Summary: Christian Ballard benefited at times from playing alongside another top prospect, Adrian Clayborn, on the Iowa defensive line. He uses his athleticism to make it through gaps, but in the NFL, he will need to add strength and some new maneuvers. When his first move is stonewalled, he is pretty much finished, and if he wants to continue his development must develop more of an aggressive attitude. However, he is an incredibly versatile prospect who can play across the line in both fronts.
Player Comparison: Tyson Alualu. In the 2010 NFL Draft, Jacksonville shocked the world by selecting Tyson Alualu No. 10 overall. Heading into the draft, he was a second-round prospect like Christian Ballard appears to be right now. However, some think Ballard could surprise by coming off the board in the first although given the talent in this year's defensive line, it would not be as high as Alualu was selected last year obviously.
In terms of size and ability, they are comparable. Ballard is a step quicker, but once he puts on some weight, the difference is going to be negligible. Both were also threats to play 3-4 end heading into the draft, although like Alualu, I anticipate a 4-3 team drafting Ballard to play tackle.
@Steeler Fan 3:16 OLB is a need, but it shouldn't be... Dupree looks like he's on his way to join Jarvis Jones in Bustville. I would like them to get a good edge rusher, but i'm not trusting their scouting Department or GM Colbert at this time. Steelers drafting OLB's these days are like the Browns drafting QB's...
@Big Al Sadly, before the Steelers draft an OLB, they need to overhaul the scouting department, because they haven't had anyone good that doesn't wear #92 over the last several years, and that was due to very bad drafting. Might be worth taking an under-hyped mid-rounder there.. as for their #1 pick, i'd like to see what they do with that former Temple guy before using a #1 on another ILB. as for QB, the last vet they brought in was QBDK. There's just not that much out there, so drafting one would make sense, unless we want another year of Landry Jones! ARGH!!!!!!!!