Early Look At Penn Staters’ 2019 NFL Draft Stock
Although this hurts the 2019 squad, the Nittany Lions will once again be strongly represented in the draft with the five underclassmen and seniors like Amani Oruwariye, Trace McSorley, and Nick Scott.
Ahead of major events like the NFL Combine, Penn State’s Pro Day, the Senior Bowl, and interviews with teams, here’s an early look at the draft stock of Penn State’s eight main draft prospects:
Oruwariye has taken an early lead to be the first Penn Stater selected in this year’s draft. Most mock drafts and projections have him as a fringe first round prospect with a most likely landing spot in the second round.
In his most recent position rankings, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. rated Oruwariye as the No. 6 cornerback in the draft. He’ll also participate in the Senior Bowl, which could help his stock rise even more.
McGovern will likely be selected on day two of the draft. He’s currently rated as the top guard prospect available in this year’s draft by Kiper, so he could sneak into the first round with a strong combine performance.
However, a round two or three selection is much more likely for Penn State’s three-year starter. The New York Jets and Green Bay Packers allowed a combined 90 sacks this year, so they may be inclined to take a flyer on McGovern to better protect Sam Darnold and Aaron Rodgers, respectively.
Sanders is arguably the prospect with the most to gain at the combine. His current projection is early on day two, but his lack of wear-and-tear could be appealing to teams. He was only a full-time starter for one season in Happy Valley and had just 56 carries entering the 2018 season.
That alone could warrant a third round selection, but his stock could continue to rise if he performs well at the NFL Scouting Combine. Mel Kiper rated him as the No. 9 running back in this year’s admittedly weak class of running backs.
Miller’s selection in this year’s NFL Draft could likely range anywhere from rounds 4-6. As with every other prospect, a strong combine could improve this, but his production wasn’t strong enough to garner high draft attention to this point. The defensive end finished tied for the Penn State lead in sacks with eight this season and tacked on 16 tackles-for-loss to boot.
The top pass-rushers in this draft class — players like Kentucky’s Josh Allen and Ohio State’s Nick Bosa — recorded more than one sack per game throughout the 2018 season. Allen had 17(!) in 13 games, while Bosa recorded four sacks in Ohio State’s three non-conference matchups before sitting out the rest of the season due to injury.
Bates looks like a surefire mid-day three pick in this year’s NFL Draft. His body of work — 37 games played over the course of three seasons — and résumé at Penn State are strong, but his lack of elite athleticism will likely land him anywhere from rounds 4-7.
McSorley’s stock is tough to gauge, and it will definitely ride on his performance at the Senior Bowl and NFL Scouting Combine. If the Senior Bowl and combine were cancelled and the draft happened tomorrow, however, he’d probably either be selected in the sixth or seventh round or go undrafted entirely.
The Senior Bowl and NFL Scouting Combine aren’t surefire guarantees to help raise his draft stock, but one part of the process leading up to the draft is. Pre-draft interviews will help the Penn State legend out quite a bit; his intangibles are often seen as a defining characteristic of his success.
Givens’ draft stock is really an unknown right now, as his announcement to enter the draft came as a surprise to many. Early signs point to a late-round selection or undrafted, but his impressive tape this year combined with his strength could boost him up.
Scott has some work to do if he wants to hear his name announced on draft day. The former defensive captain is currently viewed as an undrafted prospect. He had big shoes to fill in the tandem of Marcus Allen and Troy Apke, but he proved himself as a very solid last line of defense for the 2018 squad. As with everyone, a strong pro day could go a long way.
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