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CBS Sports Rob Rang wrote that Penn State redshirt junior T Donovan Smith was "a pleasant surprise" at the Senior Bowl.

"Smith has a reputation of being lazy, but that hasn't been the case thus far this week," Rang wrote. "The 6-6, 341-pounder, has good initial quickness, a fluid kick-step and strong hands to stone pass-rushers. He has also consistently turned defenders to create space in the running game. Better yet, Smith has performed well while operating almost exclusively at left tackle." Smith announced late last month that he would enter the draft early. Most panned the decision, with NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt saying Smith grades out as a sixth-rounder and could have improved his stock by returning to school.
Source: CBS Sports
Jan 24 - 11:27 PM

NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt believes Penn State redshirt junior T Donovan Smith grades out as a sixth-rounder and could have improved his stock by returning to school.

Smith announced late last month that he will enter the 2015 NFL Draft. Interestingly, TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline reported recently that scouts think Smith made a mistake opting in, echoing Brandt's thoughts. "To Smith's credit, he graduated in December with a degree in criminology," Brandt wrote. "At 6-foot-5, 335 pounds, he looks like he's got a lot of upside, but he's not very consistent with his technique and has issues with pass protection. His workouts will be even more vital than usual when it comes to his draft position, and if he doesn't have a good combine he's probably going to be a sixth-round pick. Had he stayed in school and maybe lost some weight, I think he really could've improved his draft position." CBS Sports' Dane Brugler wrote that Smith is "similar to Michael Oher type."
Source: NFL.com
Jan 21 - 12:34 AM

TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline reports that scouts think Penn State redshirt junior T Donovan Smith made a mistake opting into the draft.

"As a redshirt freshman Smith blew me away and I graded him as a second round prospect but his game has leveled off and even regressed in some areas the past two years," Pauline wrote. "Why? Word from a variety of sources here in St Petersburg is Smith does not work hard at his craft rather gets by on natural ability." The 6-foot-5, 335-pound Smith announced late last month that he will enter the 2015 NFL Draft. CBS Sports' Dane Brugler wrote that Smith is "similar to Michael Oher type."
Jan 14 - 2:11 PM

Penn State junior TE Jesse James will forgo his final year of eligibility and declare for the 2015 NFL Draft.

"Competing on Sundays has always been my dream and I believe the time to pursue this dream is now," James said in a statement. "This was an extremely difficult decision to make–my time at Penn State has been amazing and unforgettable." James posted 396 receiving yards and three touchdowns in 2014, though he shouldn't be blamed for regressing, as Penn State's passing game bogged down for long stretches due to the struggles of QB Christian Hackenberg and the offensive line. James, a 6-foot-7, 254-pounder, runs a 4.78 forty.
Jan 5 - 6:34 PM

Penn State senior G Miles Dieffenbach has accepted his invitation to the East-West Shrine Game.

The fifth-year senior suffered a torn ACL in his left knee during spring practice, which forced him to miss the first eight games of the season. Dieffenbach made his return to the lineup on Nov. 8 against Indiana, but recently sustained a left-leg injury in Penn State's recent Pinstripe Bowl victory on Dec. 27th and was unable to return to play. The Penn State prospect should be healthy and ready to go for the East-West Shrine game that takes place on January 17th.
Jan 5 - 2:28 PM

TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline reports that he's receiving mixed signals on Penn State junior TE Jesse James' intentions regarding the NFL Draft.

"Two of his underclassmen teammates have already declared for the draft and many wonder what tight end Jesse James will do," Pauline wrote. "Those close to the situation tell me while James is telling people he plans on returning to Penn State next season they expect in the end he will enter the draft." The 6-foot-7, 254-pound junior runs a 4.78 forty and has put up 27 reps of 225 pounds on the bench. That strength manifests more while he's running after the catch, as James doesn't get much push as a blocker. In this weak TE class, he could be looking at a mid-round selection.
Jan 5 - 2:26 PM

Penn State redshirt junior DE Deion Barnes will declare for the 2015 NFL Draft.

"I talked with my family and we believe it’s best for me to move forward and forgo my fifth year," Barnes said in a statement released by Penn State on Tuesday. The former Big Ten Freshman Of The Year had six sacks this season. He ends his career with 98 tackles and 14 sacks. This is the second unexpected early-entry announcement of Penn State's post-bowl honeymoon, following OT Donovan Smith's declaration. The 6-foot-4, 255-pound Barnes has impressive physical tools, though his consistency wavered in Happy Valley. He has some work to do at the combine. If his combine testing numbers blow away evaluators, Smith's stock could take on helium.
Wed, Dec 31, 2014 12:01:00 AM

CBS Sports' Rob Rang believes Penn State redshirt junior T Donovan Smith's athleticism "could keep him on the perimeter" in the NFL.

"Smith has the long arms needed at tackle and is surprisingly light on his feet for a man of his size," the analyst wrote. The 6-foot-5, 335-pound Smith announced Monday that he will enter the 2015 NFL Draft. "Smith showed good power and aggression to lock onto defenders [versus Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl]," Rang wrote. "Rather than mirroring in pass protection, though, Smith leaned into opponents, bending at the waist. The ultra-quick edge defenders in the NFL may be able to swim or spin past Smith, at this point, making a move inside to guard possible." Along with the rest of the industry, Rang expressed surprise that Smith declared for the pros early, though the analyst added that Smith's "tools are clear." The Nittany Lion is currently graded by CBS as the No. 13 OT in the 2016 draft class.
Source: CBS Sports
Mon, Dec 29, 2014 10:55:00 PM

CBS Sports' Dane Brugler believes that Penn State redshirt junior T Donovan Smith should return for another year.

"Would have liked to see Penn St. LT Donovan Smith return to school but he has NFL talent. My reports on him read similar to Michael Oher type," Brugler tweeted. The redshirt junior has started 31 games at left tackle over the past three seasons for the Nittany Lions. Over the summer, TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline wrote that he thought Smith was a "big, fluid blocker with upside," but that he had to start "put[ting] the pedal to the metal."
Mon, Dec 29, 2014 02:24:00 PM

Penn State redshirt junior T Donovan Smith will enter the 2015 NFL Draft.

The massive 6-foot-5, 335-pound is another name in a fairly loaded tackle class. Smith has focused on left tackle but has more of a traditional right tackle frame, but we are not sure that matters. Penn State had issues protecting their quarterback this year, but Christian Hackenberg did not help them at times.
Mon, Dec 29, 2014 01:47:00 PM

Penn State redshirt junior TE Kyle Carter had three receptions for 30 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's 31-30 Pinstripe Bowl win over Boston College.

Carter's touchdown catch was the game's biggest play. After Boston College scored a touchdown and missed an extra point in the first stanza of overtime, QB Christian Hackenberg hit Carter for a 10-yard touchdown pass to tie the affair. PSU K Luke Ficken nailed the extra point and the Nittany Lions proceeded to dance on top of the Yankees' dugout. Carter, 6-foot-3 and 243 pounds, runs a 4.89 second 40-yard dash. He could be a mid-round pick if he declares for the draft early.
Sun, Dec 28, 2014 03:58:00 PM

Penn State sophomore WR Geno Lewis caught seven balls for 82 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's 31-30 win against Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl.

The 6-foot-1, 199-pounder ends his second season with 55 catches for 751 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Penn State's passing game bogged down for long stretches this year behind a swinging-gate offensive line and young skill position players, but we think the offense as a whole will be greatly improved in 2015. Lewis could emerge as Christian Hackenberg's go-to receiver next year.
Sun, Dec 28, 2014 03:43:00 PM

Penn State sophomore Akeel Lynch had 75 yards on 17 carries in Saturday's 31-30 overtime victory over Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl.

He added three catches for 12 yards. Lynch shared backfield duties with Bill Belton this year, though Belton was slowly fazed out of the offense over the past month-plus to get the sophomore onto the field more often. With Belton's eligibility now exhausted, Lynch won't have any impediments to playing time in 2015. He ran for 678 yards and four scores on a 4.6 YPC average this year.
Sun, Dec 28, 2014 03:28:00 PM

Penn State sophomore QB Christian Hackenberg set school records for completions and yards passing by completing 34-of-50 attempts for 371 yards in Saturday's 31-30 overtime Pinstripe Bowl win versus Boston College.

Hackenberg also threw for four touchdowns, tying a school record, in earning MVP honors. The firework show and record writing began early, as Hackenberg tied another program record -- this one for longest scoring pass -- with a 72-yard TD strike to Chris Godwin down the right hash with 5:22 remaining in the first quarter. Hackenberg struggled throughout the season, clearly regressing from his true freshman season, but he'll head into the winter coming off arguably his most impressive collegiate performance. In this game, he displayed all the tools scouts have pointed to in calling him a potential top-five overall talent, including a howitzer arm to push the ball downfield, the velocity to fit the ball into tight windows, toughness in the pocket, accuracy, and an underrated ability to evade pressure. Penn State's maligned offensive line played a little better in this game, and there is hope that the unit will be far better in 2015.
Sun, Dec 28, 2014 03:14:00 PM

Penn State sophomore QB Christian Hackenberg didn't make Scout Inc.'s list of the most intriguing non-draft eligible prospects.

Ouch. "Hackenberg made our list last year, and is blessed with excellent physical tools. While he admittedly did not get much help from a struggling offensive line, his mechanics and decision-making skills took a significant dip this year, and he ended the regular season with 15 interceptions and just eight touchdown passes," wrote Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl. We second this assessment. While he has first-round talent, Hackenberg simply didn't play up to his ability this season.
Fri, Dec 19, 2014 11:13:00 PM


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