Contrary to what my roster looks like, I have watched Penn State play in the last 5-10 years.
(*Chart must be viewed in reader mode or horizontally on mobile device)
|FLEX (W/R/T)||Zach Zwinak|
With the sixth pick in the draft, my top two selections were gone (Saquon and LaVar), so I had to decide whether to go with an offensive skill player or a defensive star. Although I was afraid of the flack I would receive, I knew having a dominant defensive end to get to the quarterback was essential, which is why I went with Courtney Brown. His athleticism and physicality set the tone for the kind of team I wanted to build.
Offensively, I wanted both incredible hands and break-away speed at the receiver position, which is why I selected Penn State’s only Biletnikoff Award Winner, Bobby Engram, and burner Chafie Fields. Although I only watched Engram as a senior in 1995, I knew he had the ability to go and get the ball, regardless of who was throwing it to him. Fields’ speed was known to me, seeing him tear up Arizona and Miami in ‘99. Offensive line is probably the area I have the least knowledge, but I knew that Stefen Wisniewski had to be a part of my line, as did fellow All-Big Ten lineman Charles Rush and resident nice guy Chima Okoli. In the backfield, Tony Hunt was my somewhat sneaky selection, but given his penchant for running linebackers and defensive backs over, I liked the contrast between the speed of the receivers. Finally, my quarterback is Zac Mills, a guy whose talent was lost in the Dark Years.
Defensively, joining Brown is my 2010’s team of DaQuan Jones, Jordan Hill, and Sean Stanley. Again, I chose to prioritize athleticism over the bulk that some of our fellow contributors did. My linebackers are led by the ageless Sean Lee, as well as two forgotten contributors. The first being the “other” ‘backer in the LaVar/Brandon Short rotation, Mac Morrison. Simply put, without Morrison’s dependability, there’s no way Arrington and Short would have been able to do what they did. Deryck Toles suffered from a medical condition that caused him to not make the impact that he should have, but when Toles was on the field, he kept the early 2000’s team from losing even more. My secondary continues the late ‘90’s theme with David Macklin, Anthony King, and hard-hitting safety James Boyd, while honorable mention all-conference pick and contributor to the ‘05 squad Chris Harrell rounds out the defensive backfield. My specialist is booming punter Jeremy Kapinos (aka the original Jeremy punter).
As you can see, my team has several motifs running through it. First, versatility and athleticism with Engram, Fields, Mills, and the defensive secondary. It’s also physical, led by Brown at defensive end, Boyd at safety, and big pass-catching tight end Tony Stewart. However, I think the defining characteristic for some of the players might be that they are forgotten simply because they played on bad teams-again, Mills, Boyd, Toles, and most of Harrell’s career comes to mind.
As for how my squad matches up against the rest, I’m certainly not the most confident. However, I think a lot of the players would thrive on being disrespected and undersold.
What do you all think? Does my team have a shot?