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Film room scouting report on Penn State center/guard Connor McGovern

The Panthers need to look for depth on the offensive line in this year’s draft. Does former Penn State center/guard Connor McGovern make sense for Carolina on Day 2?

NCAA Football: Kent State at Penn State Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Connor McGovern had an accomplished high school career in Pennsylvania. He was a consensus four star recruit, four-year letterman, and he was a finalist for Mr. Football in his state. McGovern made an immediate impact once he stepped on campus. He started 35 out of 39 games during his three-year tenure at Penn State. McGovern was part of an offensive line that helped pave the way for running back Saquon Barkley in 2016 and 2017.

He did not participate in every Combine workout, but he did post a 4.57 short shuttle, 7.66 3-cone, 28 bench press reps, and a 9.33 broad. During his 3 year career, McGovern was responsible for 52 total blown blocks (27 pass, 25 rush) according to Sports Info Solutions.

Film review

McGovern switched between center and right guard for the Nittany Lions. Penn State’s offense during his three seasons were primarily a zone running team. According to Sports Info Solutions, McGovern executed 53.9% zone blocks and 32% of gap runs. McGovern is a reliable pass protector, but he struggles to land first contact.

McGovern is the right guard (No. 66) on this play. He does’t extend his hands quick enough, which exposes his chest. While that can be a deterrent for many guards, it’s not for McGovern. He’s able to recover thanks to his core strength and anchor.

Here is a similar situation for McGovern. Late off the snap, but he leverages his movement skills and lower body to keep the pocket clean.

Check out each of these plays and please tell me why each defender thinks it’s a smart idea to use a long arm against McGovern? They can’t win. He is not easily bull rushed. That’s a positive because it means he has ample functional strength to hold up in any situation.

The issues with McGovern as a pass blocker come within the first few seconds after the snap. He struggles to gain the initial punch, which places him in a scrambling position.

As a run blocker, the first thing that stands out is McGovern’s athleticism. He gets to the second level fluidly while locating his target and making contact.

McGovern’s leg drive on combo blocks is impressive . He generates plenty of power through his lower half while maintaining an ideal position to remove the defender from the gaps.

Fit with Carolina

McGovern was primarily a right guard and center for Penn State. During the NFL Network broadcast of the Combine, Joe Thomas said it takes approximately three months for a player to switch sides. The Panthers have a Pro Bowl right guard in Trai Turner. It would make sense for McGovern to be considered at center. He should be considered on Day 2 of the draft.