Good News on Day Two

The first day of the 2006 NFL Draft was uneventful from Penn State's standpoint, as defensive end Tamba Hali (pick No. 20, Kansas City) was the only Nittany Lion selected through the first three rounds. But day two got off to a rip-roaring start for PSU, as two Lions went in the first handful of picks of the fourth round.

Michael Robinson went to the San Francisco 49ers with pick No. 100 overall and the third pick of the round. In making the selection, the 49ers referred to Robinson as a “running back.” Two picks later, the Tennessee Titans selected Penn State safety Calvin Lowry.

Robinson was the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year in 2005 after posting a school-record 3,156 yards of total offense (2,350 passing, 806 rushing) in his first year as a full-time quarterback. While he would prefer to play quarterback in the NFL, he has said that he will play anywhere his new team needs him.

In San Francisco, where he will join former teammate Anthony Adams, a defensive tackle, that will apparently be at running back.

Lowry was a four-year starter at safety for the Nittany Lions, and came through with his best season as a senior. He made 79 tackles and intercepted four passes and was named second-team All-Big Ten. He was also a mainstay at the punt-return man at PSU, doing it throughout his carrer.

Later in the fourth round, Penn State cornerback Alan Zemaitis was taken by Tampa Bay with the 122 overall pick and the 25th pick of the round.

Zemaitis had 51 tackles and 10 pass breakups as a senior in winning first-team All-Conference honors. He also led the Nittany Lions with six interceptions and scored a pair of touchdowns off fumble recoveries.

After Zemaitis, there was a lull in the action from Penn State's perspective. The next Lion to be taken was offensive guard Tyler Reed, who went in the middle of the sixth round (No. 200 overall) to the Chicago Bears.

One of the more physically gifted PSU linemen of recent years, inconsistency and minor off-field issues kept Reed from hammering down a full-time starting job until near the end of his junior season. He did not start the 2005 season-opener due to a disciplinary matter, but got the nod from there on out and served as the anchor of an effective if not overpowering unit.

Receiver Ethan Kilmer went with the first pick of the seventh and final round, the 209th selection overall, to Cincinnati.

Kilmer blew away scouts at Penn State's Pro Day, running a 4.38 40-yard dash, hitting a 41-inch vertical jump and bench pressing 225 pounds 19 times. He had 15 catches for 236 yards and three scores as a senior. More impressively, he made an amazing 25 tackles a special teams gunner.

Kilmer was the final Lion drafted.

The biggest surprise among the players who were not drafted was cornerback Anwar Phillips, who some analysts projected as high as a second-round talent. The following players are likely to get free-agent tryouts with teams:

Lavon Chisley, DE

Chris Harrell, S

Isaac Smolko, TE

Scott Paxson, DT

Anwar Phillips, CB

Matthew Rice, DE

Charles Rush, OT

E.Z. Smith, C/LS

Stay tuned to and the network to track where the above players land as free agents. You can also monitor how all the PSU rookies perform in the upcoming mini-camps.


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