Penn State vs Iowa NFL Draft Preview
Saturday night’s primetime game is a show case of two undefeated Big Ten team’s as the 4th ranked Nittany Lions of Penn State (3-0) travel to Iowa City to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes (3-0) in a pivotal in conference match up. Not only is this a crucial conference game for both teams, but there is plenty of NFL talent that will be taking the field on both sides of the ball. So who should you keep an eye come Saturday night?
Saquon Barkley, RB
Barkley is one of the most electric players in all of college football. He enters this game as a clear Heisman contender and is the main piece of the Nittany Lion attack. Barkley is a physical runner who has the ability to make defenders miss and is the top offensive talent to view on Saturday. If he continues to play like he has through the first three games of the season, Barkley should be the first back taken this spring.
Mike Gesicki, TE
Mike Gesicki is an intriguing player who is slowly gaining momentum as a top tier Tight End talent in college football. Gesicki is a great red zone target whose size (6’6″ 250) poses a match up problem as evident by his 4 touchdowns on just 12 receptions this season. The key for Gesicki will be to improve his blocking, so keeping an eye on him in the trenches will go a long way to determining his value to NFL teams.
Marcus Allen, S
Allen is a hard hitting aggressive safety who does his best work attacking the line of scrimmage and playing down hill. His aggressive style of play will be key to watch this week, as Iowa would love to use his aggression against him in hopes of a big play. Allen’s skill set should be on full display Saturday, as Iowa’s run heavy offense plays directly into the safety’s strengths.
Akrum Wadley, RB
Wadley is an elusive back who has was a 1,000 yard rusher last year as a Junior and should produce even better numbers for the Hawkeyes this season. An elusive back, Wadley’s biggest knock will be his size as he may be a little small to be a complete NFL back at 5’11 180. Wadley is sure handed and can create match up problems at the next level.
Josey Jewell, LB
The 2017 2nd team All-American was the Big Ten defensive player of the week when the Senior recorded 14 tackles and two sacks against Wyoming earlier this season. Jewell is the unquestioned leader of the Iowa defense who and has a high football I.Q. Matching up against an athletic back field this week and playing well will do wonders for his draft stock.
Sean Welsh, OL
Welsh is another offensive lineman in a long run of talented players who can dominate in the trenches. Welsh is a little on the lighter side (6’3 295) but has great feet and has the ability to play both guard and center. Welsh is a three year contributor for the Hawkeyes and with his ability to play any of three positions up front along with being the leader on an offensive line who has three Seniors starting says a lot about his value to this team. When Iowa needs to convert on short yardage situations, find Welsh and the ball shouldn’t be far behind though the Senior is expected to play right tackle, he does project to play as interior lineman at the next level.