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Bischoff | Penn State uses big plays and trickery to down Hoosiers

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Scouting Notes

Bischoff | Penn State uses big plays and trickery to down Hoosiers

Indiana Hoosiers @ #4 Penn State Nittany Lions


Beaver Stadium – State College, PA

Score:  Penn State (45), Indiana (14)

Penn State Nittany Lions

Trace McSorley, QB (Junior)

McSorley was very hit and miss throwing the ball in this game. His highs are very good but he can make really bad throws at bad times in a football game. This was on display when he made a great back shoulder throw for a touchdown and followed that up a few plays later with a very bad decision that led to an interception while rolling out of the pocket. McSorley can get a touch panicky in the pocket at times and it causes him to throw the ball before a route can get set up. Stock: Down

Saquon Barkley, RB (Junior)

Barkley returned the kickoff to open the game and his long speed was on display during the return.  He also showed the ability to make one cut, explode out of that cut and then accelerate into space. His patience was on display during the game and that “one cut and go” ability was evident throughout the game. He made a fantastic one-handed catch on a screen pass and turned up the field quickly to generate a lot of yards after the catch. Barkley is very dangerous every time he touches the ball, but the Penn State offensive line doesn’t always give him room to operate. One thing I noted multiple times was that he went down on contact when that contact wasn’t heavy, or with lots of players. For a bigger back, he does go down far too easy at times, and it is something to monitor going forward. Stock: Same

Mike Gesicki, TE (Senior)

Gesicki is a dangerous weapon in the Nittany Lions offense, but he was hurt early in the game and only caught three passes. He looks like a plodder and I have a hard time gauging his speed, but he is an excellent route runner and he seems to consistently find ways to get open. Stock: Same

Jason Cabinda, LB (Senior)

Cabinda was all over the field in this game and he showed a bunch of NFL level traits throughout the game. He is amazingly fast to diagnose and find the ball, and his short-area quickness allows him to get to the ball in a flash. He is incredibly fast from the middle of the defense and comes forward in a technically sound manner to wrap up the ball carrier with ease. He is explosive in his movements and he plays with great instincts and that’s a fantastic blend of traits. Stock: Up

Marcus Allen, S (Senior)

Allen was very fast to diagnose a wide receiver screen and blow the play up before it got started. He is a physical safety and stronger coming forward in the box to defend the run than he is away from the line of scrimmage defending the pass. Stock: Same

Grant Haley, CB (Senior)

Haley plays a very physical brand of football and that’s on display during the Penn State games. He’s feisty and uber competitive and those are traits that will help him going forward. Because he is small, he is going to get labled a slot corner and truly, that fits his skill set pretty well. Stock: Same

Indiana Hoosiers

Richard Lagow, QB (Senior)

Lagow looks to have issues with his lower body base and it causes the ball to come out high and to float at times. There are times when he simply will not step into a throw and that also leads to inaccuracy and throws that tend to be high which is dangerous if they’re coming over the middle. When he misses, he tends to miss high and behind his receiver, and this happened far too often in this game. Stock: Down

Simmie Cobbs, WR (Redshirt Junior)

Cobbs is a tall, thickly built wide receiver, and he fully understands how to use his big body to create separation. He is a good route runner and I’d expect him to be a big, possession type of pass catcher. He caught a touchdown on a slant route, and he bodied the defender on his back hip and his body is too big for the defender to get to the ball. This kind of play is very hard to defend. Stock: Same

Tegray Scales, LB (Senior)

Scales made a few eye-popping plays in the game. Early in the game he made a fantastic play to bring down Barkley behind the line of scrimmage. Scales is a fast-twitch player and is explosive and fast, and he brings a heightened sense of urgency in finding the ball, and attacking it. As a blitzer, he is on top of the quarterback before the quarterback can recognize it and that speaks to Scales’ closing speed. He is a dynamic hit and chase, diagnose and pursue type of player that fits perfectly in NFL defenses at this time. Stock: Up

Ian Thomas, TE (Senior)

Thomas is a well-rounded prospect as he does a nice job in all phases of the game. He is a willing blocker and does a nice job through effort. Thomas runs really good routes and catches the ball very naturally. He runs with excellent speed and quickness and is very under the radar at his point of his senior season. Stock: Up

Other Players that Flashed 

Penn State WR DaeSean Hamilton (senior): Hamilton won at the catch point multiple times and showed great body control and the ability to adjust with the ball in the air. While he isn’t a burner, he is quick and fast at the college level and separates easily. He runs good routes with efficient footwork. He took on a bigger role with Gesicki out. Hamilton scored three touchdowns in the game and overall, he had a very big day.

Penn State WR Juwan Thompson (Junior): Thompson flashed the ability to use his huge frame to separate from college cornerbacks. He is a massive target but he is very smooth in the way he catches the ball.

Best Players on the Field 

Saquon Barkley, RB Penn State (Junior)

Jason Cabinda, LB Penn State (Senior)

Tegray Scales, LB, Indiana (Senior)

Scott Bischoff

Scott Bischoff has appeared on ESPN radio satellites, podcasts and other media outlets and is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association of America, the Football Writers Association of America and the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. Bischoff is an analyst at Draft Breakdown. Bischoff has written for the Bleacher Report, going through their writing internship in the summer of 2012. He was a Featured Columnist for the Detroit Lions and the NFL draft. While taking a scouting class through the National Football Post in 2012, he approached Russ Lande at GM Junior Scouting about joining his staff and was brought on, joining the crew at the 2012 Senior Bowl. Bischoff now brings his keen eye for the game to NDT Scouting as of February 2017.

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