The NFL Combine is still underway in Indianapolis but the workout portions are now in the books for the four Penn State players who made the trip to work out and interview for potential NFL jobs. Linebacker Gerald Hodges appears to have had the best overall workout performance among the Nittany Lions, but defensive tackle Jordan Hill and offensive lineman Matt Stankiewitch should still feel OK about their potential draft stock. And what can you say about linebacker Michael Mauti and the way he took control of the one workout he was able to participate in?
Michael Mauti takes advantage of limited exposure
Mauti is still in the recovery phase from that ACL injury from last November, so running and jumping were out of the mix in Indianapolis. So Mauti made sure to go in to beast mode on the bench press work out and walked away with the third best rep total among linebackers. Assuming he impressed in any potential interviews with NFL teams, this should have been a solid trip for Mauti as he looks to remain a potential second day draft pick.
Our friends over at Optimum Scouting currently have Mauti ranked sixth overall among inside linebackers (4th round grade). National Football Post has Mauti as the 12th best outside linebacker (4th round grade). I see Mauti more as an inside linebacker given his injury history. I think it slows him down and makes him more suitable for inside coverage.
Gerald Hodges has respectable performance
Hodges may not have had a stand out performance at the combine that will vault him up the rankings, but it looks as though he was respectable and stood firm with his draft stock. All in all, that's not a bad thing.
Optimum Scouting ranks Hodges 11th among outside linebackers (5th round grade). National Football Post has Hodges ranked 14th at outside linebacker (4th round grade), so the opinions on Hodges appear to be somewhat consistent.
Jordan Hill did not improve his draft stock but he may not have necessarily hurt it either
One of Penn State's top defensive players over the last two seasons, Hill appears to be locked in to a middle-round profile. Hill was not impressive compared to the other defensive linemen at the combine, but scouts knew his skill set was relatively limited going in. But if you are not going to jump up the big board, the most important thing is to not slide down it either. That appears to be the case for Hill.
Optimum Scouting ranks Hill 17th among defensive tackles (6th round grade). National Football Post ranks Hill 12th among defensive tackles (4th round grade). There appears to be some discrepancy between scouts on Hill, but the NFL Draft can be anyone's guess once you enter the middle of the draft anyway.
Matt Stankiewitch still a potential late-round pick-up
The Penn State offensive lineman headed to Indianapolis destined for a likely late-round selection at best, and that appears to still be the case. Stankiewitch finished in the bottom half of each workout he participated in. This may look bad to casual fans, but his performance may have fallen in line with the kind of performance scouts were expecting out of him anyway.
Optimum Scouting, for some reason, does not include Stankiewitch in any of their offensive linemen rankings (center, guard or tackle). National Football Post has Stankiewitch ranked seventh among centers (7th round grade).
Penn State has their pro day scheduled for Monday, March 11. Not only should we expect these four players to work out again, but players such as quarterback Matt McGloin and defensive back Stephon Morris will get their chance to show what they can do in front of NFL scouts.
McGloin should be particularly interesting, given the production he had under one year of Bill O'Brien. In a year where the quarterback pool is not especially deep I would be curious to know if there is a chance McGloin can catch a few eyes at this point. I do not believe there is a chance McGloin gets drafted, although a late round pick certainly would not be a total shock. I think McGloin has a much better chance at receiving an invite to a camp after the draft, and with a strong showing at pro day there may be one or two more teams willing to extend that invite.