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Draft notebook: Penn State is in the New York metropolitan area?

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Notes and tidbits we might have missed as we grind through the draft process

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The 2019 NFL Draft is less than three weeks away, and teams are still in the process of gathering as much last-minute information as they can. The Draft Process itself is nearing its end as campus Pro Days wrapped up on the fourth with Eastern Washington and Stanford’s Pro Day. From here on in, the bulk of the draft news will be which teams are bringing which prospects in for visits, along with speculation on what those visits might mean.

Of course the New York Giants are bringing prospects in, and considering they can hope for one of the elite defensive prospects to fall to them, they are looking at them all.

Giants look at Drew Lock and Trace McSorley

The Giants have certainly been doing their due diligence on nearly every quarterback in the 2019 Draft. It isn’t surprising to see Jordan Raanan of ESPN report that they were bringing Missouri quarterback Drew Lock in as a Top 30 visit. Rumors have swirled that Giants head coach Pat Shurmur might be intrigued with Lock’s raw physical tools, and mock drafters have begun selecting him above Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins.

However, the following report, that they are using one of their Top 30 visits to bring in Penn State’s Trace McSorley, was certainly a surprise.

The Giants have been bringing prospects in for pre-draft visits, so it is understandable that Raanan might have thought that McSorley is a Top 30 visit. However, as he amended in a later tweet, McSorley does not count against the Giants’ 30-player cap on visits. That is important for a few reasons, but the most immediate is that teams are allowed to time and test prospects in local visits.

The rules are a bit wonky, stating that if a player comes from within the team city’s “metropolitan area,” and transports themselves, it does not count towards the total. While the Penn State campus isn’t that far from MetLife Stadium (only about 90 miles), it is only just outside Philadelphia, and is definitely more local for the Eagles.

Perhaps the northeast teams are arguing that as a part of the Northeast Megaloplolis they all share a metropolitan area?

Other Top 30 visits

The Giants are bringing some other noteworthy players in for visits in the coming days. The NFL has placed strict rules on those visits, starting with the fact that they count as official visits when the teams transport players to their facilities — which seems to be the distinguishing characteristic of the McSorley visit.

When visits are official, teams are allowed to hold medical and written tests, as well as interviews. However, they are not allowed to time prospects or put them through field drills, which they can do on their local pro day.

So, let’s get to some visits of note:

  • Quinnen Williams (DT, Alabama) - Reported by Kim Jones
  • Josh Allen (EDGE, Kentucky) - Reported by Adam Schefter
  • Nick Bosa (EDGE, Ohio State)
  • Ed Oliver (DT, Houston)
  • Dwayne Haskins (QB, Ohio State)
  • Daniel Jones (QB, Duke) - It was also widely reported that the Giants traveled to Duke to hold a workout for Jones.
  • Jaylon Ferguson (DL, Louisiana Tech) - Reported by Ryan Dunleavy of NJ Advance Media - Ferguson was not allowed to work out at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine due to an fight outside of a McDonalds his junior year.
  • Dexter Lawrence (DT, Clemson)
  • Taylor Rapp (S, Washington) - Reported by Matt Lombardo of NJ Advance Media
  • P.J. Johnson (DT, Arizona) - Reported by Matt Lombardo of NJ Advance Media

Stanford receiver has good day

Stanford wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside decided to skip the measurable portions of the Scouting Combine. That turned out to be a good decision, as he turned heads with a 4.49-second 40-yard dash.

While a 4.49 isn’t “blazing” speed, for a receiver who measures 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, that is a solid time. For reference, Dez Bryant ran a 4.52 and Josh Gordan ran a 4.53 at similar sizes. While his athleticism might not jump off the field, Arcega-Whiteside confirmed that he is impressive for his size.