Amani Oruwariye’s Size, Speed Make Him Likely Top NFL Draft Pick For Penn State
Trace McSorley and Miles Sanders may take up a lot of the headlines surrounding the Penn State football team, but neither offensive standout figures to be the first Nittany Lion taken off the board in next month’s draft.
Instead, fifth-year senior cornerback Amani Oruwariye is the highest rated Nittany Lion on most draft boards. Oruwariye was ranked 47th in CBS Sports’ latest prospect rankings, which would place him right around the middle of the second round. Some other draft analysts have projected him to go as early as the late first round.
Oruwariye has the ideal length and size for an NFL cornerback, measuring 6’1″ and weighing 205 pounds. Despite being on the bigger side for a cornerback, Oruwariye still runs well. He clocked a 4.47 forty yard dash at last month’s NFL Combine.
Oruwariye is able to use that size and speed combination to blanket receivers on the outside. He’s also excellent at playing the ball in the air, attacking the catch point, and taking away a receiver’s space and time. This has, in part, contributed to his seven interceptions the last two seasons.
The Nittany Lion isn’t afraid to use his size and play physically either. Oruwariye excels in press coverage, where he can beat up on smaller receivers. He also won’t hesitate to come up and make a tackle against the run game either.
The knocks on Oruwariye are the lack of fluidity in his hips and his struggles to accelerate from a change of direction. Both traits are necessary when playing man coverage.
Oruwariye also lacks a bit of experience, considering he only spent one season as a full starter for Penn State. This could be a reason why his technique is considered a little raw by some draft analysts.
Oruwariye figures to be selected somewhere in the second round and should be able to step in right away as a starter on a team that runs mostly zone coverage. He will have to improve his skills in man coverage, but his ball-playing ability and length should make him an attractive target for NFL scouts.
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Clifford will take the job left vacant by Trace McSorley, who went 31-9 as the Nittany Lions’ QB1 in three seasons at the helm of the team’s offense.
2019 seems to break a trend for Penn State football, which usually named just three captains per season (one on offense, defense, and special teams).
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