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Coach Joe Judge attends Penn State pro day

JOE-JUDGE
Head Coach Joe Judge

Giants coach Joe Judge was spotted in his home state of Pennsylvania on Thursday for the Nittany Lions' pro day.

Penn State boasts three prospects in NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah's top 50: linebacker Micah Parsons (No. 10), edge rusher Jayson Oweh (No. 33), and tight end Pat Freiermuth (No. 49). Parsons, who was measured at 6-foot-4 and 246 pounds, posted a 40-yard dash time of 4.39 seconds. A consensus All-American in 2019, Parsons elected to forgo last season and finished his career tied for seventh all-time at Penn State with six forced fumbles.

"Parsons has a big, athletic frame and possesses excellent speed and versatility," Jeremiah wrote in his scouting report. "He is quick to key/read before attacking the line of scrimmage. He can defeat blocks with his hands or use his quickness to slip past them. He has the speed to make plays sideline to sideline, although there were a few occasions where he overran the football in the games I studied. He also had some issues sniffing out the ball on zone reads. He's very gifted in coverage versus tight ends and running backs. He has timing and burst as a blitzer off the edge. Overall, there aren't many holes in Parsons' game. It's difficult to find linebackers with his size and ability to impact the passing game."

Oweh, meanwhile, bested Parsons by a few fractions of a second and clocked in with a 4.36 40-yard dash. Last season, the 6-foot-5, 252-pounder joined teammate Shaka Toney as the first Penn State defensive end duo to receive All-Big Ten first-team honors since Courtney Brown and Brad Scioli in 1998.

"Oweh is a long, lean-muscled edge rusher," Jeremiah wrote. "He is more disruptive than productive on 2020 tape. As a pass rusher, he explodes out of his four-point stance and flashes an effective chop/rip and an occasional up/under move. However, there are too many snaps where he doesn't have much of a plan. He does have the ability to bend at the top of his rush and collected a lot of QB hits on the tape I watched. He didn't have any sacks to show for it in 2020, though. He plays too high against the run, but he uses his length to press out tackles and set the edge. He will get washed by down blocks when aligned inside. Overall, Oweh is an intriguing talent with his best football ahead of him."

With no NFL Scouting Combine in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, pro days have taken on an added significance. Judge spoke earlier this month about the need to "put scouts in the right positions to watch these pro days" due to the three-person limit for each NFL club. 

"I'd say we have a lot of confidence in going through the draft last year without pro days at all, dealing solely with talking to players after the Combine on Zoom," said Judge, who was born in Philadelphia. "And I think we did a good job working as an organization to evaluate them through that process based on their game tape, to get together and make sure that we agreed in how we saw the player and what the best decision for the team going forward was.

"Now, ideally leading into the Draft, you want to get out there, you want to meet in person with these players, you want to look them in the eye, you want to get on the field with them, you want to put them through drills and you want to really get a feel for these guys on the field – how they respond to your coaching, what they can and can't do on the field and really get a feel for their skillset up close. You know, video tape is good, but there's really no replacing in-person workouts. That being said, because of the travel around the country right now and then also some of the restrictions at the campus, we're going to be selective about where we send coaches as far as being out to work guys out because, again, you're more going there as an observer than you are to actually work out the players. It's definitely different than in the past.

"I'd say it's not too dissimilar than the Combine itself where you'd sit in the stands in Indy or in a suite and watch the players work out, but to be honest with you, I'd say 90 percent of the coaches and personnel that are in the booths or in the suites are looking at the guy on the field and then they're looking at the replay on the screen on TV to get an up-close look at it. It's not the most ideal view as it is anyway, so, long-winded answer, will there be people out there? There will. Is it going to be as much traveling as in the past or as much interaction? No, it won't. However, I'd say we have a lot of confidence in going through the draft last year without pro days at all, dealing solely with talking to players after the Combine on Zoom and I think we did a good job working as an organization to evaluate them through that process based on their game tape, to get together and make sure that we agreed in how we saw the player and what the best decision for the team going forward was."

NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah updated his ranking of the top 50 prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft for the final time before the start of the draft.

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