2011 NFL Draft: Seniors To Watch in the Outback Bowl

Charles ConradContributor IDecember 31, 2010

Penn State OG Stefen Wisniewski
Penn State OG Stefen WisniewskiJamie Sabau/Getty Images

Teams: Penn State vs Florida

Location: Tampa, Florida

Telecast: Saturday, January 1, 1:00 PM Eastern, ABC

Penn State Top Senior Prospects

Stefen Wisniewski - OG, No. 61 (6-3, 306): If the name Wisniewski sounds familiar, it's because Stefen's father Leo is a former Nose Tackle for Penn State and the Baltimore Colts. Also, his uncle Steve was a standout Offensive Guard for the Nittany Lions and Oakland Raiders. Stefen is versatile, having played both center and guard. Where he plays in the NFL could depend on the team who drafts him, but he is most highly regarded as a center.  A starter since his freshman season, he is a three-time Academic All-American. Intelligent player with good off-field character. Physical player with good technique, the ability to trap block and pull on sweeps. Voted as an AP Second Team All-American. Should be drafted in the late first or second round.

Evan Royster - HB, No. 22 (6-0, 212): In 2010, Royster passed Curt Warner (not to be confused with QB Kurt Warner) to become Penn State's career rushing leader with 3,834 yards. However, he is not considered as the impact NFL prospect that Warner was in the 1980's. Royster is a good one-cut type of runner who lacks great speed or the lateral quickness to make tacklers miss. He has a strong leg, drive and determination. Good blocker and capable receiver out of the backfield. Had a sluggish start to the 2010 season, prompting coach Joe Paterno to question his conditioning. Came on strong in the second half of the season, especially after Matt McGloin took over at QB. Currently projected as a mid-round pick.

Ollie Ogbu - DT, No. 85 (6-1, 285): Ogbu is on the small side for an NFL interior defensive lineman. Although nature is working against him, he is a tough competitor with a great motor. Ogbu loves to play the game and has been very productive with 111 career tackles, including 29 tackles-for-loss. He will have trouble shedding blocks against larger guards in the NFL, so he would best suit a Tampa-2 style defense where he could shoot the inside gaps. May never be more than a reserve, but has a chance to stick. Late round prospect.

Chris Colasanti - ILB, No. 48 (6-2, 241): Colasanti finally had his chance to start in 2010, taking over for St. Louis Rams rookie Josh Hull. He made the most of his opportunity, leading Penn State with 102 tackles, including eight for-loss. He has good agility and aggressiveness, but is not quite as instinctive or talented as some of his predecessors at Linebacker U, such as Paul Posluszny or Sean Lee. Academic All-American who plans to enroll in medical school to train as a sports medical surgeon once his football career is over. Rated as a late-round pick or free agent.

Other Penn State Senior Prospects

  • Graham Zug - TE, No. 5 (6-2, 185)
  • Brett Brackett - TE, No. 83 (6-6, 232)
  • Doug Klopacz - C, No. 68 (6-3, 285)
  • Bani Gbadyu - OLB, No. 15 (6-1, 231)
  • Collin Wagner - K, No. 36 (5-9, 175)

Top Florida Senior Prospects

Ahmad Black - SS, No. 35 (5-10, 190): Black plays the strong safety position at Florida, but his size indicates he might be better suited to play free safety or possibly cornerback. Despite the size issue, he is a play-maker who is not afraid to mix it up physically. He is a steady tackler who has a total of 237 career tackles and 11 interceptions. In 2008, Black tied for the FBS lead with seven picks. He is a fine athlete with good range and covers ground nicely. Should be drafted in the third round range.

Mike Pouncey - C, No. 55 (6-4, 310): The brother of Pittsburgh Steelers 2010 first round pick, Maurkice Pouncey. Mike is not quite as highly rated as his brother, but should be drafted by the second or third round. Began his college career as a Defensive Tackle before making the switch to OG, where he started in 2008-09. In 2010, he made the transition to center, where he struggled early on with bad snaps. Worked to change his technique and has improved throughout the year. Good pass blocker whose versatility will help him make an NFL roster.

Marcus Gilbert - OT, No. 76 (6-5, 320): Gilbert is a veteran leader on the Gators' offensive line who is a Right Tackle prospect. He plays with a good anchor in run blocking and generates movement. Has a quick set-up as a pass blocker, but is somewhat vulnerable to outside speed. Needs to improve his overall balance. Is best when blocking straight ahead. Good player who could be drafted in the mid to late rounds.

Chas Henry - P, No. 17 (6-3, 215): Henry was voted the 2010 Ray Guy Award winner as the best punter in the FBS. His 46.4 punting average was tops in the nation and the best in Florida history. Henry has a strong leg and good placement skills. Out of his 34 punts in 2010, 14 were more than 50 yards and 16 were placed inside the opposing team's 20 yard line. Very experienced as a 4-year starter. Became the team's placekicker as well in 2010, but will likely not be asked to kick in the NFL. Should be the first punter off the board in the draft.