The Washington Redskins selected Penn State all-time rushing leader Evan Royster in the 6th round of the NFL Draft (Nationals Journal, The Post). Having watched 4 seasons of Royster as a Nittany Lion, I thought I’d share a few notes about Royster.
Royster has a great field vision and can find a hole better than most backs. He lacks speed though, but is not easy to bring down, especially after he gets going. The concern about Royster is his production was dropping the longer he was in the program. He was not a favorite of Joe Paterno either, though that was downplayed officially. He did not have the strongest offensive line in front of him the last two years.
As a sixth rounder, Royster isn’t a bad pick, particularly giving how many picks the Redskins had this year. He grew up in Fairfax County so between that and the inability to sign free agents due to the lockout, I wonder if Royster still would have been drafted in a normal year. Also, anyone who ever watched Royster play with the Nittany Lions may recall he was a highly touted lacrosse player at Westfields High School. I would be surprised to see Royster on the roster at the start of the season, but he can probably make the practice squad. I am pulling for him, but I am not expecting too much. Then again, if there is one thing Mike Shanahan knows how to do, it is find running backs who can rush for 1,000 yards in a season.
The only other Penn State player drafted, Stefen Wisniewski was picked by the Oakland Raiders (Oakland Tribune) where his uncle Steve Wisniewski is the offensive line coach after a long career in the silver and black. The younger Wisniewski played guard and center at Penn State with distinction, but I couldn’t stand his weak shutgun snaps.