Which PSU prospect has NFL teams ‘fired up’? Draft expert Daniel Jeremiah breaks it down
In a few days, Indianapolis will be the hub of the NFL world — and seven Nittany Lions will try to prove why they belong at the next level.
Trace McSorley, Miles Sanders, Connor McGovern, Ryan Bates, Amani Oruwariye, Shareef Miller and Kevin Givens were invited to the 2019 NFL Combine, where scouts, coaches and executives will nitpick everything from their 40-yard dash to their height and weight.
Last year, Penn State sent eight prospects, headlined by Saquon Barkley and Mike Gesicki, who made a splash. This 2019 crop of prospects hope to make a similar impression.
Prior to the Combine, Daniel Jeremiah — NFL Network’s lead draft expert and a former scout with the Philadelphia Eagles, Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns — hosted a conference call, on which he discussed Combine invitees from across the country.
Here is what Jeremiah had to say about McSorley, Sanders and the rest of the Nittany Lions on Monday afternoon.
Note: As of the conference call, Jeremiah had not fully broken down the Combine’s cornerbacks and could not offer a full analysis on Oruwariye. He did say that his “knock and concern” on Oruwariye is his speed.
QB Trace McSorley
Grade: Middle to late rounds
Breakdown: “Accuracy was the one area where you want to see him be a little bit more consistent. Obviously, he doesn’t have that prototypical size. But he’s someone who’s ultra-competitive. When it’s the money-downs and the money-times in the game, throughout his career he’s found a way to get it done. I kind of envision for him a career like Colt McCoy has had, where he’s hung around the NFL for a long time. I could see McSorley being in that boat and being a really, really good backup that can get you through a game or two if you needed.”
RB Miles Sanders
Grade: 2nd / 3rd round
Breakdown: “If he works out great, he could climb his way into the second round. But because there are so many names at running back, he’s someone I could see in that third-round range. That would be a nice sweet spot for him. … It’s not his fault he was stuck behind Saquon Barkley. He’s a really, really good player. Talking to teams around the league, they’re fired up about him. The burst, lateral quickness. He’s loose. You see him in pass protection, which is nice to see. He can anchor down. He had one mental error from what I saw, but other than that he was solid in that area. He just has some real burst. On 215 pounds, he can scoot. Ceiling-wise, I wouldn’t be surprised if he fought his way into the second round if he aces the tests from here to the draft.”
OG Connor McGovern
Grade: 2nd round
Breakdown: “McGovern is a fun one for me. I’ve highlighted guys who are my favorites, and he’s one of them. He can really uproot defensive linemen. He’s a drive blocker. He’s nasty. He’s a finisher. He’s got the ability to play any of those three interior spots. He’s very, very football smart and savvy when they’re running twists in games on him. He’s somebody who will fall in that second-round range. At worst, the third round. He’s a plug-and-play guy who’s ready to go.”
OT Ryan Bates
Grade: 5th / 6th round
Breakdown: “Average foot quickness. More of a position blocker in the run game. He’s late with his punch. He’ll open up his gate a little bit. He’s just raw and developmental. So to me, he’s in that fifth- or sixth-round range if you had to guess this early on in the process where somebody like that could go.”
EDGE Shareef Miller
Grade: 4th / 5th round
Breakdown: “For me, it’s about athleticism and his ability to change direction. How explosive and athletic is he? I thought the effort and chase was outstanding. He’s great stacking tight ends. He can push the pocket. I see some power. I want to see just how athletic he is and some of the change-of-direction things. That’s the area where he can help himself a little bit. … It’ll be big for him from an athletic standpoint to see what he looks like.”
DT Kevin Givens
Grade: Undrafted free agent
Breakdown: “He’s a 3-technique who got swallowed up a little bit. I thought he played small. Didn’t see a lot of power. Thought the effort was average, and he collected some garbage sacks. I kind of gave him a practice squad-to-developmental type of grade. I do not have him as a draftable player.”