Now that the NFL Scouting Combine is over, we can take a look at 2010 NFL Draft eligible Nittany Lions who might be playing on Sundays.
This year’s crop is not particularly robust, so this won’t be a lengthy post. We’ll look at the Scouts, Inc. grades and the scouting comments associated with each Penn State player who has declared for the draft. There are 10 of them.
The grading system will give you an idea about where each prospect fits into the draft picture. Scores in the 90s mean first round; in the 80s mean second round; in the 70s, third round; 60s, fourth round; 50s, fifth round; 31-49, late rounds; 30, free agent prospect; and 20 – ain’t gonna make it at all.
The highest ranking Nittany Lion is defensive tackle Jared Odrick. With a grade of 91, he ranks 28th overall and 5th at his position. His best rating (above average) comes in the Height-Weight-Speed category: “wide frame, good bulk and above average top-end speed” and also in Strength/Toughness: “Stout and shows good strength at the point of attack. Extremely competitive and works hard to fight through blocks. However has some problems holding ground against double teams.” Scouts ranked him average in the remaining categories other than Intangibles, where he took a hit because of his disorderly conduct arrest in March 2008.
Next is Sean Lee, who scored an 87, ranking 44 overall and 3rd best at linebacker. His best score (exceptional) was in Intangibles: “Coaches rave about his hard work off the field and leadership skills. 2006: Academic All-Big Ten. 2005: Earned Dean’s List recognition during the fall semester.” He was rated above average in Production, Height-Weight-Speed, Strength/Toughness, and Tackling; just average in Range vs. Run and 3rd Down Capabilities. His worst rating (below average) was in Durability: “Tore ACL in his right knee during a non-contact drill in April of 2008 and underwent surgery later that month. Missed the 2008 season as a result.” We all know that story, but the NFL is particularly wary of gimpy knees. Whoever drafts Lee is going to want to go over him with a fine-toothed comb.
Navorro Bowman is right behind Lee in the 2010 linebackers’ crop, with a grade of 86. He ranks 48 overall and 4th among linebackers. His best rating (exceptional) was in Range vs. Run. He was above average in Durability, Instincts/Recognition, Tackling, and 3rd Down Capabilities; average in Production, Height-Weight-Speed, and Strength/Toughness. Below average Intangibles stem from incidents of which we are all aware. Some sports journalists are picking Bowman to be a first-rounder, hard on the heels of Odrick.
Tight end Andrew Quarless had a great freshman year and then took a vacation. He seemed to come alive to some extent in his final season, but one has to wonder whether he did not hurt himself irreparably by being a dick. He’s got the size and the speed, but he has some attitude problems that will cause pro teams to shy away from him. Blocking is another weak area that will cause his draft position to drop. His best ratings (above average) are in Height-Weight-Speed: “Possesses prototypical size along with above-average top-end speed for the position”; Durability; and Separation Skills: “Soft hands and catches the ball naturally. Can open up hips and makes tough catch away from frame. Shows good focus and can come up with reception with defender hanging on him. However, could do a better job of tracking balls thrown over shoulder. ” Alas, he was rated below average in Production, Intangibles (“There were concerns about off-the-field work ethic early in career”), Competitiveness/Toughness, and Blocking. His grade was 58, meaning a solid fifth rounder.
Jeremy Boone was a sturdy, workmanlike punter at Penn State, who unfortunately couldn’t show off his best work because of the crappy punt coverage team he had to play with. The block for a TD against Iowa was sure as hell not his fail, and neither were most of the other notable screw-ups during 2009. Unfortunately, this all impacts his NFL viability. He rates an “average” in Production and Intangibles, and a “below-average” in Height-Weight-Speed, while his best category is Durability (exceptional). He missed no playing time. With a grade of 39, Boone is possibly looking at being drafter in one of the late rounds.
Linebacker Josh Hull actually did unexpectedly well in the cone drills at the Combine, but he nevertheless gets a grade of 39. He’s a bit undersized and a step too slow. His third down capabilities are suspect. Hull is a late-rounder or possibly, a free agent.
Quarterback Daryll Clark lacks the height, passing motion, footwork, and composure in the pocket to play the position in the NFL. Scouts rated him above average in Durability, Intangibles, Arm Strength, and Mobility; average everywhere else. “Above-average pocket awareness. Side steps interior well and does a nice job of stepping up when senses pressure off the edge. Strength allows him to ward off would be sacks on occasion. Can break contain and create plays on his own. However, puts the ball on the ground too much. ” When I read that, I wondered which Clark they were talking about. I didn’t think he used the pocket well at all. His attitude is good, though, and some NFL team might want to take a chance with him as a late rounder, perhaps at running back. His height will not be looked upon favorably in the NFL at the QB position — there just aren’t any Doug Fluties out there anymore. Clark’s grade was 34, making him a potential candidate for “Mr. Irrelevant.”
Offensive guard Dennis Landolt, tight end Mickey Shuler, and cornerback A.J. Wallace all got grades of 30. They might be on the outside looking in, but they might stand a chance as undrafted free agents.
Lindy’s has Odrick going to New England at #22 and Bowman being snatched up by New Orleans at #30. Sean Lee might have to wait as long as the third round due to that unfortunate knee injury.
This Turkey will now start scouring the back pages of a veritable plethora of e-rags for any news about our other NFL aspirant, Anthony Morelli. As Morelli worked out in private for NFL scouts and coaches after the Combine last Friday, I’m don’t expect to find much—after all, Morelli sightings are not quite like Elvis sightings.