College underclassmen who declare for the NFL Draft are generally considered to have made the proper decision if they are taken in the first two rounds.
Thanks to the NFL’s rookie contract structure, the value of deals for third-round picks are significantly less than they are for second-rounders. And there is no guaranteed money beyond the first year once a player slips into the third round. http://www.scout.com/college/football/recruiting/story/1774394-big-12-b1...
That’s why Friday night’s second and third rounds of the 2017 Draft in Philadelphia were so important for former Penn State receiver Chris Godwin, who gave up his final season of eligibility. After a strong NFL Combine performance in February in which he ran a 4.42 40-yard dash, Godwin was widely considered to be a second- or third-round pick.
It turned out to be the latter.
Godwin went to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the 20th pick of the third round, meaning he probably would have been better served returning to PSU for his senior season. He was the 11th receiver taken in the draft.
After only three years, Godwin already ranked high on most of Penn State’s receiving charts. He is fourth in yardage (2,404) and seventh in catches (153).
Godwin, a native of Middletown, Del., did not attend the Draft even though it was held just across the river from his hometown.
Godwin could well be the only Nittany Lion to be drafted this year. Rounds three through seven will be held Saturday in Philadelphia.
Defensive end Garrett Sickels was also an early entry but projects as a late-round pick or priority free agent.
Linebacker Brandon Bell could also be drafted. But a series of injuries that cost him significant playing time the last few seasons might cause him to drop into the free agent ranks, as well.
The Nittany Lions finished No. 7 in the final Associated Press Top 25 last season. They were the only top 10 team not to have any players taken in the first two rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft.