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Penn State dismissed CB Da’Quan Davis following drug and underage drinking charges.

"Da’Quan Davis is no longer a member of the Penn State football team due to a violation of team rules," HC James Franklin said. "We appreciate Da’Quan’s contributions to the program and wish him success in the future." Davis was arrested on May 9 and charged with possession of a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. He was also cited for purchasing alcoholic beverages as a minor.
May 21 - 7:48 PM

Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg "will have to put the sophomore slump behind him" in 2015, observes NFL Media.

The 6-foot-4, 236-pounder threw for 2,995 yards and 20 touchdowns as a true freshman for then-Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien in 2013, but regressed to a 12/15 TD/INT rate last season under James Franklin. New systems can lead to significant growing pains; in the case of Hackenberg, it also led to excuses for his play. To be fair, as NFL Media put it, Hackenberg was playing "with a rag-tag offensive line and a number of young receivers." The headaches are gone, the growing pains have been accounted for, and the excuses will lose validity if corrections aren't made in 2015. Specifically, Hackenberg needs to handle pressure more effectively in the pocket.
Source: NFL.com
May 21 - 7:34 PM

Penn State redshirt junior DL Anthony Zettel tackled a tree to the ground.

Yes, it is the offseason. Zettel is a potential first round pick and needs to be on more evaluators' radars, but this is just over the top. Zettel plays both on the edge and inside and is at his best converting speed to power with explosion.
May 18 - 10:19 AM

Big Ten Network's Sean Merriman ranks Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg as the conference's No. 2 pro prospect.

Behind Joey Bosa of Ohio State, of course, which also means the analyst ranks Hackenberg above such stud signal-callers as Connor Cook and Cardale Jones. "He has the size, arm strength and skill-set of an All-Pro NFL quarterback," wrote Merriman. "The key will be if he can stay on his feet and remain healthy in 2015." The 6-foot-4, 236-pounder had a 12/15 TD/INT rate last season and must prove to the NFL that he can handle pass rusher pressure.
May 17 - 7:23 PM

Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg "can make all the throws" and "plays with a sense of calmness and poise," wrote Scout.com's Jamie Newberg.

The analyst ranks him as the No. 15 prospect in the nation. "He's a pocket passer all the way but has shown the ability to throw on the run," Newberg wrote. "Hackenberg had a bumpy 2014 season, caused in part by a poor Nittany Lion offensive front. He needs to clean things up and work on ball security. There's no doubt a big '15 campaign will make him very coveted by the NFL." The 6-foot-4, 236-pounder threw for 2,995 yards and 20 touchdowns as a true freshman in 2013, but regressed to a 12/15 TD/INT rate last season.
Source: Scout.com
May 17 - 4:26 PM

Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg checks in at No. 11 on Mel Kiper's inaugural 2016 Big Board.

"After a freshman season that showed tons of promise and also matched the considerable hype, Hackenberg struggled mightily as a true sophomore behind a bad offensive line -- and through what could not have been an easy coaching transition, as outgoing coach Bill O'Brien has a superb reputation among quarterbacks," Kiper wrote. "There is no question 2015 will be a scrutinized season for a kid with obvious NFL tools." This is an aggressive ranking -- though not quite as aggressive as Todd McShay slotting Hackenberg No. 1 in a 2016 mock draft -- and Kiper explains his rational well. We soured on Hackenberg a bit last year after watching him consistently get flummoxed by pressure, but he's a big-time prospect with an ideal frame. We'll be watching him as closely as anyone in 2016. If he struggles mightily again, there will be no excuses left.
May 15 - 8:52 PM

Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg went No. 1 to the Redskins in Todd McShay's 2016 mock draft.

Well, that's optimistic. "Hackenberg struggled in 2014 with a 12-touchdown, 15-interception season, but he's a big-time talent with a pro-style skill set," McShay explained. Fair enough. An AFC scout told ESPN this week that Hackenberg is better than Ohio State's Cardale Jones or Michigan State's Connor Cook. He wasn't last year, but the talent is obviously there. The 6-foot-4, 236-pounder simply must learn to handle pressure better.
May 8 - 10:10 PM

An AFC scout said Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg is better than Ohio State's Cardale Jones or Michigan State's Connor Cook.

We were unimpressed by Hackenberg's work last year, but he has at least one more year to convert us (it appears the NFL wasn't concerned). The 6-foot-4, 236-pounder threw for 2,995 yards and 20 touchdowns as a true freshman in 2013, but regressed to a 12/15 TD/INT rate last season. "When you evaluate quarterbacks, you can't just look at it like one guy is better than another," said an AFC quarterbacks coach. "You have to factor personalities into it. You have to ask yourself if a kid has a great football IQ. Does he swing first in a fight? Is he really mentally tough? Once you get past the arm strength and the size and all the measurable stuff, that's when the conversation really starts about these guys."
Source: ESPN.com
May 8 - 8:27 PM

NFL.com Draft analyst Chad Reuter believes Penn State redshirt senior TE Kyle Carter "needs a big senior year and Combine workout to show he's more than a move-the-chains passing game option."

The Penn state prospect is a versatile weapon for the Lions offense, as they used him in the backfield, inline and in the slot. The 6-foot-3, 247-pound Carter recorded 16 catches for 153 yards and one touchdown in 2014. With TE Jesse James off to the NFL, Carter and Adam Breneman should see a slight increase in their production for 2015.
Source: NFL.com
May 7 - 4:28 PM

Steelers signed Penn State G/C Miles Dieffenbach.

Dieffenbach (6'3/305) made 26 starts for the Nittany Lions, primarily at left guard. He missed eight games in 2014 after tearing his ACL in spring practice. Soon turning 24, Dieffenbach is old for an incoming rookie with medical flags and average athleticism, running 5.32/5.35 at the PSU Pro Day with a 27-inch vertical. Dieffenbach's play slipped dramatically coming off injury last season, and he will likely have to move to center to carve out an NFL career.
May 4 - 6:05 PM

Dolphins signed Penn State LB Mike Hull.

Hull (6'0/237) was named Big 10 Linebacker of the Year as a senior, finishing his career with 21.5 TFLs, 6.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and a pair of interceptions. Hull showed passable athleticism during the pre-draft phase, running 4.68 with a 30 1/2-inch vertical before shining in the three-cone drill and 60-yard shuttle. Undersized and not a thumper against the run, Hull will have to impress his coaches with efficient tackling skills and a hard-nosed playing style.
May 3 - 5:05 PM

Steelers selected Penn State TE Jesse James with the No. 160 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft.

James (6'7/261) made 31 starts in three seasons, piling up 78 catches for 1,005 yards (12.9 YPR) and 11 TDs. He made honorable mention All-Big Ten as a 20-year-old true junior in 2014. James recorded strong Combine numbers considering his size, running 4.83 with a 37 1/2-inch vertical and 10-foot-1 broad jump. James has long arms (33") and the physical attributes of an NFL mismatch, but needs a lot of refinement as a blocker and in the way he puts his athleticism to use. He's a two- or three-year project with starter potential and could become prominent once Heath Miller hangs up the cleats.
May 2 - 3:03 PM

Bears selected Penn State DB Adrian Amos with the No. 142 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft.

Amos (6'1/218) played the boundary, slot, and safety for PSU, starting 38 games and compiling 9.0 career TFLs, three sacks, and seven interceptions. He wasn't beaten for a single touchdown pass as a senior. Amos ran 4.56 at the Combine, but showed short-area quicks with a 4.03 short shuttle. Amos improved his forty to 4.39 at the PSU Pro Day and has extensive special teams experience. Amos is a bit of a tweener defensive back, but his versatility should get him on the field early.
May 2 - 2:10 PM

Buccaneers selected Penn State OT Donovan Smith with the No. 34 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft.

The Bucs had a major need at tackle after releasing Anthony Collins. Smith should profile on the right side, with Demar Dotson manning the blind. Smith (6'6/338) made 31 starts for Penn State, protecting the blind sides of Matt McGloin and Christian Hackenberg. He allowed 3 1/2 sacks in 2014. Smith measured in with long arms (34 3/8") and huge hands (10 5/8") at the Combine, before showing well in the forty (5.27) and vertical jump (32"). On tape, Smith is a methodical-moving prospect who projects as above average in both run and pass blocking.
May 1 - 7:17 PM

Penn State T Donovan Smith "was fat and messy and played lazy," an anonymous NFL scout told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

"He has had issues like that," he added. "He's got talent. It's more where you think he is as far as want-to." The 6-foot-6, 328-pounder is possibly rated higher by the NFL than the media. "He's a giant human being that can kind of do whatever he wants," another scout said. "He's got good feet and bend for a big guy. Definitely can be a left tackle. He also can play with power. He was completely dominant at the Senior Bowl. But he's selfish, is up and down in games and has weight and conditioning issues." Smith started all three eligible years at LT for Penn State. "He's not a feisty, Wisconsin-type guy," said a third scout. "The new staff there does not rave about him. Maybe he doesn't have that killer instinct, but he'll play." A fourth scout concluded: "I hope he goes in the second round because we wouldn't take him until the mid-rounds. He's got a little bit of a work ethic issue."
Apr 25 - 6:44 PM


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