PSU underclassmen in the draft
Position: Tight end
Size: 6-7, 270
2014 stats: 38 catches, 396 yards, three TDs
Strengths: Size, pass-catching skills, athleticism
Dan Shonka’s draft projection: Third round, maybe late second with strong workouts. “There wasn’t a lot of tight ends projected out there, so James is probably going to be OK coming out.”
Analysis: “He needs work on his blocking. He’s got that angular build, he’s a big target guy, he does a lot of good things. He basically runs a lot of complementary routes, not feature-type routes. He’s got to get stronger, his run after catch is kind of up and down a little bit.
“He’s got to be able to set the edge, hook the ends, stay with them and not get knocked back. He’s got to be able to cut off a speed rusher if he gets a double move outside and comes underneath him. He’s got to be able to lock on and drive that guy down across the pile, so he’s got to get stronger to do that. He’s got to catch the ball regularly with his hands. He did a lot of cradle catching and stuff like that.”
Position: Left tackle
Size: 6-5, 340
2014 stats: Started at left tackle for third straight year, finishing career with 31 starts
Weaknesses: Mistake-prone, footwork
Dan Shonka’s draft projection: Fifth or sixth round. “I was very surprised by Smith (turning pro). There’s a lot of depth in that offensive tackle group this year.”
Analysis: “He’s probably going to have to go inside to guard. Don’t know if he’s got those left tackle feet. You can’t have enough offensive linemen in the National Football League. There’s something there. He runs those defensive ends up the field. A little problem with redirection when a two-move player tries to come underneath him. But he does have some ability.”
Position: Defensive end
Size: 6-4, 255
2014 stats: 44 tackles (20 solo), 6 sacks, 12 1/2 tackles for loss
Strengths: Able to get into backfield and be disruptive presence.
Weaknesses: Bull-rush skills questionable at pro level. Still needs work stopping the run.
Dan Shonka’s draft projection: Fourth or fifth round. “I really thought Barnes was going to stay. There’s probably 10 or 15 guys like Deion Barnes coming out.”
Analysis: “You’ve got to find the spot for him. I know that we’ve got him in that fourth, fifth-round type area. He could have maybe gone in the third if he was there another year.”
– Compiled by Cory?Giger