An NFL scout recently told me this is the least-talented Penn State team he has seen in many years, in terms of pro talent.
Scan the Nittany Lions' roster closely, and you'll be hard-pressed to find one sure-fire NFL starter. Not one.
There are a few players who project well and could become NFL starters if they continue to develop and/or land in the right situation. Here are my picks as the best prospects:
1. RB Silas Redd: He's just a true freshman and has a long way to go, but he has the feet and quickness to be a good NFL back. He's been effective this season behind a weak offensive line, rushing for 367 yards and 6.4 yards per carry. He will take over the starting role next year and, if he progresses nicely, could be a special player in the program.
2. LB Michael Mauti: The linebacking unit is down this season, but it's not Mauti's fault. He's the only playmaker on defense. He just needs to stay healthy. He missed last year with a knee injury and is out this week with a dislocated shoulder. He's only a sophomore and will continue to improve.
3. G Stefen Wisniewski: He's likely to be a first-team All-American despite having what many believe to be an average season. He has name recognition and will get a shot in the NFL, but his upside isn't as good as Redd's or Mauti's.
PSU in the pros
A total of 29 former PSU players are in the NFL, although 12 are either inactive, injured or on a practice squad.
Anthony Adams DT...Bears
*--Injured; I--Inactive for team's last game; %--On practice squad
4. WR Derek Moye: The junior has the size (6-5) to be a factor in the NFL but will have to bulk up (198).
5. WR Justin Brown: The 6-3, 216-pound sophomore ultimately may be better than Moye, so it was a tough call between the two.
6. RB Evan Royster: PSU's career rushing leader may be a mid-round pick, but I don't have high expectations for him.
7. CB D'Anton Lynn: May be a reach, but he should get a shot in the NFL and could develop into a contributor.
8. P Anthony Fera: He's averaging 41.6 yards as a freshman, is very good on kickoffs and could be a decent NFL kicker.
True freshman quarterback Rob Bolden and linebackers Khairi Fortt and Gerald Hodges may turn out to be NFL prospects, but it's way too early to tell.
Cory Giger is the host of "Sports Central" from 4 to 6 p.m. daily on ESPN Radio 1430 WVAM. He can be reached at 949-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.