a pretty solid year for Pitt in 2010 and got to show off some linebacker skills this season. DeCicco isn't the biggest, strongest, or fastest, but he's got a shot to be selected in the upcoming NFL Draft this week.
His experience at linebacker no doubt helped his draft status and there's a real chance he could play that position in the pros, depending on where he goes:
"A lot of teams have looked at me as a linebacker," DeCicco said. "Some nickel [cornerback] and some safety, but the majority are probably linebacker and special teams."
Smith said how DeCicco will be utilized on an NFL roster depends on what defensive scheme a team runs.
"A team like the Pittsburgh Steelers would run him as a safety, because he doesn’t really fit that outside linebacker mold for their type of defense," Smith said. "But for a 4-3 defense, he’ll be an ideal outside linebacker. That’s kind of where we’re getting a lot of interest from, those 4-3 teams who utilize a more athletic outside linebacker."
No, he's not expected to go high, but being drafted late isn't out of the question:
"I think I have a chance to get drafted in the later rounds," DeCicco said. The senior will graduate with a major in communication after Pitt’s first summer session.
"My hunch is that he’ll probably be a sixth to seventh round player," Smith said. "But it wouldn’t surprise me if he went in the fifth round, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he went to free agency."