Several defensive front seven
players from Penn State have really stood out recently. As a result they
are watching their draft stock rise.
Tackles Jay Alford and
Ed Johnson have both done a terrific job up front as run stuffers as well
as pass rushers. Alford has totaled 30-tackles with 12.5 tackles for loss and
eight sacks this season. Johnson,
whose numbers to date include 33/8.5/5 in ten games, is an interesting story.
Suspended last season for
violating school rules, Johnson has been strong most of this season.
Coming into the year with a free agent grade, he's improved to a fifth
Alford carried a mid-round grade at season's start and he could broach the late
part of the draft's first day base on his play this year.
Alford carried a mid-round grade at season's start and he could broach the late part of the draft's first day base on his play this year.
continues to finish the year strong. After
a combined 29-tackles in the seasons final three games, Posluszny ended the year
as the Nittany Lions top tackler. Not
bad for a guy who started so slowly. Posluszny,
who has restored most of previous his draft ranking, would be best served participating
in the Senior Bowl this January.
Another Big Ten prospect
flying up draft boards is Wisconsin cornerback Jack Ikegwuonu.
Shutting down opponents on a weekly basis, Ikegwuonu has two
interceptions to go with his team leading eleven pass defenses.
A red-shirt sophomore, Ikegwuonu already grades high on the list of
Minnesota tight end Matt Spaeth has really impressed a lot of scouts with his toughness. Spaeth, whose been suffering from a shoulder injury, posted 47 receptions this year for 564-receiving yards, a single season best for the Gophers. Spaeth has put off needed surgery to repair his injured shoulder until after the team's bowl game. This will likely keep Spaeth from any post-season All Star games.
Auburn offensive guard Ben Grubbs has looked really good and is moving up draft boards. Dominating defenders at the point of attack, many scouts feel Grubbs has first round ability but is a better fit early in round two.
Virginia Tech linebacker Vince Hall continues to look outstanding this season. The multi-purpose defender leads the team in tackles and tackle for loss.
Against Wake Forest Hall was omni-present making plays all over the field. If he enters the draft there is a real chance he could slide into the first round.