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So You Drafted Penn State OL Connor McGovern...

You’ve got yourself a potential stud on the interior of the offensive line.

Penn State v Maryland Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Skinny

Connor McGovern did something at Penn State that you do not see very often at the collegiate level, especially in the Big Ten: he started as a true freshman on the offensive line. McGovern came to Happy Valley as an early enrollee in January 2016 and quickly became one of the team’s best offensive linemen. By the fall, he found himself in a starting role.

As a true freshman, McGovern played in all 14 games for the Nittany Lions on their way to a Big Ten Championship and a Rose Bowl berth. This included him making nine starts with all of those appearances coming at right guard. During his freshman campaign, he became just the third offensive lineman in Big Ten history to win Big Ten Freshman of the Week, and was named to the BTN’s All-Big Ten Freshman Team.

As a sophomore, McGovern started all 13 games at center, and helped anchor the Nittany Lions offensive line on their way to a Fiesta Bowl victory. Last season, McGovern once again started all 13 games with 12 coming at right guard and one at center. He was also named third-team All-Big Ten by both the league’s coaches and media.

What You’re Getting

At the NFL level, McGovern could play center or guard. While he played both at Penn State, the year in which he seemed most comfortable was his sophomore season of 2017 when he played center. To be honest, despite being named to the third-team all-conference team, 2018 was a bit of a disappointment for McGovern as he never seemed to take that next step in his game.

McGovern is a reliable run blocker with the size and strength needed to succeed at the NFL level. However, his pass blocking has some holes and still needs work. At times in pass protection, he will over-set and this can get him into trouble. Also, he often times will lunge in pass protection instead of moving laterally to get his hands on the defender.

NFL teams will value the fact that McGovern has experience at both center and guard in college. His ability to get his pad level low, and his plus technique will also entice NFL executives. This, combined with his strength, makes it very difficult to overpower or bull rush McGovern.

Whatever team drafts McGovern could have an early starter on their hands. Due to his size and strength, McGovern is improved pass blocking away from being able to start as a rookie. Wherever McGovern goes, he should see the field early on, and has the potential for a long, fruitful NFL career.

Connor McGovern NFL Draft Profile