UB’s Means, Akron’s Tretter selected in 2013 NFL Draft
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • April 27, 2013 @ 4:06pm
Two local football stars were drafted on Day 3 of the 2013 NFL Draft, as former University at Buffalo defensive end Steven Means and Akron High School standout J.C. Tretter took the leap to the next level.
Means, who attended Grover Cleveland High School in Buffalo, was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the 147th pick in the draft, the 14th selection of the fifth round. Here’s what ESPN Insider had to say about his selection:
The 6’3, 251-pound defensive end spent four seasons on the edge of the Bulls’ hybrid defense, which was essentially a 3-4 in terms of personnel but involved four down lineman, as outside linebacker Khalil Mack lined up opposite Means quite frequently. Because the Bulls struggled to plug run gaps—the MAC school was woefully undersized at the nose—Means had his hands full occupying blockers, which stunted him statistically.
One trait of Means that never slacked at UB—regardless of whether it was Jeff Quinn or Turner Gill at the helm—was his work ethic, as I remember running into Means sitting alone in UB’s film room, digesting game tape and studying the nuances of the defensive end position. Here’s a quality article on Means—then a red-shirt freshman preparing to suit up for his first game—by former UB Spectrum writer Dave Sanchirico in Sept. 2009.
At least initially, Means has the makeup of a difference-making special teamer, as he blocked three kicks in his senior season and five in his career. He owns obscenely long arms, played basketball at Grover Cleveland and boasts NFL-caliber strength and speed, which suggests he may be able to see the field during his rookie year—if he makes the Bucs.
Tretter, who graduated from Akron and spent four years at left tackle with the Cornell Big Red, was selected in the fourth round by the Green Bay Packers, adding depth to Aaron Rodgers’ interior line. The 6’3, 307-pound lineman was the 122nd overall pick, the 25th of the fourth round. Here’s ESPN Insider’s analysis about the Tretter selection:
For the meantime at least, Tretter will block for former UB Bull James Starks, although he’s rumored to be on the trade block after the Packers took Alabama bowling ball Eddie Lacy in the second round. Though Tretter was recruited as a tight end, his footwork—a byproduct of his stellar basketball career—made more sense for him to transition to the offensive line.
Tretter played collegiate football with Luke Tasker, son of Buffalo Bills’ great Steve Tasker, who could latch on as an un-drafted free agent.