Monday, May 01, 2006

NFL Draft Review

In 2005 not a single Penn State player was taken in the NFL Draft. This year Penn State restored themselves as a perennial football player farm by having six players taken in the NFL Draft Here's a rundown of the weekend action:

Tamba Hali - DE - First Round (20/20) - Kansas City Chiefs

On Sunday morning Chris Berman called Hali the best story of the draft. After everything Tamba has gone through in his youth to becoming a first round pick, you can't help but feel good for this kid. Hali should be able to step in right away and contribute to a defense that was weak against the run and pass last year.

Michael Robinson - RB - Fourth Round (3/100) - San Francsco 49'ers

The 49'er's picked M-Rob as a RB, but they also need help at WR. I can see them utilizing Robinson at the wideout position much like the Rams used to use Marshal Faulk. This team is so desperately in need of offensive help, as evident in their drafting of a TE and two other WR's, that Robinson should be able to work his way on the field somewhere.

Alan Zemitis - CB - Fourth Round (25/122) - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Questions about Alan's size and speed caused him to drop to the fourth round. Scouts question his ability to play man-to-man. Tampa Bay has a well established secondary, but they are getting old. This may be a perfect fit for Zemitis to learn for a few years and compete for the starting job down the road.

Calvin Lowry - S - Fourth Round (5/102) - Tennessee Titans

Calvin joins a defense in need of help. They did poorly against the run and pass last year. He's a sure tackler, but the scouts question his size and ability to read the offense. Mel Kiper says he was underratted. I don't know if that's good or bad coming from Mel. Realistically, Lowry will probably make a good backup or special teams player.

Tyler Reed - OG - Sixth Round (31/200) - Chicago Bears

I think everyone considers this one a shocker. If Chicago really wanted Reed they probably could have picked him up as a free agent since nobody really seemed to show any interest in him. As a pure football talent he is probably good enough to at least have a decent career as a backup. No doubt off the field issues and inconsistent play affected his draft position.

Ethan Kilmer - DB/WR - Seventh Round (1/209) - Cincinnati Bengals

While nobody likes to see their team have to punt, Kilmer made it exciting last year every time he ran down the field. Every Penn State fan was hoping this kid would get drafted but secretly probably thought it wasn't going to happen. But he managed to slip in right at the end and land on the Bengals. His speed, athletic ability, and sheer guts should land him a spot on special teams. He has potential to be the Steve Tasker of the 21st Century.

Honorable Mention: I was surprised there were no takers on Anwar Phillips. Most projections I saw had him going in the middle of day two. I'm sure he will land somewhere as a free agent. He has the talent to have a decent career as at least a backup or nickel back. Scott Paxson was also passed on, most likely due to his troubles off the field. In the right system with an already established defensive line Paxson could make a decent contribution. Mathew Rice, Chris Harrell, and Andrew Richardson also have a decent shot of making NFL rosters.
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