Predicting Where Nittany Lions Land in 2019 Draftby Davis Ender February 28, 2019 0 comments
Linebacker U may not be sending many linebackers to the NFL this decade, but the Nittany Lions still have a large group turning pro this year. Penn State had seven players declare for the NFL draft following the 2018 season, but will they all hear their name called come April? Here is when I believe fans should expect to hear Trace McSorley and company’s names called.
Trace McSorley: Round 6
McSorley will forever be remembered as one of the greatest quarterbacks in Penn State history. In 2016 he led the team to its first Big Ten title since the 2008 season and was named MVP of the Big Ten Championship. The program was a college football playoff threat throughout the entirety of McSorley’s three-year tenure. Throughout his career, he threw for just under 10,000 yards and tossed 77 touchdown passes.
Even with all of these accolades however, it is unlikely many NFL teams will take an interest. He is undersized at exactly six feet and did not have a very promising Senior Bowl outing. Expect him to be selected, but not until late in the draft process. It’s a real shame no Big Ten quarterback selected in the sixth round has ever done anything in the NFL.
Miles Sanders: Round 3
Miles Sanders might not have been Saquon Barkley, but he was still a force to be reckoned with behind a constantly shuffling offensive line. In his sole year as a starter, he racked up 1,413 all-purpose yards and scored nine times. He isn’t Ezekiel Elliot or Todd Gurley, but in a time in the league where times are more and more likely to utilize multiple running backs, he is a cheap and effective weapon. Expect him to be gone by the third round.
Conner McGovern: Round 2
McGovern is a versatile center/guard who has been one of the few consistencies on the offensive line since 2016. High-quality centers and offensive guards are hard to come by in the NFL, so McGovern is very likely to get some buzz should everything go well for him at the combine. I’m not convinced that he is dominant enough to become a first-round offensive lineman though.
Ryan Bates: Round 7
Ryan Bates is the second starting offensive guard that Penn State will be losing in 2019. Bates strung together a solid college career, but his tape doesn’t jump off the page enough to get the attention of NFL scouts. Once the later rounds of the draft roll around, teams love to snag offensive lineman to take on as future projects. Bates probably fits that description.
Amani Oruwariye: Round 2
Trace McSorley is the highest profile Nittany Lion entering the draft, but Amani Oruwariye will get the most buzz early in the draft. I don’t expect him to come off the board till the second round, but he has the best chance of any Penn State player to be a first-round pick. He intercepted three passes, forced a fumble, and acted as a lockdown corner throughout the 2018 season. He recorded an additional four interceptions during the 2017 campaign as well.
Shareef Miller: Round 5
Shareef Miller struggled to stay healthy throughout his college career, but when he was at 100% he was a force to be reckoned with. NFL scouts might view him as a bit too raw, but seven and a half sacks to go along with 15 tackles for a loss is no joke. He won’t be a high profile name to watch on draft night, but the two-time all-Big Ten defensive end could make an NFL roster in the right system.
Kevin Givens: Round 7
Givens only had five sacks and 10.5 tackles for a loss in 2018, but that doesn’t do his impact justice. He often received double teams and was an unstoppable force in the 2018 Citrus Bowl. Like Miller and Bates, he won’t get anything beyond some late round buzz but could be a formidable player in the right system.