Penn State has two 'polarizing' NFL draft prospects: Connor McGovern and Amani Oruwariye

Centre Daily Times (TNS)
  • There are varying opinions about the draft prospects of two Penn State players.
  • Analysts can't agree on Amani Oruwariye and Connor McGovern.
  • Oruwariye is a cornerback and McGovern is an offensive lineman.
Penn State cornerback Amani Oruwariye (21) before the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, in Bloomington, Ind. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)

There are few certainties in the NFL draft, but there appear to be even fewer certainties surrounding two polarizing Penn State prospects in cornerback Amani Oruwariye and offensive lineman Connor McGovern.

During a recent conference call, NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah — a former NFL scout — complimented the two Nittany Lions. But he also acknowledged that opinions on the two have varied greatly among his colleagues, starting with McGovern.

“I just like the offensive lineman; I’m a big fan of McGovern,” Jeremiah said. “And some people like him, some people are not fans at all. So I find myself on the high end with him.

“I think he’s a second-round pick. I talked to a team last night that wouldn’t take him in the first four rounds, so he’s somebody that some people just don’t care for as much.”

No recent mock draft has McGovern going later than No. 92 overall in the third round so, even if some teams are trying to avoid him on Day 2, it seems most experts believe enough teams like him early on. One of NFL Network’s mock drafts even believed he was an ideal second-round pick for the Tennessee Titans.

Connor McGovern, 66, could get selected on the second day of the NFL draft.

And Jeremiah obviously didn’t seem opposed to that idea of being an early Day 2 pick.

“I like him,” Jeremiah added. “I think he’s nasty; I think he’s a finisher. I think he’s very smart, plays with good awareness, and he can anchor down in pass protection. So he can play center, guard — I’m high on McGovern.”

Jeremiah also lauded Oruwariye, acknowledging that he questioned Oruwariye’s speed up until he ran a 4.47-second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine. That obviously helped Oruwariye’s stock — but it didn’t seem to convince everyone.

“It’s interesting; one of the more polarizing players is the corner, Amani Oruwariye,” Jeremiah said. “He’s someone that teams are split on.”

Analysts have been unable to agree on Oruwariye since the Senior Bowl. The Draft Network’s Jon Ledyard labeled Oruwariye as one of the biggest disappointments of the week, questioning his technique and physicality. And CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson said he left Senior Bowl week with more questions than he answered. But Pro Football Focus? They loved him. “Oruwariye had the best one-on-ones at the Senior Bowl,” PFF wrote, recently projecting him as a first-rounder.

So where will he go? Even Jeremiah wasn’t sure.

“I could see him going in the second round; I could see him going in the fourth round,” NFL Network’s analyst said. “So there’s a little bit of a range on him. I kind of split the difference. I have him going in that third-round range.”

Experts and fans won’t have to wait much longer for answers. The NFL draft kicks off at April 25-27 in Nashville, Tenn. The first round will take place at 8 p.m. April 25, rounds 2-3 are at 7 p.m. April 26, and rounds 4-7 start at noon April 27.