Roar Lions Roundtable: Which offensive player from another school would you love to steal?

By Len Damico on June 13, 2017 at 10:15 am
Nov 5, 2016; Starkville, MS, USA; Texas A&M Aggies wide receiver Christian Kirk (3) carries the ball during a play that would result in a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Davis Wade Stadium. Mississippi State won 35-28. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

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Last week, we got greedy went around the nation, pillaging players to add to Penn State's defense. We continue our dream-world thought experiment with some players we'd greedily add to the prolific Nittany Lion offense.


Christian Kirk • WR, Texas A&M

This is a little bit selfish, with Penn State being so deep at the skill positions, but Kirk is the type of receiver that can break a game open. What sets him apart is his versatility: he can be used out of the backfield, he can run the shallow crosses, and he can burn you deep. If you watch his highlights you’ll see he can score from all of those spots as well. Oh, and the cherry on top? He’s the best punt returner in the nation, something Penn State could use with John Reid out for the year. – Kevin Fay

Connor Williams • LT, Texas

Yes, after last year’s miraculous improvement throughout the offensive line, we should probably trust Matt Limegrover’s offseason tinkering. Still, wouldn’t an All-American left tackle with two years of remaining eligibility make life easier? Ryan Bates could move back to guard and Limegrover could then address…whatever it is going on at right tackle. Chasz Wright? Andrew Nelson? Brendan Mahon? You, dear reader? – Chris Grovich

James Washington • WR, Oklahoma State

While there were many reasons for Penn State’s sudden offensive explosion in 2016, one of the key factors was the evolution of the downfield passing game. Trace McSorley frequently exploited one-on-one matchups downfield, knowing he had Chris Godwin, Mike Gesicki and company there to beat the defensive back they were up against. As we all know, Godwin is now gone, leaving some uncertainty in his wake. Enter the top deep threat in the entire country, James Washington. Expected to be one of the nation’s premiere receivers in 2017, Washington excels on deeps balls, which would allow the Nittany Lion offense to continue humming along as it did in 2016. The Biletnikoff candidate would be an excellent fit in Happy Valley. – Nick Polak

Jan 2, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Wisconsin Badgers tight end Troy Fumagalli (81) catches a touchdown pass in front of Western Michigan Broncos cornerback Darius Phillips (4) and linebacker Caleb Bailey (8) in the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium. Wisconsin won 24-16. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Give Bill all the tight ends you have, including Wisconsin's Troy Fumagalli.  (Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)
Troy Fumagalli • TE, Wisconsin

Yes, Penn State has the best tight end in college football in Mike Gesicki, I am fully aware of this as the person who drove the “Actually, Mike Gesicki Rules” bandwagon heading into last season. But Gesicki is at his best when he’s being a 6’6 wide receiver who creates matchup problems all across the field. Why not go for a thunder and lightning thing and get the best all-around tight end in America next to him? Fumagalli isn’t the receiver Gesicki is, but he is still a major threat in the passing game. Oh, and he gets joy out of blowing people up as a blocker, as he is among the best blocking tight ends in the sport. Getting him frees up Gesicki to make defensive backs look silly, makes life easier on the offensive line, and gives Saquon Barkley and Trace McSorley more room to cook. The offense doesn’t have too many major holes, and it’s plausible that someone like Jonathan Holland steps in and does a Fumagalli-lite impression this season. But for now, let’s go with the guaranteed thing and go from having the best tight end in the nation to having the two best tight ends in the nation. – Bill DiFilippo 

Courtland Sutton • WR, SMU

Penn State has plenty of receiving options heading into this season, but is there a go-to guy that can step up and replace Chris Godwin? That player will eventually emerge, but give me Sutton, a 6–4, 218 pound monster that hauled in 76 passes for an obscene 1246 yards and 10 TDs for the Mustangs. Sutton has a ridiculous catch radius, and an easy stride with surprising speed to take the top off the defense. If he played at a bigger school, he’d be a household name. – Craig Fritz

Calvin Ridley • WR, Alabama

With Chris Godwin off to the NFL, Penn State still has plenty of talent in their wide receiver corps, but they’re lacking a guy who has proven he can be The Guy. To fill that hole, I’m snagging Calvin Ridley from Alabama. He’s averaged around 80 catches, 900 yards and 7 tuddies in his first two years in Tuscaloosa. He’s an excellent route-runner with elite hands, plays faster than you think, and is an above-average blocker for a wide receiver. Sound familiar? – Len Damico

 
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