NFL careers are made, and lost, amidst the cattle call that is the NFL Scouting Combine--run a tenth of a second faster than expected, and find yourself a first round draft pick; put up slightly fewer reps on the bench press and drop down to the fifth. The workout warriors may not have lengthier and more productive NFL careers, but they're certainly going to get a richer first contract than their counterparts, and a trio of Nittany Lions will hope to prove their athleticism and make their cases to NFL teams.
Allen Robinson has perhaps the most to gain--as Penn State's lone declaring underclassman, and a two-time Big Ten receiver of the year, early mock drafts have scattered his stock anywhere from the first to the third round. It's clear to anyone who's watched that he has game speed, and could contribute for an NFL team today, but the difference between him running a 4.5 and a 4.6 could be decisive.
DaQuan Jones will have a chance to prove his prodigious strength as he makes the leap made by Jordan Hill, Devon Still, and Jared Odrick in recent years. Rising from underwhelming space eater to Penn State's best defensive player and an All-Big Ten selection a year ago, Jones could catapult into the second day with a strong showing at the combine.
John Urschel is one of the only college football players in recent history to have received more accolades for his off-field contributions than what he's done on the gridiron, but NFL teams aren't looking to add a mathematician. But, of course, he was a worthy lineman for the Nittany Lions, earning all-conference honors last year. With a strong performance in Indianapolis, Urschel can cement his worthiness of a final-day selection.
From the entire Penn State community, we wish Allen, DaQuan, and John nothing but the best of luck!