Projecting Penn State's 2020 Draft Prospects

By Matthew Filipovits on May 2, 2019 at 9:00 am
Oct 27, 2018; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos (99) during the fourth quarter against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Iowa 30-24. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
© Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Draft has come and gone with six Nittany Lions hearing their names called and six more signing on as undrafted free agents. A lot can happen between now and next year's draft, but let's take a look at some Nittany Lions who could hear their names called at the 2020 NFL Draft. 

Yetur Gross Matos (Jr.) - DE

Gross-Matos had an absolute monster season as a true sophomore, raking up 20 tackles for loss. He's clearly on the NFL's radar, appearing as a borderline first-round pick in a few early mock drafts. He has the perfect build for a pro defensive end, and with another season like he just had, he's likely to secure his status as a Day 1 pick. 

Steven Gonzalez (Rs-Sr.) - OG

No player was on the field as much as Steven Gonzalez was last season (888 total snaps). The fifth-year senior is one of the most experienced linemen in the Big Ten, starting 29 games over the past three seasons. An All-Big Ten honorable mention last season, Gonzalez will be very attractive for teams looking to build up some depth along the offensive line. A strong season could push him into the second day. 

Robert WIndsor (Rs-Sr.) - DT

Windsor came on very strong towards the end of the 2018 season and his absence in the bowl game was heavily felt. He's very fast for his size and could thrive in a traditional 4-3 defense as he is. If he bulks up, he could become solid nose tackle in a 3-4. 

Garrett Taylor (RS-SR.) - S

A first-time starter, Taylor had a fantastic season opposite of Nick Scott, grading out as one of the nation's best safeties for a portion of the season. A former corner, he displayed strong ball skills, tying for the team lead in picks. He's also unafraid to come up and help in the run game. He's a definite pick and could develop into an NFL starter before long. 

John Reid (Rs-Sr.) - CB

Reid was almost certainly starting to get NFL looks after a strong sophomore campaign. A lost 2017 season and a slow start to 2018 didn't help ease any worries teams may have had about him, but he rediscovered his form and looked like the Reid of old for the second half of the season. Barring injury, he could be a steal for a team in the later rounds. 

Blake Gillikin (Sr.) - P

Two punters heard their names called in the 2019 Draft, so it's not impossible for a specialist to be selected. Gillikin has been Mr. Reliable over the past three seasons, bringing Penn State's punting game to new heights. He also doubles as Penn State's holder, giving himself another bullet to put on his resume. A return to form in his final season could put him on the NFL radar.

Cam Brown (Sr.) - LB

Brown has all the physical tools to be a great linebacker, he just needs to put it all together. He's heading into his second season as the full-time starter, so teams already have a good idea what he is capable of. A four-year contributor on special teams, he could follow the same path as Nick Scott: drafted to be a force on special teams while vying for time on defense. 

Tariq Castro-Fields (Jr.) - CB

TCF could follow the same path as Amani Oruwariye: be a role player for two years, have a solid lone season as a starter, and become an NFL draft pick. TCF does everything pretty well, but it's his size, and ability to hold his own in the run game that will make him so appealing if he decides to forgo his senior season.

KJ hamler (RS-Soph.) - WR

Hamler will definitely have a home in the NFL. His speed is second to none, giving him value as both a returner and a receiver. With that being said, the 2021 Draft seems more likely for Hamler. Which is great news for Penn State fans, meaning we get a few more years of this. 

View 4 Comments