Ahhhh, to dream a little dream. For most of the dream chasers, the journey they’re on began in their pee-wee years. Nearly two decades worth of blood, sweat, and bucket loads of tears along the way. It’s a journey scattered full of wins and losses, on the scoreboard and in the classroom, as both were intertwined up until this point. The gridiron was and remains their playground moving forward. With each and every step along the way, that dream grew more vivid as their journey gained steam and barreled down the tracks. This weekend, for the handful that’s left standing on this journey, dreams really do come true.
All eyes descend on Nashville, Tennessee tonight as the 2019 NFL Draft kicks off at 8 p.m. Over the next three days, childhood dreams become reality, and there is no shortage of Nittany Lions expected to hear their names called by the time it all wraps up on Saturday night and lingers into next week, as undrafted free agents get their call as well. In the latest mock drafts as many as seven who called Happy Valley home over the last few years are projected to find new homes and new fan bases, but will always have Nittany Nation to fall back on no matter where this next chapter in their journey takes them.
Tonight may just be an appetizer as none are expected to go in the coveted first round, although nothing is beyond the realm of possibility. Running back Miles Sanders and guard/tackle/center Connor McGovern, both juniors that declared early, stand as good a chance as any, and cornerback Amani Oruwariye could leapfrog them both as scouts have raved over his length, speed, and coverage skills. Three more juniors, defensive end/linebacker Shareef Miller, tackle Ryan Bates, and defensive tackle Kevin Givens have done nothing but raise their stock since the lights went out in the Citrus Bowl, and all three seem to be surefire mid-to-late round picks.
And then there’s Trace; the warrior. The ultimate underdog. The kid that was too short to play QB in college, yet he left Penn State holding an entire bounty full of passing records. He’s passed all the tests, including the question of arm strength. He’s faced this wall before and we all know the outcome. Someone somewhere is going to give #9 a shot and they’re going to be glad they did. The latest has him going in the sixth round to…wait for it…the Houston Texans, coached by none other than Bill O’Brien. Now, wouldn’t that be the icing on the cake as our dream chasers start another chapter in their journey?