Nick Scott On Uphill Battle To Hear His Name Called At 2019 NFL Draft
Like many of his teammates, Penn State safety Nick Scott has spent the offseason working towards hearing his name called at the 2019 NFL Draft. Although he didn’t receive an invitation to the NFL Combine, Scott’s performance at Penn State’s pro day definitely helped his cause.
Scott weighed in at 210 pounds and was listed at 5’11” at pro day. He put up 18 reps on the bench press and ran a 4.43 40-yard dash, which was one rep more and slightly faster than teammate and fellow draft prospect Amani Oruwariye’s numbers at the NFL Scouting Combine.
The rest of Scott’s pro day results put him among the top draft-eligible safeties from a numbers standpoint. Scott would’ve finished tied for the eleventh best 40-yard dash time among safeties at the Combine, and his 18 reps on the bench would’ve tied for eighth. Scott’s vertical jump of 41 inches would’ve ranked among the top five at the position.
Although he tested well, Scott’s lack of experience and raw talent may keep NFL teams from calling his name at the draft. He only has one year of experience as a starting safety, but that season went pretty well.
Scott intercepted three passes for the Nittany Lions as a starter. He showcased his flair for the dramatic with a crucial interception late in the fourth quarter on the goal line in his team’s victory against Iowa, and his 65 tackles ranked fourth on the team in 2018.
In addition to his strong 2018 season, Scott’s intangibles will work in his favor as the NFL Draft approaches. He proved time and again that he’s the ultimate team guy during his tenure in Happy Valley. The safety filled virtually any role asked of him, and he paid his dues on special teams before establishing himself as a starter.
“I’m a player who’s going to do whatever’s asked of me,” Scott said at pro day. “I’m a team guy first. If you want me to be your gunner my whole career, I’ll be your gunner. If you want me to be your starting safety, I’ll be your starting safety. What you’re going to get out of me is what you ask for.”
Although Scott clearly has a lot going for him, most safety prospects in this year’s draft have at least two years of experience starting at the position. While Scott played in all 13 games as a safety during the 2017 season, he only started one and totaled 33 tackles on the year.
Scott’s strong 2018 and good pro day might not be enough to hear his name called during the draft. He doesn’t compare all that well to other draft-eligible safeties, so NFL teams may pass on the Penn State product. Still, it won’t be a surprise if he signs with a team after becoming a free agent.
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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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