Only two Penn State players are on hand at the 2011 NFL combine, and so far, they've done pretty well.
Offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski measured in at 6-foot-3, 313 pounds with an arm length of 33 inches. The initial analysis had this to say about Wisniewski:
Wisniewski comes from a football family and has the versatility to be a quality backup at the next level. He has great football intelligence, quickly recognizes stunts and blitzes and is rarely caught out of position. However, he lacks the lower body strength to generate a consistent push in the running game and will not thwart the bull rush in the NFL. He played guard early in his career and can line up at all three interior offensive line positions. Wisniewski has the smarts to make up for his lack of strength and will likely be a later round pick.
As for the individual workouts, Wisniewski performed 30 reps on the bench press, good for a sixth-place tie among the offensive linemen. He ran a 5.32 40-yard dash, a figure that, among offensive linemen, isn't too important. Only two of the 54 offensive linemen participants ran a sub-5.0 40-yard dash. Wisniewski's other numbers include: 28.5 inch vertical jump, 8-foot-4 broad jump, 4.63 20-yard shuttle, and a 7.51 second three-cone drill.
Like the analysis stated above, Wisniewski likely projects as a later-round pick. An interesting team to keep an eye on is the Oakland Raiders, who recently hired Steve Wisniewski, Stefen's uncle, as offensive line coach. "It would be pretty cool to play for my uncle Steve. I think it would be awesome to work with him every day," Stefen told Silver and Black Report.
Running back Evan Royster, like the other 38 running back participants, is in action for the majority of the individual drills today. Royster measured in at 6 feet and an impressive 212 pounds, down from his slightly higher weight during his 2010 senior season at Penn State. The only number that Royster has turned in so far is the bench press, where he put up 20 reps. Royster wasn't happy with this number, as it was outside the Top 15 for running backs, but he looks like make up for that in today's agility drills.
The initial overview of Royster notes what Penn State fans have long said about Royster; he is a durable back who lacks breakaway speed:
Royster is Penn State's all-time leading rusher, but he lacks the explosiveness to be as effective at the next level. He shows the ability to consistently find running lanes and can make defenders miss in the hole. However, he lacks the breakaway speed and lateral agility to consistently pick up big chunks of yards. Also, he is not a very powerful runner and will not gain many yards after contact. Overall, Royster is a productive football player that does al l the little things well, and he could sneak into the second day of the draft.
Royster could develop into a dependable back in the NFL, but he does not project any higher than the fifth round in April's draft.