Penn State Football: Nick Scott offers big-play ability to NFL
Penn State football safety Nick Scott isn’t slated to get drafted, but his versatility and playmaking ability could land him somewhere after the draft.
A position change from running back to free safety saw Nick Scott go from a reserve back to a star ballhawking safety over his five years in Happy Valley. In his one season as a starter, he helped lead Penn State football’s defense to another solid campaign in 2018. His lone year didn’t give NFL teams a lot of film to work with, but one thing that Scott did do since he started seeing time on the field is make plays.
Scott always found the football and typically rolled momentum over to the Nittany Lions when he made big plays. Moments like his red-zone interception that helped Penn State pickup a ranked win against Iowa in 2018, the fumble return for a touchdown against Indiana in 2017 to continue what would-be a blowout or his numerous, thundering, big hits that made crowds “ooh” and “ahh”. He brought an edge to the defense that brought life to the stadium each Saturday.
Although the NFL.com Draft Tracker doesn’t have him listed as a major prospect out of Penn State in the upcoming draft, he’ll get a chance to prove his skills at a camp.
The senior safety brings a broad game to the next level, as noted above. But first, let’s talk about where he’ll be looked at in is position of free safety. Scott racked up 97 tackles (65 in 2018), three interceptions, all in 2018, two pass deflections and two fumble recoveries in the last two seasons.
Scott aided a team that allowed just 20.5 points per game, which ranked 23 out of 130 programs. The Lions also allowed just 181.5 yards per game through the air. He had a lot to do with that. With his bone-rattling hits and speed, he patrolled the secondary, striking fear into opponents.
It wasn’t just the passing game though. The senior slammed running backs down regularly. He’s not afraid to fill holes and stop the run. I’m sure his time as a running back helped his run defense and tackling as well.
He’s also done a lot of the non-glorious work for the Lions as well. He played plenty of special teams, racking up 19 tackles his first three years. The best chance for him to make the roster like many on-the-bubble players is through special teams. He shined there, and just like fellow underrated draft hopeful and teammate Koa Farmer, they bring experience in multiple phases to the table.
Outside of his kick coverage, he also returned 20 total kickoffs for 448 yards too. Scott’s running back experience wasn’t just reserve play the whole time. Penn State football’s versatile star carried the ball 30 times for 133 yards and a touchdown and earned a start in his freshman year.
He can return, cover kicks, run the football, play safety or even pass. Scott actually completed two passes for 46 yards and a touchdown in 2015. His stat line is a unique and a fun read, because it truly charts a player that can do it all.
Should an NFL give him a shot, it’ll get a well-rounded football player that can fill help the roster out in a myriad of ways.