Penn State’s departing players have been blowing away NFL personnel with their performances at the Combine and Pro Day. While some players helped improve their draft stock by moving up a round or two, others went from likely going the undrafted free agent route to pretty much guaranteeing to hearing their name called at some point during the seven rounds of the NFL Draft.
With that in mind, how many Penn State players will be selected during the 2018 NFL Draft?
Let’s start with the obvious picks. Saquon Barkley is widely seen as the best overall player in the entire draft, and it will be shocking to see him drop out of the top five overall picks. Mike Gesicki has been spotted in the first round of many mock drafts since blowing past every other tight end prospect at the Combine. If he escapes the first round, some team should gladly snatch him up early in the second round. Safety Marcus Allen should likely be selected in the first three rounds.
DaeSean Hamilton and Christian Campbell turned heads during the postseason practices, and each should be a lock. Perhaps the one player who did the most to guarentee a spot in the draft was Troy Apke, who turned out the top overall SPARQ score out of the entire Combine.
You can also make a strong case for Jason Cabinda and Grant Haley, each having extremely productive careers at Penn State going back to 2014. There’s also a few wildcards. Curtis Cothran displayed a rare combination of strength and athleticism during the Pro Day, and certainly caught the eye of scouts who didn’t get to see him during the Combine. Cothran seems like the type of player who may never reach the Pro Bowl, but could have a long and steady NFL career. Saeed Blacknall doesn’t have the stats to make anyone take notice, but has all the measurables the NFL desires in a wide receiver. Even though he didn’t receive an invite to the Combine, it wouldn’t be shocking to see a team take a flier on the 6-3 receiver who with top-flight speed and the ability to make tough catches.
While it may seem unlikely that either gets drafted Parker Cothren and Brendan Mahon should each get a look based on their solid careers in Happy Valley.
So what say you, BSD reader? How many of the aforementioned players will get drafted in this class?