For some reason, the word that comes to mind when I think of Nate Stupar is journeyman, which is completely incorrect. Nate is a central PA resident who played his entire career at Penn State. It just seems as though he never really etched out his “spot” with the Nittany Lions. This isn’t to say he’s not a good player, because the exact opposite is true. Nate was in the unfortunate situation of sitting behind other future NFL players for most of his career but when called upon, Nate never failed to perform.
Penn State has been churning out linebackers (particularly outside LBs) at a strong clip as of late, including 10 linebackers drafted since 2005, including Nate, who was number 10. Nate sat behind a few of them, plus Bani Gbadyu, who the Raiders signed as a free agent following last year’s draft. Along with those players, Stupar shared a roster with OLBs Gerald Hodges and Mike Mauti, who will both undoubtedly be drafted a year from now.
Nate capitalized on an unfortunate injury to Mauti last year, allowing him to get noticed by scouts and ultimately drafted by the Raiders with the 230th pick in the NFL Draft.
I think, without a doubt, that Nate Stupar has NFL talent and I’m glad that the Raiders gave him a chance to prove just that. Nobody outworks Nate and I expect him to contribute on special teams early, landing him a spot on the gameday roster.
Other Penn State Players Who Were Drafted in 2012 NFL Draft:
DT Devon Still, 2nd Round, Cincinnati Bengals
Johnnie Troutman, 5th Round, San Diego Chargers
Jack Crawford, 5th Round, Oakland Raiders
Penn State Players Who Signed On NFL Rosters as Free Agents:
DB D’Antonn Lynn New York Jets
WR Derek Moye Miami Dolphins
DB Chaz Powell Oakland Raiders
TE Andrew Szcrerba Dallas Cowboys
OL Quinn Barham Detroit Lions
DE Eric Lattimore Minnesota Vikings
OL DeOn’Tae Pannell New Orleans Saints
DB Nick Sukay Buffalo Bills
RB Stephfon Green New York Jets (not confirmed)
The SEC led all conferences with 42 draft picks, while the Big Ten was next with 41.