Connor McGovern’s Versatility, Size Boost NFL Draft Stock
Connor McGovern has quietly been one of the most important players on Penn State’s football team over the last three seasons. While fans were routinely blown away by highlight-reel moments from players like Saquon Barkley and Trace McSorley, McGovern was doing the dirty work in the trenches that often went unnoticed.
McGovern started 35 games for the Nittany Lions during his three seasons in Happy Valley, but those starts didn’t all come at the same position. He was moved around a bit throughout his college career, including nine starts at right guard as a freshman and 13 games at center in his sophomore year. He made 12 appearances at right guard and spent the other game as a center in his final season as a Nittany Lion.
The offensive lineman’s versatility will only make him a more attractive option for NFL teams. His ability to seamlessly alternate between the center and guard positions will be a valuable asset at the next level, especially when injuries begin to take their toll on teams’ rosters.
Instead of having to reshuffle the entire offensive line, McGovern’s future NFL coach could just shift him around as need be. This would allow the rest of the offensive line to stay in place and not disrupt the unit’s chemistry.
Another advantage that McGovern has over other interior lineman in this year’s draft class is his size. A lot of interior offensive linemen are on the smaller side coming out of college because many college coaches opt for up-tempo, spread offenses. That’s not the case with McGovern, who measured at 6’5″ and 308 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Thanks to his size, McGovern excels in the run game — he can use that and his mean streak to move defenders off the ball. His size also will also allow him to stand up against opposing teams’ larger interior defensive linemen at the next level.
Although his run-blocking abilities are his strong suit, McGovern will have to improve his consistency as a pass protector. NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein notes McGovern has a tendency to “over-set in pass protection” and he “gets caught out over his toes” at times.
Despite his shortcomings, McGovern is a rock-solid interior offensive line prospect. The offensive lineman’s size and versatility give him a legitimate chance to be a starter from day one in the NFL. He currently projects as a day two pick in this year’s NFL Draft, and it’s entirely possible he goes off the board in the second round.
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About the Author
Despite losing key contributors at wide receiver and on the offensive line, the combination of young talent and proven transfers should benefit Penn State’s attack this fall.
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This marks the first time the Nittany Lions are left out of the preseason poll since 2016.