Garrett Sickels signed with the Bill O’Brien Penn State team in winter of 2013 and was one of the first guys to stay committed to the program after sanctions were handed down in July of 2012. That fact alone would be enough to endear him to Nittany Lion fans, but the defensive end out of Red Bank, New Jersey would end up playing a pivotal role in one of the most memorable Penn State Football seasons in some time. With conference supremacy and James Franklin’s reputation on the line against Ohio State last October, Sickels registered two-and-a-half sacks to help shut down the Buckeye offense in the second half and lead Penn State to an improbable victory.
That kind of monstrous performance against a quality opponent is enough to raise the eyebrows of any NFL scout, but Sickels wasn’t as productive during the rest of the campaign, with just six total sacks and none in Penn State’s final four games. Still, he did make second team All-Big Ten while leading the Lions in sacks and tackles for loss.
What You’re Getting
Since he was never an elite pass rusher in college, Sickels will likely play some linebacker if your team drafts him into the NFL. Although he didn’t play the position in college, Sickels is solid enough against the run and has enough experience in coverage to make it work. If asked to rush the passer full-time, he could find himself frustrated against the larger tackles in the NFL, since he’s not great at achieving separation. Sickels is better suited to bull-rushing against tight ends and tailbacks in blitz situations, and his relentless pursuit of the ball will make him an asset when the play breaks down.