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Penn State Football: Eight Nittany Lions Land Combine Invites

by on February 06, 2018 11:55 AM

Eight former Nittany Lions will be headed to the NFL Combine in late February the league announced on Tuesday. Headlined by Saquon Barkley, Penn State will see three offensive players and five on the defensive side of the ball attend the event in Indianapolis.

The four day testing period will be the first time these players can workout in front of scouts and coaches, Penn State is scheduled to host its own Pro Day tentatively on March 20th when players can retest and other former players can workout in front of scouts and coaches for the first time.

The NFL Combine begins on February 27th and lasts until March 5th.

Penn State players invited to attend are as follows. The full profiles and evaluations can be read here, but the overall summary from has been posted below.

Marcus Allen:

Allen is a punishing, downhill banger with good size and the attitude of a linebacker in run support. He's a little limited in terms of his lateral movement and agility and is at his best when allowed to flow downhill. Tape appears to show a lack of long speed and range in coverage and he could see his draft stock take a hit if he runs poorly when tested. Allen's game is a little limited, but he has the toughness and tackle production of a future starter who does his best work near the line of scrimmage.

Troy Apke: NA

Saquon Barkley: 

Every-down running back with the ability to alter the course of an offense and become a face of the franchise-type player. Barkley has the rare ability to create additional yardage through elusiveness, speed, vision and feel for space in the open field. While he has been tasked with carrying a heavy load at Penn State, their decision to limit his carries somewhat this season could help Barkley headed into his rookie season. Barkley is a buffet runner who thrives with the more plates you give him and he has a chance to become an early All-Pro no matter which team takes him.

Jason Cabinda: 

Cabinda has NFL toughness and offers an impressive ability to challenge and win against blockers inside the box, but his lack of athleticism could make finding a home on an NFL roster a challenge unless he can shine on special teams. Cabinda is a former high school running back who may have the potential as a lead blocker to warrant reps at fullback in camp.

Christian Campbell:

Long corner lacking the fluidity and twitch to stay connected with intermediate and deep routes. Campbell looks more comfortable playing off the line where his long arms have a shot to cover for his inconsistent footwork. He's not a fluid enough athlete and hasn't made enough plays on the ball to warrant much excitement, but if he runs well, his size and speed could get him drafted.

Mike Gesicki:

If you are looking for a tight end who can line up and help in the running game, he's not your guy. However, if you want a pass-catcher who can get open and has the ball skills to win against linebackers and safeties, he might be your guy. Gesicki needs to improve his play strength and his issues as a blocker could limit the amount of teams who will target him, but he has a chance to become one of the better pass catching tight ends in the league.

Grant Haley:

Slot corner who plays with good anticipation from zone and who has adequate athletic ability and foot quickness to compete in man coverage. Haley's lack of size and inconsistency as a tackler will be a concern for teams. Haley has enough twitch and cover talent to offer up competition at the slot and his four years of experience on Penn State's special teams units could help his cause.

DaeSean Hamilton:

Four-year starter and one of the team leaders who helped to turn Penn State's fortunes around. Big slot who lacks shiftiness from the slot, but is able to uncover with disciplined, consistent routes. Much like his athletic ability, his production was solid, but nothing special. While his size is a bonus for teams who like big-bodies in the slot, how he runs and tests could go a long way into if and when he gets drafted. He could land on the back end of the roster, but it needs to be the right team.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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