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...So Your Team Drafted Michal Menet

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Congrats! You just landed a versatile lineman and a leader in the locker room.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 28 Cotton Bowl Classic - Memphis v Penn State Photo by John Bunch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

THE SKINNY

Menet came to Happy Valley as the program’s most heralded offensive lineman commitment in years. He was deemed as the 28th overall prospect in the 2016 class, the top guard in the nation, and the second-best overall player in Pennsylvania (behind classmate and current Eagles running back Miles Sanders). As is commonly the case with any high four-star recruit, Menet possessed a slew of offers, picking Penn State over the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Miami, Ohio State, Michigan, Virginia Tech and so many more.

After taking a redshirt season in 2016, Menet was ready to contribute in 2017, appearing in 14 games as a reserve guard. He became the starting center in 2018, and remained in that role for three seasons.

Menet was named honorable mention All-Big Ten following the 2019 season, and was named as the team’s most outstanding lineman. He was also selected as a team captain at the start of the season, and was again named captain in 2020. Menet earned third-team All-Big Ten honors following the 2020 season and received an invitation to the Senior Bowl.

WHAT YOU’RE GETTING

As noted above, Menet has gained plenty of experience facing off with many Big Ten interior linemen who will also be playing on Sundays. He is also a rare two-time captain, demonstrating his value as a team leader.

James Franklin prefers lineman who can play across the line, often as interchangeable parts to find the best fit. Menet played a season at guard before moving to center, and the versatility will serve him well at the next level. He also possesses a high football IQ as the longtime “quarterback” of the offensive line.

Menet also has excellent footwork and body control. He has also been praised for his upper body strength, which allow him to move edge rushers out of their path. Menet’s biggest area of improvement for the next level seems to be reaching and second-level blockers. And because this is the NFL we’re talking about, Menet has been dinged by evaluators for his arm length and foot size (although similar assessments turned out to be useless for former Nittany Lion interior lineman AQ Shipley).

Menet is projected to be a fourth-round selection. Between his experience and physical tools, Menet should have no problem contributing as a rookie, and could very well work his way into a starting role by the end of 2021 depending where he lands.