Really tonight’s Basketball game against Ohio State is huge for the Nittany Lions, it’s on ESPN in primetime and it’s a chance for the Nits to get some much needed TV exposure. Flop in this one and it might be detrimental to a very fragile team, people are finally talking about Penn State in the same sentence as the big dance. Penn State needs this one, bad.
Thanks to the world champion Pittsburgh Steelers and their stellar 3-4 defense guys like Aaron Maybin are getting long looks as outside linebackers/rush specialists in the popular scheme.
Even with overly pedestrian results in the combines.
Maybin, who elected to forgo his senior season with the Nittany Lions, is too small to be a defensive end in the NFL. But he has the body type (6 feet 31/2, 250 pounds) and athleticism that teams desire in an outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense. That should increase his chances of being a high first-round selection in April, especially after Maybin added nearly 20 pounds since the end of Penn State's season.
Speed and computer numbers or football skills? That's the question scouts must answer when deciding where a number of prospects they saw on Monday will end up in the draft. For example; a number of prospects ran poor 40 times including Michigan's Tim Jamison (5.03), Penn State's Aaron Maybin (4.75) and Brandon Walker of Texas Tech (4.94). Yet all three displayed terrific quickness, footwork and football skills during position drills. Does timed speed win out or do scouts go by what they saw the players accomplish once the football was brought onto the field?
Another Penn Stater whose stock is quickly falling is Maurice Evans.
Evans' decision to enter the draft was questioned from the start and his choice looks worse today. Evans ran his 40s in 4.97 and 5.09 seconds. He later looked sluggish in drills. Evans weighed in at 274 pounds and only completed 17 reps on the bench.
By comparison other defensive end prospects managed somewhere around 30 reps, nearly doubling Evans totals.
Philly fans can begin fretting over the Donovan McNabb saga because it appears he's not going anywhere and the Eagles have some tough off-season decisions to make if they want to keep him.
Although McNabb wants to remain in Philadelphia, if the Eagles aren't successful in significantly upgrading an offense that needs help at wide receiver, running back and offensive tackle (veterans Jon Runyan and Tra Thomas are free agents beginning Friday), not only may McNabb drop his request for a new contract, he may consider going as far as to ask the Eagles to trade him.
Some of the big names on the market include T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Anquan Boldin, and tight end Tony Gonzalez but any one of those guys would most definitely want assurance that McNabb will be an Eagle before signing so it's come down to a chicken and egg dilemma. That and throw in the recent release of this guy and Philly is at a cross roads: accept an aging Donovan McNabb as your guy and stick with him or dump him and forget about any of the prized free agents. One thing's for certain, Marvin Harrison would be a significant upgrade on an Eagles team that was one game away from losing to Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl (sorry Eagle's fans it's true). Add him to this Philly team and they would probably be the favorite to come out of the NFC as champs.