Johnson PSU's top-rated NFL prospect
The NFL Combine invitations are out, and five former Penn State players will be in Indianapolis later this month. Here's the list.
Quarterback Christian Hackenberg
Defensive tackle Austin Johnson
Safety Jordan Lucas
Defensive end Carl Nassib
Defensive tackle Anthony Zettel
More interesting, however, are the prospect rankings given each player, according to NFL.com. None of Penn State's five invitees is projected as an "instant starter," "Pro Bowl-caliber player" or better.
In fact, all five are graded as either an NFL backup, special teams player or possible starter.
Here's part of NFL.com's grade description, followed by Penn State's player grades.
4.75-4.99: Should be in an NFL training camp
5.00: 50-50 chance to make and NFL roster
5.01-5.19: Better-than-average chance to make an NFL roster
5.20-5.49: NFL backup or special teams potential
5.50-5.99: Chance to become NFL starter
6.00-6.49: Should become instant starter
6.50-6.99: Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
7.00-7.49: Pro Bowl-caliber player
7.50-7.99: Future All-Pro
8.00-8.99: Perennial All-Pro
9.00-10: Once-in-a-lifetime player
For Penn State, Austin Johnson Johnson has the highest ceiling, according to NFL.com.
Austin Johnson: 5.91
Christian Hackenberg: 5.61
Carl Nassib: 5.61
Anthony Zettel: 5.32
Jordan Lucas: 5.23