Penn State vs. Ohio State in the NFL
Both Penn State and Ohio State have a rich history of getting players to the NFL. Currently Ohio State has 33 players on NFL rosters, while Penn State has 27.
Top 3 Ohio State Players
3. Terrelle Pryor
Yes, this might be a stretch, but honestly Terrelle Pryor has not been that awful this year. Pryor has turned a blatantly unwatchable Raiders team into a borderline unwatchable team. Oakland can actually be pretty fun to watch. Pryor has no offensive line to work with and no healthy running back, yet this just makes him that much more fun to watch.
Pryor is one of the only quarterbacks that could possibly succeed on a team like this because of his speed. The Raiders quarterback is averaging a ridiculous 6.5 yards per carry, and his offensive does not help. Pryor’s main knock in college was his accuracy. Through 5 games Pryor is completing 64.5 percent of his passes, good enough for 10th in the league. Granted, this is a small sample size, but quarterbacks should get better as the year progresses. Pryor is currently the third best player from Ohio State, some people might wonder what he would do with more around him.
1a. Nick Mangold
1b. Alex Boone
This was an extremely hard choice and really any team would be happy with either player on the line. Currently Jets center Nick Mangold is better because he has four more years of experience; is doing more with less; and the team relies on him for much more than Alex Boone. Both of these guys are Pro Bowl quality linemen and contribute greatly to their teams success.
Boone is a guard for the 49ers that can move with any defensive lineman in the league. Mangold is the center for a surprising Jets team and is considered the glue of the offensive line. With a rookie quarterback, Mangold has to make various line calls for Geno Smith and the offensive line. Although the Jets have let up 10 more sacks than the Niners, you can chalk that up to a rookie quarterback being slow on reads or holding onto the ball for too long.
Boone has a ton of help on his line with other standout lineman including Mike Iupati, Joe Staley and Anthony Davis. It really is no wonder that the Niners rank third in the league in rushing yards. Ohio State has been known to develop good offensive linemen and both Mangold and Boone are no exception.
Top 3 Penn State Players
3. Sean Lee
Lee broke out onto the NFL scene when he led the Dallas Cowboys in tackles in 2011. Since then, the train has not stopped as Lee continues to improve. Lee is the primary run stopper for Dallas and he consistently defends the opponent’s best tight end.
Lee moves incredibly well in the open field and it shows when defending the pass and run. Linebackers have to find the hole, much like a running back. At times Lee seems to get to the hole faster than the runner. While defending the pass, Lee has great instincts and enough speed to close on the ball. The Cowboys definitely have a keeper and are ecstatic to have Lee starting for them for years to come.
2. NaVorro Bowman
Bowman is the jack-of-all-trades linebacker that every team dreams of having. Want someone to defend the run while Patrick Willis is hurt? Don’t mind if I do. Want someone to defend the pass when an opposing tight end is going off? Sure, I’ll shut him down. Want someone to blitz non-stop and make everyone realize Sam Bradford just isn’t good? Of course coach! The more you watch the 49ers the more you appreciate Bowman. You get the feeling that Harbaugh is comfortable with him performing any task and it really shows on the field.
When star linebacker Willis injured his groin, it was Bowman’s turn to step up and show everyone what he could do. Bowman certainly did not disappoint and showed the world how deep this Niners defense is. Bowman will continue to grow and improve on his impressive numbers.
1. Tamba Hali
Really nothing more can be said about the 7-0 Chiefs and their fantastic defense, but Hali has been exceptionally stellar this year. The veteran already has an incredible nine sacks on the year. Kansas City’s success is owed in part, to a group of pass rushers. Dontari Poe, Justin Houston, Tyson Jackson and Hali rush almost every play and put a tremendous amount of pressure on the opposing quarterback.
Hali has also done a great job creating turnovers, and has already forced four fumbles and an interception for a touchdown. Kansas City, led by their defense, are the darlings of the NFL right now and Hali is a huge part of the team’s success.
Both Penn State and Ohio State have showed that if you play for their football teams you have a significant shot to make the NFL.
Tim Alvarez is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.