Projecting the Lions in the Draft

We offer our best guesses on when (and in some cases if) the Penn State products will be selected this weekend.

The first round of the 2013 NFL Draft came and went Thursday night with no Penn State players being selected.

That was not a surprise. The only Nittany Lion considered to be a potential first-rounder was linebacker Michael Mauti, and his stock took a hit when he sustained a torn ACL injury late last season.

The Draft continues Friday night (6:30 p.m. Eastern) with rounds two and three, and at least a couple of Penn State products have a shot of being selected. The event wraps up Saturday (noon Eastern) with rounds four through seven, and Nittany Lions are sure to be involved by that point.

Here is our guess on when (and if) Penn State's draft eligible players will be drafted.

FRIDAY NIGHT (Rounds 2-3)

Nobody. Update. DT Jordan Hill went late in the third round.


DT Jordan Hill
The 6-foot-2, 300-pounder improved his 40 time to 5.03 seconds at Penn State's Pro Day. Will it be enough for him to climb into the third round? Working against Hill is the fact that he does not appear to have the type of size needed to fit in to the 3-4 defenses that are becoming more and more popular in the league.
Prediction: Round 4
Actual Pick: Round 3 (87th overall)

LB Gerald Hodges
At 6-1, 233 pounds, Hodges has good athletic ability for the position. He should easily be able to handle the coverage responsibilities required of an NFL 'backer, and Penn State's recent history of producing outstanding players at the position will work in his favor. Unfortunately for him (and everyone else at the position), pure linebackers are not exactly a hot commodity in this draft. Only two were taken in the first round. In our view, Hodges and Hill are the only Lions with a chance to be taken Friday night.
Prediction: Round 4 or 5

LB Michael Mauti
Kudos to the 6-2, 240-pound All-American for going all out in his rehab in order to prove he'll be able to play in 2013. Prior to the injury, Mauti projected as no lower than a second-round pick. But with three ACL tears in his Penn State career, whatever team takes him will also be taking a chance. From a risk-reward standpoint, someone could land a real gem in the middle rounds. Remember, former Lion Sean Lee had a history of serious knee problems when he entered the Draft. But Dallas risked a second-round pick on him in 2010 and he's been a star for the Cowboys. We can't see Mauti going that high because he was injured so recently. But we can see a team rolling the dice on him.
Prediction: Round 4 or 5

OL Matt Stankiewitch
The 6-3, 300-pounder played center and guard in his Penn State career, and that versatility should help him as he tries to earn a spot in the NFL (where teams typically only activate seven O-linemen for games).
Prediction: Round 5 or 6

OL Mike Farrell
At 6-6, 303, Farrell has good size for the position. He ran a respectable 5.16 40 at Penn State's Pro Day. Farrell may also benefit from playing at a position of high value, especially in this draft (where the top two picks were O-tackles and four OTs went in the first 11 picks). Another plus: he saw time at left and right tackle last season.
Prediction: Round 6 or 7

DB Stephon Morris

At 5-8, 188, Morris is undersized. But he has outstanding athletic ability, having posted a 4.35 40 and 35-inch vertical at Penn State's Pro Day. He also bench pressed 225 18 times, which is great for his size. That athletic ability could allow him to sneak into the Draft.
Prediction: Round 7 or undrafted free agent

Projected Undrafted Free Agents (listed alphabetically)

DE Pete Massaro: Had the look of a sure-fire pro until injuries took their toll on him.

QB Matt McGloin: Someone will give him a look. Can he prove skeptics wrong again?

DE Sean Stanley: A good athlete with a knack for making plays. Unfortunately, some off-field red flags early in his PSU career may work against him being drafted.

DT James Terry: A career backup who has good size (6-3, 317).

FB Michael Zordich: A decade ago, he would have been a lock to be drafted. But with the diminished role of the fullback in the NFL, he'll really have to grind to make it. He was a mainstay on the kick coverage and return teams during his PSU career, which will work in his favor now.

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