Posted: 10:20 a.m. Monday, March 11, 2013
By Nick Chiamardas
Pro days continue today at: California (Pa.), Central Michigan, and Penn State. Here are a couple of guys to keep an eye on.
Central Michigan's Eric Fisher figures to be a top ten selection. Some pundits even moved Fisher as high as number one overall following an impressive performance at the Combine. Fisher has drawn comparisons to fellow Central Michigan alum and current 49ers starting left tackle, Joe Staley. That's high praise for the young man.
Penn State used to churn out NFL talent as well as any major college football program. Recently, that production seems to have faltered. This year there are only a couple of Nittany Lions likely to hear their name called during the Draft.
Perhaps more notable than their on the field abilities is the character and leadership qualities each of them displayed in helping a young PSU team coming off the unfortunate Jerry Sandusky scandal.
DT Jordan Hill is a tweener defensive tackle that could play in either a 4-3 or 3-4. He'll likely be rotational or depth guy but flashes good lateral quickness in one on one situations. Would need better lower body strength to play 5-tech in 3-4. Likely a late round pick.
LB Gerald Hodges is a former high school quarterback turned safety; turned linebacker. Hodges had a good week of practice at the East-West Shrine game and probably fits best as an OLB in a 4-3. Hodges doesn't have the build to teams look for in a linebacker. Having already added nearly 30lbs to his frame since high school it's thought that his frame couldn't handle much more without impacting his speed and athleticism.
LB Michael Mauti is another 4-3 linebacker prospect coming out of Happy Valley. Mauti was been unable to stay healthy during his final two years at PSU. He managed to account for 96 tackles during his senior campaign impressing with his read/react skills at the line of scrimmage. Mauti's durability issues likely mean he's a late round pick or headed for undrafted free agency.