Ranking the Best Skill Players on the Penn State Football Roster

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistJune 28, 2012

Ranking the Best Skill Players on the Penn State Football Roster

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    Penn State's best skill players may not be the best in terms of actual talent. It may require a blend of talent and importance to earn a player their spot on this list.

    The Nittany Lions will need several players to step up this season. Their quarterback, Matt McGloin, is their chief concern, but he only makes this list out of necessity. His lack of skill outweighed his dire importance by that wide of a margin.

    Penn State's cupboard isn't bare this season.

    Let's rank their eight best skill players.

8. Matt McGloin

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    Matt McGloin is easily the most important player on Penn State's team, but he's far from the best. He makes this list only because of the position he plays.

    McGloin is the best quarterback on Penn State's roster, but he's far from the best skill player. He happens to play the most important position on the field, but he isn't reliable.

    The Nittany Lions' season relies on McGloin's stability in the pocket. He's their best option so far, but that could change by midseason.

7. Stephon Morris

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    Stephon Morris is Penn State's most experienced cornerback. He's only 5'8'', but his senior leadership will be welcomed in Penn State's inexperienced secondary.

    He's an excellent man-to-man defender because of his gritty nature. He doesn't back down from a challenge and he's adept at jamming men on the line of scrimmage.

    The Nittany Lions don't have many weaknesses on their defense next season. Morris will be a big part in keeping their secondary from becoming one.

6. Adrian Amos

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    Adrian Amos' versatility will come into play this season. He's able to play corner, or safety, because of his size and speed.

    He played in limited action as a freshman last season, but he only began to scratch the surface. He's a dynamic talent with the potential to have a breakout year this season.

    Amos is one of Penn State's most intriguing defenders in terms of upside.

5. Allen Robinson

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    Allen Robinson is virtually unknown, but his 6'3'' frame and above-average athleticism bode well for his future. With Devon Smith's dismissal from the team, more emphasis will be placed on guys like Robinson (h/t Adam Rittenberg, ESPN.com).

    Expect him to have a big summer. He doesn't have the quickness of some of Penn State's other options, but he is a promising possession receiver. Matt McGloin will benefit from multiple possession-style targets.

    Robinson isn't well-known now, but it won't take Penn State fans long to learn his name.

4. Bill Belton

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    Belton is one of Penn State's most dynamic players. He will add a unique element to the Nittany Lion attack because of his elite speed and agility in open space.

    Penn State will use Belton all over the field. He can line up in the slot, in the backfield or even as a Wildcat quarterback. That versatility makes him important to Penn State's success on offense.

    Belton is undersized, but he will play a huge role this year. He will have a larger touchdown total than some may anticipate.

3. Malcolm Willis

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    Willis isn't necessarily the best safety in the Big Ten, but he is extremely important. He must hold Penn State's secondary together. He has limited starting experience, but he is a solid two-way defender.

    He impacts plays in pass coverage, or as an extra defender against the run. He must provide stability on the backside of Penn State's defense.

    Willis' athleticism will make him an impact player on one of the Big Ten's best defenses this season.

2. Justin Brown

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    Justin Brown is a rangy wide receiver. He will be Penn State's top target this season.

    Brown's hands are spotty at times, but he is extremely athletic. He stretches the field vertically with his long strides, but he must work on his separation at the line of scrimmage. He's got elite leaping ability.

    Penn State's passing offense may struggle again this season, but Brown is an interesting player. He's a legitimate No. 1 target because of his blend of size and speed.

1. Silas Redd

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    Silas Redd should run for approximately 1,500 yards and 10 or so touchdowns. He's a dynamic running back with NFL talent.

    Penn State's offense will go when Redd goes. He's their backbone, and they will need his top effort each Saturday this season.

    Redd's home run running style is a big hit with Penn State fans. He's always a threat to go the distance, and Penn State fans don't get to see that very often.