Nick Hlebichuk at Big Ten Nation, who has contributed a M..."/> Nick Hlebichuk at Big Ten Nation, who has contributed a M..."/>

Penn State Nittany Lions Top Prospects for 2012 and Beyond


Another big thanks to Nick Hlebichuk at Big Ten Nation, who has contributed a Michigan player review as well. If you aren’t checking out Big Ten Nation, you are missing out.

Nick has reviewed the Penn State Nittany Lions, where long time head coach Joe Paterno continues to bring in top of the line NFL talent. Penn State is still a very young team, but they are definitely a team on the rise, and they have a list of guys who have NFL potential. Hlebichuk takes a closer look.

6 Derek Moye WR (Senior): Moye is a terrific talent and has been Penn State’s most consistent target over the past few seasons.  Add the fact that he has great height (6’5″) and you have a prospect that several NFL teams will be looking at come April.  Moye has averaged over 16 yards per reception over the past two years, so that shows he has big play capability.  Look for him to be a first or second round pick.

67 Quinn Barham OL (Senior): Barham is slated to start for the Nittany Lions at tackle this upcoming season, but I expect him to play guard in the NFL.  Barham lacks ideal size for a NFL tackle, but as a guard, he has good size weighing in at 298 pounds  on a 6’3″ frame.  He would probably be a 6th round selection.

74 Johnnie Troutman OL (Senior): Troutman is an even better fit for a guard in the NFL than Barham, coming in at 6’4′ 323.  Troutman is a returning starter from a line that under-preformed last year so he, and the line, will need to improve this season to boost his draft stock.  I look for him to be a 5th round pick  in the upcoming draft.

52 Chimaeze Okoli OL (Senior): Okoli is probably the least likely out of this group to be drafted, but he brings a lot to the table.  Okoli weighs in at 6’4″ 293, and as on offensive tackle, will probably need to bulk up a little more to play at the next level. However, he does have a lot of college experience, which can never be overlooked.

71 Devon Still DT (Senior): Still is a huge defensive tackle, and with his 6’5″ 311 pound frame, has the potential to become a force on the defensive line.  He had 8 TFL his junior season, so if he can improve on those numbers his senior season, he should be a late round pick in the next draft.

47 Jordan Hill DT (Junior): Hill is smaller than Still, but has the potential to be just as dominant.  I expect Hill to return to school for his senior season, seeing that he only had .5 sacks and 36 tackles in his sophomore season.  However, if he does go pro, I can’t see him going before the 6th round.

81 Jack Crawford DE (Senior): Crawford must have more sacks in his senior season in order to be drafted.  While he has good size (6’5″ 248) he has not translated that size into pass rushing success, having only 7 sacks and 13 TFL in his career.  He only had 2 sacks in his junior season, so that is a cause for concern.

42 Michael Mauti LB (Junior):Mauti has the potential to be the next great linebacker to come out of “Linebacker U”  He racked up 66 tackles as a sophomore, but will need to increase his sack production in order to increase his draft stock.  I expect Mauti to return, but if he has a great season who knows what will happen.  If he does declare, I would look for him to be drafted in the 3rd or 4th round.

8 D’Anton Lynn CB (Senior): Lynn had a high number of tackles for a corner last season (75) and a low number of interceptions (3).  He will certainly need to be a better pass defender to make it in the NFL.  I could see him being a 7th round pick next April.

While both of the Nittany Lions starting safeties are seniors this season, I do not expect either to be drafted.  They either lack size, or playmaking ability from the safety spot, and neither have shown the ability to become top-notch NFL caliber safeties in the upcoming season.

I would expect to see 4 or 5 Penn State players chosen next April. Moye should be the top pick out of the bunch, as he has shown the most ability and consistency out of all the draft eligible players on the Nittany Lions roster.  Mauti is probably the second best pro prospect out of those listed here, but I expect him to ultimately stay in school for his senior season.

Another big thanks to Nick and Big Ten Nation, and look for more contributions from the crew in the near future. Follow NFL Mocks on Twitter.