Two Nittany Lions who forwent their final seasons of eligibility received a chance to bolster their draft stock in front of all 32 NFL franchises after being invited to the NFL Scouting Combine in February.
Favorably referred to as the “Underwear Olympics,” Godwin and Sickels will get to compete in an assortment of drills designed to test their football athleticism. These feats of strength and endurance serve as benchmarks for teams evaluating the scores of prospects competing at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
While some argue certain drills like the famous 40-yard dash do little to actually prove how an athlete’s speed will translate to the football field, there’s no denying its ability to take a prospect who might’ve otherwise been selected in the later rounds of the NFL Draft — if they’re selected at all — and vault them up the draft board.
Both players will benefit from being able to showcase their skillset on the biggest stage — especially considering neither prospect currently ranks in the upper tiers of their respective positions. They’ll also be able to go through formal interviews with teams — something that’s helped prospects boost their stock in the past.
Godwin departed Happy Valley after a big year that saw him score 11 receiving touchdowns. The driving factor, however, could’ve been his legendary performance in Penn State’s narrow Rose Bowl loss to USC in which the talented junior tallied nine grabs for 187 yards and two electrifying scores.
Sickels also capitalized off an impressive 2016 showing with 12.5 tackles for a loss and six sacks. At 6-foot-4, 254 lbs, he could benefit from added weight to his frame, but there’s no denying his impact as an edge-rusher in a prototypical 4-3 defense.
With all the Scouting Combine provides, it can just as easily take away. Plenty of prospects have tanked their draft stock in the past — meaning both Godwin and Sickels need to make the most of their opportunity in Indianapolis. They’ll both get another chance to showcase their athletic abilities at Penn State’s Pro Day, which will likely occur sometime in March.
They’re the only two Nittany Lions who were invited to Indianapolis.