Guard Connor McGovern Declares for the 2019 NFL Draft, Forgoing His Senior Season at Penn State

By Dan Smith on January 2, 2019 at 1:48 pm
Penn State Nittany Lions offensive lineman Connor McGovern (66) blocks at the line of scrimmage against Pittsburgh Panthers linebacker Quintin Wirginis (58) during the second quarter at Heinz Field.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State guard/center Connor McGovern, who started all three seasons of his Penn State career, will declare for the 2019 NFL Draft and forgo his senior season at Penn State. McGovern was an All-Big Ten third-team selection in 2018 and announced his decision on his Twitter account.

McGovern has prototypical size for an NFL guard, at 6-foot-5 and 312 pounds, and the flexibility to play center for a team as well. Unlike many NFL guards, McGovern played most of his college career on the inside and will not be converting from tackle. He is also a rarely young player, having started for three years beginning with his true freshman season.

McGovern's departure is a blow for Penn State, which was preparing to return three multi-year starting seniors with tackle Ryan Bates and guard Steven Gonzalez also returning. While the team has much better depth than it did in years' prior, McGovern and Gonzalez have mostly been healthy since they moved into starting roles in 2016, leaving their reserve players inexperienced.

Redshirt sophomore guards Mike Miranda and C.J. Thorpe are the two most likely to battle for McGovern's spot at right guard. Both are 6-foot-3, and current center Michal Menet is 6-foot-4, so the possibility also exists that Miranda could move to center while Menet takes over at right guard. Thorpe, meanwhile, spent the second half of the 2018 season on the defensive line due to injuries to defensive tackles Ellison Jordan and Fred Hansard, but he is returning to the offensive side of the ball going forward.

Bates, meanwhile, has also been attached to rumors of going to the draft a year early, and Penn State fans will await confirmation of his decision.

McGovern is the second guard named Connor McGovern to enter the pro ranks; 2016 fifth round pick and former Missouri guard Connor McGovern currently starts at right guard for the Denver Broncos.