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Point: Carl Nassib is Penn State's Best Defensive Lineman Prospect in the 2016 NFL Draft

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Nassib has the highest ceiling of any of Penn State's three DL prospects, and at the very least, he has a ton of value as a pass rusher.

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

When I hear the question "how do you define 'best prospect'" during NFL Draft season, I take that as a question of which person has the highest ceiling. That's why when I think about which Penn State defensive lineman is the best prospect in this year's draft, I think the only logical answer is Carl Nassib.

Sure, Nassib probably has the lowest floor of the Nassib/Austin Johnson/Anthony Zettel trio. And sure, he's a dreaded one-year wonder whose huge 2015 could be more of a statistical anomaly than it was a showcase into what kind of player Nassib actually is. Plus you add in the fact that he wasn't always stellar against the run in 2015 and yes, it makes sense why he's projected as a third round prospect right now.

But let's consider the three things that we know about Nassib. The first is that he was an incredible pass rusher as a senior. Actually, that undersells him a little – he was the best pass rusher in the Big Ten. In a league full of really good defensive players, his ability to get to quarterbacks won him the conference's Defensive Player of the Year Award. Nassib racked up 19.5 tackles for loss and 15.5 sacks, numbers that are made even more impressive when you consider that he spent most of three games (Northwestern, Michigan, Michigan State) on the sidelines due to a nagging injury.

Basically, while Nassib's numbers from last year could have been an anomaly, I think they're more indicative of a football player who is really, really, REALLY good at rushing the passer. Even if he develops no other skills during his NFL career, he possesses the single most important skill that a player in the front seven can have: the ability to get into the backfield and blow up a quarterback. Plus with his size, he's the kind of dude who can block field goals, so he has value as a special teams player, too.

The second thing we know about Nassib is that he is a pretty good athlete for a dude of his size. At the combine, Nassib threw down a 4.84 second 40-yard dash, a 7.27 second three cone drill, and a 4.37 second 20-yard shuttle. Basically, the dude is relatively fast for a guy that's 6-foot-7. While his strength numbers weren't the best, remember that this is a guy who has added about 50 pounds of muscle over his career, so it's safe to assume that he's willing to put in the work in the weight room that's necessary to get stronger.

Lastly, Nassib's story is one that: 1) we all know every single detail of by this point and 2) is the kind of thing that will endear himself to front offices. If he was willing to completely transform his body en route to becoming the most feared pass rusher in a conference that included guys like Joey Bosa and Shilique Calhoun, what will happen when he's in the NFL and working on improving every single day without having to worry about things like going to class?

Right now, Nassib is a guy who has one elite skill that will probably translate to the NFL. He also has the work ethic, size, and athleticism to build on that one skill. Maybe he's only a dude who plays on third down for his first year or two, and that's fine. But a few years down the road, Nassib has All-Pro potential if he puts it all together. Considering everything that we already know about Carl Nassib, I feel strangely confident that he gets there. This upside may seem like it'll be hard for Nassib to reach, but if I told you four years ago that this scrawny walk-on would one day become the best defensive player in the Big Ten, you would have said that's an impossible goal, no?