The Steelers do not need a nose tackle. McLendon is a good one. Do you only look at stats and PFF Ratings? 3-4 NTs are not SUPPOSED to have gaudy numbers. They are supposed to plug the gap and are a main key to a good run defense in the 3-4. The Steelers had one of the best rushing defenses in the NFL. I honestly wonder how you have a job sometimes.
Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas, Jr.
After watching Robinson at the Maui Invitational, I am pretty sold on him being a top-10 lock and possible top-five pick. He has the size and athleticism, is explosive at the rim, has a nice face-up game, and is a terror on the boards. The fact that he was a bit emotional after Kansas' loss to Duke in the championship game also shows his passion and love for the game and should in no way be viewed as a weakness. I think his stock will steadily climb as the season progresses.
Aaron Craft, PG, Ohio State, Soph.
I don't think there's any chance of Craft leaving school early but I have no doubt that he can be a solid backup point guard in the NBA someday. I have been a fan of his since day one in Columbus due to his hard-nosed style of play. In Ohio State's blowout of Duke, Craft proved that he is one of the best on-the-ball defenders in the game and knows how to run an offense. He is also a more than capable outside shooter and works well in pick-and-roll situations. What more would an NBA team want out of their backup point guard?
Herb Pope, PF, Seton Hall, Sr.
As a precaution from a heart condition, Pope saw his playing time cut last season and as a result, his production dipped during his junior year. Pope appears to be rejuvenated this year as he averaging 20.5 points and 11.7 boards a night and was one rebound against Northwestern away from having double-doubles in every game. He is an undersized power forward by NBA standards which hurts his stock, but Pope should get plenty of second-round looks if he can stay healthy and this productive.
2012 NBA Draft Stock: Selling
Trevor Mbakwe, PF, Minnesota, Sr.
A season-ending ACL injury crushes any chance the Gophers have of making the NCAA Tournament, but it likely also eliminates any possibility of Mbakwe being selected in the first round of the NBA Draft since an NBA team won't want to give guaranteed money to a guy coming off a serious injury. He was a borderline first-round pick due to his aggressiveness on the glass and got off to a solid start this season, but now we can expect to hear his name called in the second round.
Alex Oriakhi, PF, UConn, Jr.
Rather than having a breakout season that would have solidified his status as a first-round pick, Oriakhi has been relegated to bench duty due to the emergence of Tyler Olander and addition of Andre Drummond. Oriakhi then really got in Jim Calhoun's doghouse by tweeting, "I know sum bs" in response to former teammate Jamal Coombs-McDaniel's tweet questioning why Oriakhi is coming off the bench. In UConn's third-place game against Florida State in the Battle 4 Atlantis, Oriakhi posted all goose eggs except for three fouls and one turnover in just 10 minutes of floor time.
Tarik Black, PF, Memphis, Soph.
The 6-8, 252-pound Tiger can be a force inside when he is on the floor... the problem is he keeps getting in foul trouble. Black fouled out of two of Memphis' three games at Maui Invitational and has picked up four fouls in two other games which has strapped him to the bench for long stretches. Consider this - he has 18 fouls this season and only 12 rebounds. That's not a good ratio for someone is considered a potential first-round prospect and is technically undersized for the next level.