Photo By: Thomas Frank Carr
By: Thomas Frank Carr
From what you’ve heard, Christian Hackenberg was the only player at the Penn State Pro Day yesterday. While the three year starter did steal the show at the conclusion of the pro day, there were other players who quietly put together very good days for themselves as well. Here’s how some notable Penn State players not named C. Hackenberg did at Penn State’s Pro Day.
Lucas Shows Athleticism
It’s been a frustrating fall and winter for former defensive back Jordan Lucas. After a rocky transition to safety in the summer, Lucas battled injuries before being shut down for the year in November. He wasn’t able to participate at the combine either so Thursday was the first time that anyone has seen Lucas run.
He did not disappoint.
After posting an impressive 38 inch vertical and 10 foot 10 inch broad jump, he posted a 4.45 40 yard dash. All of those numbers pleased Lucas.
Photo By: Thomas Frank Carr
“It went very well I think, better than anyone expected. They wanted to see how fast my straight line speed is, how quick I can get out of my cuts. I think I did well today.”
Those numbers are incredibly important for a player like Lucas who doesn’t have the tape from his senior year to speak for him on draft day. The questions about Lucas were not whether he was a good football player, but whether he was fast enough to play at a premiere position in the NFL.
Anything sub 4.50 seconds in the 40 yard dash is acceptable for an NFL cornerback, which is where Lucas wants to play,
“That’s just me, that’s just my personality. I love that one-one one battle. I cherish those moments out there with wide receivers.”
Combine his speed with his size and aggressive play style, and Lucas is an excellent candidate to play the nickel corner in the NFL.
Mixed Results from D-Line
Austin Johnson is probably the best pro prospect for Penn State this year. He’s got the size and strength to play any interior defensive line position and he’s quick enough to play the run and pass. He showed that off to scouts on Thursday with quick feet and great movement through defensive lien drills.
On the other side of the coin, Carl Nassib struggled to keep his feet several times during drills and didn’t look as crisp as you’d hope from an athletic pass rusher. Nassib displayed his typical hair-on-fire style going through the drills and was at times told to slow down and concentrate by NFL coaches running the drill. Nassib’s lack of hip flexibility was apparent as he wasn’t able to turn the corner as well as you’d like from a player at his position.
While it didn’t hurt his draft stock, Thursday’s pro day probably didn’t help do anything but confirm the tape on Nassib.
Brandon Johnson Puts on A Show
Brandon Johnson put together the best numbers of anyone at the Pro Day on Thursday. He posted a 39.5 vertical leap, and 4.43 40 yard dash, both of which were tops on the day. With his size (6-2, 228) he put himself into consideration as an NFL camp body who could work his way onto a practice squad with special teams duties.