Penn State will be well-represented at the Senior Bowl this year, with four Nittany Lions preparing to make the trip to Mobile, Alabama for a week of practice and scouting and more leading up to the top college all-star game in the country. The Senior Bowl will be played Saturday, January 28, 2012 and will be broadcast by NFL Network. NFL Network will also air a full week of coverage throughout the week with scouting conversation and observations and more from he practice field.
We reached out to our friends at Optimum Scouting on the Bloguin network for some thoughts on Penn State’s players participating in some of the all-star games this year. Eric Galko, Director of Scouting, was kind enough to share his thoughts on each Nittany Lion playing in the Shrine Game and Senior Bowl. Yesterday we reviewed the scouting notes on safety Nick Sukay, who looks to be making a possible position change to linebacker. Today we take a look at the four players in the Senior Bowl, highlighted by defensive tackle Devon Still.
Devon Still, Defensive Tackle
One of the premier defensive prospects in the entire 2012 NFL Draft, Still has been maybe the most vocal, consistent, and well-grounded leader on the team. While being one of the faces of this off-the-field focused team, Still has been a leader off the field as well as a model, high motor, consistent threat as a pass rusher. He gets a little high off the snap at times and is susceptible to be slowed or even driven back by more fundamentally sound offensive linemen. His quickness of the snap, ability to get skinny in his rushes, and tackling ability in run support is what makes him a special talent.
Jack Crawford, Defensive End
Showed a lot of promise throughout his career, especially early on, but never had consistency or further development in his pass rushing ability warrant a high draft selection. Still, he has improved in his leg drive and overall strength as a rusher and has some developed outside-in counter rushes. He’s never been able to show a consistent ability to dominate this year, and his successful senior season was in part of the cohesiveness and depth Penn State had on the defensive line. We’ll see if he can win one-on-one battles in practice against future NFL offensive tackles.
Johnnie Troutman, Offensive Guard
A powerful guard prospect, Troutman has done a great job this year getting the initial punch, especially in pass protection, but doesn’t always drive off the snap with good technique and pad level. He’s a little sloppy in the mid-section, but his thick lower half and decent feet are impressive for his size. He’s been able to pave the way on the left side for this Penn State team, but he’ll need to show a completeness in his game to be a safe top five rounder come draft day.
D’Anton Lynn, Cornerback
A well-built athlete at cornerback, Lynn was a bit of a surprise invite from my evaluations from the season, but he does flash in the Penn State defensive set. He’s physical, comes up strong in the run game, has the length to wrap up bigger runners. He doesn’t have great speed and I don’t think he has the fluidity in his hips and smoothness in his back-pedal to play an outside cornerback spot except in a Cover 2 defense, but with improved technique, he could be a physical nickel/dime defensive back. If he can run with quicker receivers, especially on inside quick routes, he could be a worthwhile mid-to-late round draft pick.
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