Sanders, McGovern first Nittany Lions off the board

From Mirror reports

Miles Sanders played his high school ball in Pittsburgh at Woodland Hills, in college at Penn State and will remain in the Keystone State in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Sanders was the first Penn State player selected in this year’s NFL draft, as the running back went to the Eagles in the second round. He was the 21st pick of the second round and 53rd pick overall in the draft.

Penn State offensive lineman Connor McGovern also heard his name called Friday as he was selected in the third round by the Dallas Cowboys. He was the 26th pick of the third round and 90th pick overall.

Cornerback Amani Oruwariye was considered a strong possibility for the third round but was not selected Friday. He will have to wait until today, when the draft will hold rounds four through seven.

Sanders, who waited his turn for two years behind Saquon Barkley at Penn State, was the Nittany Lions’ starting tailback for just one season. But he was impressive enough as a junior in 2018 to declare for the draft a year early, and his decision paid off as he was taken in the second round.

“We couldn’t be more proud to see Miles’ name on the NFL draft board,” PSU coach James Franklin said in a university statement. “He prepared every day in practice as if he was going to be the starter throughout his career. When his time came, it was no surprise to see him excel, and we expect to see more of the same from him with the Eagles.”

With Barkley playing for the New York Giants and Sanders with the Eagles, they will meet twice a year as NFC East rivals. Sanders said on a conference call Friday that he and Barkley had spoken and were looking forward to facing each other in the pros.

Sanders rushed for 1,274 yards and nine TDs last season for PSU. He also caught 24 passes for 139 yards, improving substantially in that aspect of his game.

He was a five-star recruit coming out of high school, and some publications rated him then as the best prep running back in the country.

“Miles has a ton of all-around potential and possesses a three-down skill set,” Franklin said. “He is decisive, can run north-south, changes direction well, runs behind his pads and at the combine as well as our pro day, he proved he can be a weapon as a receiver out of the backfield. Miles is another in a long lineage of great Penn State running backs.”

McGovern was listed by NFL.com as the second-highest rated PSU player in the draft, behind only Sanders. McGovern left school a year early to chase his pro dreams, and his decision was rewarded with a third-round selection.

“Bigtime Congrats to one hell of a player and person!! The dallascowboys just got better!!” PSU offensive line coach Matt Limegrover tweeted Friday.

“We are excited for Connor to continue his career with the Dallas Cowboys,” Franklin said. “Connor was a three-year starter for us, after earning the starting job as a true freshman, and truly became a leader in the O-Line room the last couple of years.

“He has great lateral quickness for his size, which will be valuable on the next level. Connor is naturally strong on the field and plays with a finisher’s mentality. His flexibility to play multiple positions across the offensive line is really valuable.”

Along with Oruwariye, other PSU players who could be drafted today include: DE Shareef Miller, OL Ryan Bates, DT Kevin Givens, S Nick Scott and QB Trace McSorley.

COMMENTS