Three Pitt Players Selected in Latest Mock Draft

The Pitt Panthers were well represented in The Athletic's most recent mock draft.
Oct 28, 2023; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers wide receiver Bub Means (0) catches a
Oct 28, 2023; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers wide receiver Bub Means (0) catches a / Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH -- Pitt football has had a great tradition of alumni having success in the NFL and one mock draft predicts where some of the next future stars will land at.

Dane Brugler of The Athletic released a full seven-round NFL Mock Draft ahead of the actual NFL Draft next weekend. This includes every single pick from No. 1 through No. 257.

He picked three Pitt players to go in the draft, all of whom received invites to the NFL Combine. These players are offensive tackle Matt Goncalves, cornerback M.J. Devonshire and wide receiver Bub Means.

Goncalves goes first to the Baltimore Ravens with the No. 165 overall pick in the Fifth Round. If the Ravens did select him at this pick, they'd make him their first Pitt selection since the franchise started in 1996.

He spent the past five seasons at Pitt from 2019-23, playing 39 games over the past four seasons with 21 starts, including all 13 games in 2022. He also set up draft visits with the Seattle Seahawks and the Dallas Cowboys.

If an NFL team drafts Goncalves, with mock drafts placing him somewhere on the third day in the later rounds, it would make it back-to-back years a Pitt offensive tackle earned a draft selection. The New York Jets drafted Carter Warren last year in the Fourth Round.

Two other Pitt offensive tackles have earned draft selections since Pat Narduzzi took over as head coach in 2015. This includes Adam Bisnowaty, who the New York Giants drafted in the Sixth Round in 2017, and Brian O'Neil, who the Minnesota Vikings drafted in the Second Round in 2018 and made a Pro Bowl in 2021. 

Brugler has the Philadelphia Eagles taking Devonshire just six picks after Goncalves, at No. 171.

Devonshire started with Kentucky, but transferred to Pitt after two seasons there. The Aliquippa native returned home for the next three seasons, playing in 38 games, missing just one and starting 18 games at cornerback the past two seasons.

He finished his time with the Panthers with 83 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, eight interceptions, returning three for touchdowns, and 21 pass breakups, while earning All-ACC punt returner honors in 2022.

He also earned Second Team All-ACC honors this past season at cornerback. Devonshire finished tied for first in the ACC with 14 passes defended and in second place with 1.17 passes defended per game. Devonshire also caught four picks, second-best in the ACC, including returning one 86 yards for a touchdown vs. then-ranked No. 14 Louisville, that helped set up the 38-21 upset on Oct. 14.

The last Pitt player the Eagles selected was Avonte Maddox in 2018, who has played 64 games and started 38 times over the past six seasons with the franchise.

Means goes last for the Panthers, with the New England Patriots selecting him in the Sixth Round with the No. 193 overall pick, in a trade from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Brugler wrote a snippet for why he likes Means going to the Patriots at this pick, including a former connection for the wideout at Pitt, who is now with the historic franchise.

"It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Patriots draft multiple receivers, and Means is an impressive size/speed athlete with a ball-winning attitude," Brugler wrote. "One of the reasons Means transferred to Pitt was his familiarity with former wide receivers coach Tiquan Underwood, who was recently hired by the Patriots. It’d be a fun story if they were reunited."

Means spent the past two seasons at Pitt, catching 68 passes for 1,122 yards and eight touchdowns, the second-highest yardage total of any Pitt pass-catcher over that span. While those numbers might not come as elite to many, he excelled inspite of some of the worst Pitt quarterback play in recent memory.

His performance at the NFL Combine gave scouts a chance to see his talents, running the 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds and the 10-yard split in 1.55 seconds, as well as a 39.5 inch vertical jump and a 10-foot-2 broad jump.

Means is looking to become the first Pitt wide receiver to earn an NFL Draft selection since star wide out Tyler Boyd did so with the Cincinnati Bengals in

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Dominic Campbell


Follow Dominic Campbell on Twitter.