Where Do Nittany Lions Fall In Post-Bowl Season Mock Drafts?
It’s officially the college football offseason, folks.
Michigan some random team nobody cares about winning the national championship game a few days ago, the eyes of college football now turn to the NFL Draft to see where the college stars of today can become the professional sensations of tomorrow.
Most outlets aren’t publishing full mock drafts at this point, so only a few Penn Staters are mentioned in a handful of first-round mock-ups.
Only two Nittany Lions appeared in this round of mock drafts: Olu Fashanu and Chop Robinson. Fashanu is consistently rated as a top-10 selection and often the best offensive tackle in the draft class. Robinson was always rated below No. 15 by analysts, going as high as No. 16 and once falling out of the first round.
Without further ado, let’s take a dive into where the Nittany Lions are landing through mock drafts in January.
Ryan Wilson (CBS Sports)
Ryan Wilson only put together one round for his latest mock draft, which came out Tuesday morning.
Most notably mentioned was offensive tackle Olu Fashanu, drafted at No. 4 by the Arizona Cardinals. There’s been debate about the merit of teams drafting Fashanu or Notre Dame offensive tackle Joe Alt first, but Wilson put Fashanu one spot ahead of Alt.
Several picks lower, Wilson placed defensive end Chop Robinson at No. 31 to the San Francisco 49ers. Wilson had Robinson considerably lower than several other draft boards. Robinson was also the fifth-highest edge in Wilson’s draft, though he noted Penn State’s top pass rusher “plays with one of the highest motors in football.”
Nick Baumgardner (The Athletic)
Baumgardner also only put together one round for his mock draft, released Wednesday.
Like Wilson, Baumgardner gave Fashanu to the Arizona Cardinals with the No. 4 selection in the draft and two spots ahead of Alt. He noted Fashanu can play guard if the Cardinals need, but the Penn Stater can also play opposite Paris Johnson Jr., who’s already on Arizona’s roster.
Robinson was placed higher on Baumgardner’s draft board, falling to the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 18. In Baumgardner’s board, Robinson was the second-highest drafted edge behind Alabama’s Dallas Turner.
Jordan Reid (ESPN)
There’s a pattern forming here. Jordan Reid also put together one round after the National Championship, featuring both Fashanu and Robinson.
Fashanu fell as far as No. 10 on Reid’s board to the New York Jets, but Reid also noted Fashanu could take the No. 7 slot he assigned to Alt. In that case, Fashanu would fall to the Tennessee Titans, who are currently in the midst of a regime change in the coaching staff.
Like with Wilson’s board, Reid put Robinson at No. 31 to the Baltimore Ravens. Reid said that in order for Robinson to find NFL success, he would need a spot where he isn’t needed as a starter immediately, making Baltimore the right fit. Robinson was the fifth-highest drafted edge on Reid’s board.
Bleacher Report Staff Writers
With its mock draft, Bleacher Report’s team put Fashanu as the No. 6 selection in the draft, going to the New York Giants. Fashanu was drafted three spots behind Alt, who went to the New England Patriots.
Bleacher Report placed Robinson at No. 20 en route to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Robinson was the No. 4 edge on Bleacher Report’s board.
Trevor Sikkema (Pro Football Focus)
This one’s interesting. Robinson wasn’t mentioned in Trevor Sikkema’s one-round mock draft, making him just about the only person leaving Penn State’s top edge out of the first round. Instead, only Fashanu was mentioned, falling at No. 7 to the Tennessee Titans, a spot below Alt.
“[Fashanu] does have some inconsistencies when it comes to power in both pass protection and run blocking,” Sikkema wrote. “But he is just 21 years old and can certainly improve in that area.”
Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz (USA Today)
USA Today’s latest mock draft includes both Fashanu and Robinson. Like Sikkema, Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz put Fashanu as the No. 7 pick to the Titans, one spot below Alt.
Robinson went at No. 16 to the Seattle Seahawks, the highest mark of the mock drafts we compiled. He was the second-highest-drafted defensive end in this markup, behind only Laiatu Latu of UCLA.
“At this spot, Robinson’s top-notch burst and elasticity are too attractive for Seattle to pass up, even if his game requires significant development,” Middlehurst-Schwartz said.
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