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Penn State’s Potential Impact on 2020 NFL Draft

Just like in 2018 and 2019, next year’s NFL draft should be littered with Penn State players.

Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State had another successful NFL Draft, seeing six players — Miles Sanders, Connor McGovern, Shareef Miller, Amani Oruwariye, Trace McSorley, and Nick Scott — taken during the three-day stretch. To no surprise, Penn State should be well-represented again next year, with a number of seniors and potential early entrants looking like future NFL players.


CB John Reid — 5-foot-10, 189 pounds

Hand up, I am biased here because I love John Reid. He isn’t the longest or most explosive cornerback in college football, but the kid has been ultra productive pretty much since he stepped foot in Happy Valley. He hit a bit of a rough patch coming back from a torn ACL last season, but he seemed to shake off the rust by the end of September.

Again, Reid isn’t going to be a Day 1 or Day 2 pick. But he has a high football IQ, he’s going to test better than expected athletically, and in a day and age where slot cornerbacks are becoming more and more a necessity, I think he’s a prime Day 3 pick.

DT Robert Windsor — 6-foot-4, 289 pounds

Coming off an extremely productive season as a 1-Tech, it looks likely that Windsor will make the move to the 3-tech this fall, a switch that should show the NFL just how versatile he can be. If Windsor can have another productive season while anchoring a defensive line that’s ushering in two new starters, he has a shot at going on Day 3.

LB Cam Brown — 6-foot-5, 230 pounds

It’s tough to get a read on Brown’s draft stock because while he hasn’t totally put things together as a linebacker, he offers a ton of intrigue. He’s long and athletic, and he’s very comfortable playing in space — all things the NFL likes to see from linebackers nowadays.

If things click for Brown this season, he’d be a nice upside pick on Day 3. I’m just not sure if things will click enough for that to be the case.

OG Steven Gonzalez — 6-foot-4, 349 pounds

Gonzalez nearly left for the 2019 NFL draft, but decided to hold off on his professional aspirations for another year. There’s a lot to like about Gonzo — mostly his size, and his ability to win one-on-ones when he’s able to fully engage. The questions for Gonzo are pretty simple:

  • How much is he offering you when he isn’t able to fully engage?
  • Is he too heavy and can his lack of mobility improve if he were to drop 20-30 pounds?

I think Gonzo is a good college offensive lineman, but if someone like Ryan Bates wasn’t drafted, it’s difficult to see Gonzalez sneaking into the back-half of the draft.

S Garret Taylor — 6-foot-0, 204 pounds

Taylor had a very solid redshirt junior season, and has the chance to push for all-conference honors in 2019. But pro prospects wise, I’m not sure his slight frame mixed with his average athletic ability will do him much help. You never know, but he seems more like a UDFA type player.


DE Yetur Gross-Matos — 6-foot-5, 265 pounds

Barring injury, Gross-Matos will be in the NFL Draft next year. Elite size, very good athlete, and he has the production to back it up — 1st or 2nd rounder for sure.

WR KJ Hamler — 5-foot-9, 168 pounds

Even with little guys like *Tyreek Hill and Tarik Cohen having major success, being under 170 pounds is going to be an issue. Still, if Hamler can have a big season where he’s returning punts, taking handoffs, and catching passes, there’s no reason he can’t be an early round draft pick like Marquise Brown was. I don’t think he’s a lock to go like Gross-Matos, but playmakers like Hamler are always coveted.

*Just a reminder that Tyreek Hill is a garbage human being.

CB Tariq Castro-Fields — 6-foot-0, 181 pounds

Castro-Fields hasn’t made too many splash plays at Penn State (he has just one interceptions his entire career), but he’s a consistent cornerback that is usually in the right position and offers plus-athleticism and plus-length. He needs to get a little stronger — and again, pick off a few passes — but he’s a tailor-made NFL cornerback. If he can make the necessary strides in 2019, he work himself into a Day 2 level prospect in 2020.