Penn State Football: 2012 NFL Draft Recap and Notes
Penn State had four players taken by NFL teams in the 2012 NFL Draft, their third-highest total since 2008, and twice as many players as Penn State sent through the NFL Draft a year ago. For those who did not have the patience or the desire to sit through three days and hours upon hours of NFL Draft coverage, here is a brief rundown of where your Nittany Lions will be heading next.
Devon Still, Defensive Tackle, Cincinnati Bengals
Round 2, Pick 21 (53rd overall)
Devon Still was the first Nittany Lion off the big board, and although he was hoping to go in the first round Thursday night, his drop in the second round was somewhat surprising. His wait finally came to an end with the 53rd overall pick. Still is the first defensive tackle to be drafted by the Bengals since Mike Reid was drafted seventh overall in the 1970 NFL Draft.
Still is the fifth defensive tackle coached by Larry Johnson Sr. to be drafted by an NFL team, all of which have come in the first three rounds of the draft.
Johnnie Troutman, Guard, San Diego Chargers
Round 5, Pick 14 (149th overall)
The San Diego Chargers may have gotten a decent bargain by getting Johnnie Troutman in the fifth round. A couple of NFL Draft analysts have told me that Troutman has a chance to sustain a decent career in the NFL as an under-the-radar type of blocker.
Troutman was the first Nittany Lions offensive guard to be drafted since Rich Ohrnberger was drafted in the fourth round by the New England Patriots in 2009.
Jack Crawford, Defensive End, Oakland Raiders
Round 5, Pick 23 (158th overall)
Jack Crawford was picked up a few picks after Troutman by AFC West rival Oakland. Oakland would go on to pick up three Penn State players through the draft and free-agent signings.
Crawford is the first defensive end to be drafted under Larry Johnson's watch since Aaron Maybin was picked in the first round in 2009. Crawford is Johnson's sixth defensive end to be drafted in the NFL, and he is the first to not be drafted in the first round since Brad Scioli was taken in fifth round by Indianapolis in 1999.
Nate Stupar, Linebacker, Oakland Raiders
Round 7, Pick 23 (230th overall)
The latest linebacker to come out of Linebacker U, Nate Stupar was picked up in the final round. He is the second player to join Oakland in this draft class and is the fourth linebacker drafted out of Penn State in the past three drafts.
Stupar is the third Penn State draft pick of the Raiders in the past two NFL Drafts as well. Before Stupar and Crawford this year and Stefen Wisniewski in the second round last year, the last time Oakland drafted a Penn State player was in 1994, with linebacker Rob Holmberg.
Stupar will have to work hard to keep a job in the NFL. While he has solid ball awareness and good, fundamental tacking skills, he may be short on the speed and mobility that is needed to make it in the NFL.
In addition to the four players picked in the NFL Draft, seven Penn State players were signed as undrafted free agents. Defensive back Chaz Powell will join Crawford and Stupar in Oakland and will probably be given a chance to show something on special teams.
There were conflicting reports that running back Stephfon Green was signed by the Jets as well. The Bronx native and his agent denied the rumors on Twitter in a frenzy. Wide receiver Derek Moye was also picked up by an AFC East team, the Miami Dolphins.
Tight end Andrew Szczerba was signed by the Dallas Cowboys, where he will join former teammates Dan Connor and Sean Lee.
Defensive end Marcus Lattimore was signed by the Minnesota Vikings and offensive lineman Quinn Barham was signed by the Detroit Lions. Will those two one day go head-to-head in an NFC North rivalry game?
DeOn'tae Pannell was also invited to a rookie mini-camp next week by the New Orleans Saints.
Kevin McGuire is the host of the No 2-Minute Warning podcast, managing editor of Nittany Lions Den and a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook and add him to your Google+ circle.
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