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...So You Drafted Carl Nassib

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Welcome to NFL Draft season! We here at Black Shoe Diaries know that you NFL fans can't possibly know about every single college player. That's why we're here to share with you all we know about some of our favorites. Today, we're going to tell you why you're getting quite the steal in drafting Carl Nassib that will make you the envy of the rest of your GM buddies a few years from now.

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

The Skinny

It's kind of ironic that we're calling this section "The Skinny" because that's essentially what Carl Nassib was when he walked on to Penn State as a true freshman in 2011 at 6-6 and a paltry 218 pounds. Allegedly, he was walking on as a defensive end, but it was a running joke back then that the players couldn't figure out what position he was going for.

As was his tendency however, the walk-on with zero scholarship offers who never started a game as a high schooler got himself a montage and eventually earned a scholarship in 2013 under then-head coach Bill O'Brien, who was more than happy to eat crow when reminiscing about Carl's improbable career trajectory. After seeing scant playing time in 2014, the 2015 season is where Nassib's hard work finally paid off, as the now 6'7" 277-pound Nassib amassed a team-leading 19.5 tackles for loss and 15.5 sacks (making him the nation's sack leader) despite missing the majority of the final three games of the regular season and being in general, a nightmare for opposing offensive coordinators.

What You're Getting

Incredible work ethic and attitude aside, you are getting a kid with a great motor who has showcased the ability time and time again to get a favorable angle that will allow him to blow past opposing offensive tackles and get a clean shot at the quarterback. He also has great field awareness and instincts, as evidenced in the video below, showing his interception off a tipped pass by teammate Anthony Zettel in the Buffalo game last year:

Whichever team drafts Carl will be getting a pass-rushing specialist who has the ability to be groomed into an every-down defensive end. He will have to become skilled at blowing through (as opposed to blowing past) opposing offensive linemen in the NFL, if he wants to become an every down player and that will take more time and work in the weight room and the practice field. There is also the concern about Carl being a 'one-year wonder' who won't be able to duplicate his success at the next level. While the concerns aren't illegitimate, the combination of his aforementioned abilities plus his never-say-die work ethic should help put those doubts to rest.


Carl Nassib is one of the greatest underdog stories in all of college football history and if Penn State had won the Big Ten last year, Disney would already have secured the movie rights to his playing career. Whichever NFL GM is willing to take a chance on him is getting a steal.


CBS Sports Draft Profile

ESPN Draft Profile (Insider) Draft Profile