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Penn State redshirt senior DL Anthony Zettel "is a prospect I may have underrated," admitted TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline.

"He possesses the measurables and nastiness to be a big time player but really needs to put it together," Pauline wrote. Zettel drew a fourth-round grade from the expert. As a point of comparison, ESPN's Mel Kiper grades Zettel as the No. 3 senior defensive tackle prospect in the nation. The 6-foot-4, 278-pound Zettel started his career at DE but has become a force at DT for the Nittany Lions, adding 25 pounds of muscle to facilitate his transition inside.
Jul 31 - 9:52 PM

Sports on Earth's Matt Brown says Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg is a top-10 college football player on talent alone, but ranks him No. 76 because of his substandard 2014 performance.

"Hackenberg's accuracy, footwork and decision-making all left a lot to be desired last season, but it's hard to figure out how much unfavorable circumstances around him are to blame," Brown wrote. "The offensive line, ravaged by scholarship restrictions, severely limited the offense -- from the run game to pass protection to play-calling under a new coaching staff -- and Hackenberg seemed to get caught up in all those other issues, with frustration building during the season." The 6-foot-4, 236-pound Hackenberg regressed to an ugly 12/15 TD/INT ratio last year after a very promising freshman campaign. "He has a chance for a big turnaround, with his huge arm, a better line, more seasoned receivers and glimpses of brilliance we've seen from him, like in the first (454 yards vs. UCF) and last games (371 yards vs. Boston College) of last season," Brown wrote.
Jul 31 - 6:37 PM

Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg boasts a "prototypical frame that already has scouts drooling" and it "wouldn’t at all be surprising to see him sneak into the top five," writes ESPN's Travis Haney.

"With even a decent season, Hackenberg will be a sizzling-hot NFL prospect in the spring," he added. "Can Hackenberg get his TD-to-INT rate back in good form after it dipped to 12-15 last year? There were plenty of extenuating circumstances that led to such a high turnover rate -- a new coaching staff, an inexperienced line and receiver group -- but in the end, Hackenberg has to show this fall that he can be far more efficient." To the signal-caller's credit, he seems to understand that what happened in 2014 cannot happen again. "I’ve always been a guy to try and immerse myself in the process," Hackenberg said. "Right now, the task at hand is to be better than 7-6 (the team’s 2014 record) and win more football games and to do my part to win more games."
Jul 26 - 7:58 PM

WalterFootball reports that NFL sources are still confident Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg could end up "being an elite quarterback prospect."

In other words, a No. 1 overall pick. "James Franklin's offense didn't help him develop much as a NFL pocket-passer prospect last season as so many of the play calls were instant throws because of a weak offensive line that couldn't maintain its blocks," WF noted. "Hackenberg needs to improve his ball placement and decision-making in some areas, but his supporting cast really hurt him last year. At times, Hackenberg makes some brilliant throws downfield after working off his first read, and if he does that regularly as a junior, he could be a high first-rounder." The site ranks Hack as the No. 1 QB in the 2017 class, ahead of Cardale Jones and Jared Goff.
Jul 26 - 4:05 PM

Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg was named to the watch list for the Manning Award, which is awarded to the top quarterback in college football.

The Penn State prospect's name has already been added to watch lists for the Maxwell Award, Davey O’Brien Award and the Walter Camp Award this year. The 6-foot-4, 236-pound Hackenberg had an off season last year, as he regressed with a 12/15 TD/INT rate last season under HC James Franklin. However, the Penn State junior has started all 25 career games under center for the Nittany Lions throwing for 5,932 passing yards.
Jul 24 - 3:44 PM

NFL Media's Charles Davis writes that Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg "has plenty to clean up (footwork, decision making), but this might be the first year he's truly settled in at Penn State."

"I expect that to work well in his favor, and for him to bounce back, showing the college football world that he's one of the best QBs in the nation," Davis wrote. The 6-foot-4, 236-pounder threw for 2,995 yards and 20 touchdowns as a freshman but struggled mightily in posting a 12/15 TD/INT rate last season. We soured on Hackenberg a bit after watching the sophomore consistently dismiss logic while pressured, but we concede the book is far from closed on him as a prospect. Hackenberg, of course, was learning a new offensive system and played behind a dreadful offensive line. If he struggles this year, he will do so with the excuses having run out. "Hackenberg oozes with possibilities in the college game and beyond," Davis wrote.
Source: NFL.com
Jul 22 - 7:33 PM

Penn State redshirt senior DL Anthony Zettel "made a great transition from defensive end last season, combining strength that belies his size with plenty of penetrating plays," according to ESPN's Mel Kiper.

"He finished with a team-leading 17.0 TFLs and should be in line for a similar output in 2015," Kiper wrote. The draft expert grades Zettel as the No. 3 senior defensive tackle prospect in the nation. Zettel, 6-foot-4, 278 pounds, added 42 tackles, eight sacks and three interceptions and earned first-team All-Big Ten honors last year.
Jul 19 - 5:51 PM

Penn State redshirt senior TE Kyle Carter's "skill-set is more of a hybrid receiver, tight end and H-back with his size and versatility to line up anywhere on the offense," CBS Sports Dane Brugler observes.

The 6-foot-3, 247-pound Carter recorded only 16 catches for 153 yards and one touchdown in 2014. However, the last two seasons Carter has shared time with Jesse James, Adam Breneman at tight end for the Nittany Lions. Carter could take on a much bigger role in Penn State's offense this season. Earlier this month, Carter was named to the Mackey Award Watch List; the award is given annually to the most outstanding tight end in College Football.
Source: CBS Sports
Jul 15 - 4:13 PM

Penn State senior DB Jordan Lucas has the "confidence and aggressive demeanor that are excellent building blocks for NFL coaches," CBS Sports' Dane Brugler observes.

"He needs to be more reliable using his arms to wrap and finish as a tackler, but he loves contact downhill, attacking without hesitation and striking like a much bigger man. Although he tends to play hands-on downfield, which will get him in trouble, Lucas has the confidence and aggressive demeanor that are excellent building blocks for NFL coaches," Brugler wrote. Last season, Lucas recorded 58 tackles, while adding a pair of sacks to his resume. The 6-foot, 193-pound Lucas is making the transition to safety this season, after starting at cornerback the last two years for the Nittany Lions. The Penn State prospect could up his stock with his ability to play multiple positions in the secondary.
Source: CBS Sports
Jul 15 - 3:17 PM

Penn State redshirt senior DL Anthony Zettel's "skill-set projects to both even and odd fronts in the NFL," CBS Sports Dane Brugler believes.

"Although he doesn't have prototypical size for an interior defensive line prospect, Zettel's skill-set projects to both even and odd fronts in the NFL and if he matches or exceeds his 2014 performance, the first round will be calling his name," Brugler writes. The 6-foot-4, 278-pound Zettel started his career at DE but has become a force at DT for the Nittany Lions, adding 25 pounds of muscle during his transition inside. Last season Zettel recorded 42 tackles, 8.0 sacks, three interceptions and eight passes defended.
Source: CBS Sports
Jul 15 - 2:44 PM

"Improved consistency is exactly what NFL scouts are looking for" from Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg in 2015, CBS Sports Dane Brugler notes.

"Despite all of his shortcomings on film, Hackenberg should be improved in year two with an improved offensive line, chemistry with his targets and comfort with the coaching staff. And with his physical gifts that suggest he could be the first quarterback drafted next spring, improved consistency is exactly what NFL scouts are looking for from the talented passer in 2015, Brugler wrote. Unfortunately, the 6-foot-4, 236-pound Hackenberg had an off season, as he regressed in 2014 with a 12/15 TD/INT rate last season under HC James Franklin. However, Hackenberg has a chance to keep his draft stock intact, if he lets his natural talent shine through in 2015.
Source: CBS Sports
Jul 15 - 2:08 PM

Penn State DT Austin Johnson "doesn't get the accolades of teammate Anthony Zettel, but his ability to anchor the defensive line and occupy blockers helped free up phenomenal production around him," notes Sports on Earth's Matt Brown.

"Penn State continues to churn out strong defenses, and Johnson helped lead a unit that ranked second nationally against the run, allowing only 2.95 yards per carry," Brown wrote. "With 49 tackles and six tackles for loss it's harder for Johnson to get recognition, but the 325-pound senior makes life much easier for Zettel up front, in addition to having the athleticism to make his own plays and collapse the pocket." The analyst grades Johnson as the No. 18 defensive tackle in the country.
Jul 14 - 1:42 AM

Penn State redshirt junior DL Anthony Zettel "may be somewhat undersized to play on the interior, but it doesn't matter," notes Sports on Earth's Matt Brown.

"He's freakishly quick and strong on the interior, and he sets the tone for everything Penn State's defense does under coordinator Bob Shoop, leading the charge for what was one of the best defenses in the nation," Brown wrote. "He's too quick for most interior offensive linemen to handle, and thus he's constantly helping to knock offenses off schedule and collapse the pocket on frustrated quarterbacks." The scribe ranks Zettel as the No. 2 defensive tackle in the land. Zettel, 6-foot-4, 278 pounds, was formerly a defensive end. Opinions fall all over the board as to his best positional fit in the NFL. Some see him adding 25 pounds and remaining at defensive tackle. Some see him slimming down a bit to play end. NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein says Zettel "could be an interesting 3-4 outside linebacker projection if he were to drop some weight." Stay tuned.
Jul 13 - 9:58 PM

Penn State junior QB Christian Hackenberg is the most overrated quarterback prospect in the nation, in the estimation of With the First Pick's Jon Dove.

"Hackenberg has everything you look for in a quarterback—he has great size, a strong throwing arm, solid athleticism and appears to be a student of the game," Dove wrote. "His leadership ability has already been on display at Penn State which is an important part of a quarterback’s value. However, Hackenberg has also had problems holding up under presser [sic]." Indeed, the 6-foot-4, 236-pounder threw for 2,995 yards and 20 touchdowns as a true freshman but regressed to a 12/15 TD/INT rate last season. "He has a tendency to hold the ball too long, drop his eyes into the pass rush and force the ball into coverage," Dove wrote. "The ability to handle pressure at the next level is key. NFL defensive coordinators know how to rattle a quarterback who reacts poorly to pressure." We agree with this take and hope Hackenberg improves with better offensive line play. We'll reserve judgement until we see that on the field.
Jul 12 - 8:04 PM

If you're looking for Big 10 receiver candidates to break into the 1,000-yard club for the first time this year, ESPN's Brian Bennett posits that Penn State redshirt sophomore WR DaeSean Hamilton is your best bet.

"Though Hamilton slowed down quite a bit toward the end of last season, he still managed a Big Ten-best 82 catches that produced 899 yards as a freshman," Bennett wrote. "With more experience and presumably a better year for Christian Hackenberg, he could bump those numbers up to quadruple digits." For the same reason, the analyst also believes teammates Geno Lewis and Chris Godwin are due for stat bumps.
Source: ESPN.com
Jul 12 - 5:58 PM


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