James Franklin’s Penn State squad has its fair share of elite NFL Draft talent, too.
Now, for the Nittany Lions! Interestingly, several of the premier players at Penn State are not draft-eligible until 2025. Drew Allar, Nick Singleton, and Abdul Carter will all garner first-round praise, with Allar and Carter in play as early as No. 1 overall. But what about the 2024 crop of talent?
OT Olumuyiwa Fashanu
Olu Fashanu could have declared for the 2023 NFL Draft. He likely would have been the first offensive tackle off the board, even at the young age of 19. Alas, Fashanu returned to Penn State to finish his degree and develop more. The star lineman is already an elite pass protector, and thanks to his size and strength, it is only a matter of time before he transforms into a dominant run blocker, too. If Fashanu is the first non-QB off the board, do not be surprised.
CB Kalen King
Arguably the best cornerback in the 2024 NFL Draft, Kalen King hopes to break a dubious record for Penn State. There has never been a Nittany Lion cornerback taken on Day 1 of the draft. Joey Porter Jr. came within one selection of making it happen last cycle, but King will finish the job. He is sticky in coverage and loves to let his assignments know when they get shut down. CB1 material.
EDGE Chop Robinson
Chop Robinson is a no-nonsense, throwback type of player. He doesn’t wear gloves, sleeves, or any of the fancy accessories that players regularly sport these days. Instead, Robinson only cares about one thing: collapsing the pocket. The Penn State product boasts arguably the best first step in the class and is still adding pass-rushing moves to his arsenal. He is an easy Round 1 grade on my big board.
LB Curtis Jacobs
Following the trio of Day 1 prospects, Curtis Jacobs is often forgotten about in NFL Draft discussions. He stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 229 pounds, but still is fleet of foot, evidenced by his reported 4.5 speed. Jacobs’ instincts allow him to create big plays, but he can get caught reacting slowly, leading to poor pursuit angles. Nonetheless, his build and athleticism are worth betting on midway through the event; a creative playcaller can carve out a niche role for him.