Jesse Luketa has been selected in the seventh round, selection No. 256 overall by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2022 NFL Draft. He is the second linebacker chosen from Penn State in this year’s draft. Brandon Smith went in the 4th round, 120th overall pick to the Carolina Panthers.
Luketa was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada was raised by his mother who immigrated from the Republic of Congo. At age 14, Luketa and his family moved to Erie, PA where he became a four-star recruit out of Mercyhurst Preparatory School.
In his freshman and sophomore seasons, Luketa played mostly on special teams but got increased playing time. In his junior year in 2020, he was voted team captain and recorded 59 tackles, one fumble recovery, and one pass breakup.
Luketa followed that up by recording 61 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, and one interception and made third-team All-Big selection in the 2021 season.
At 6-3, 261 pounds, Luketa is an athlete capable of being strong in playing the running game, however, he may not possess the explosiveness to be a consistent pass rusher, and that could limit him to being a two-down player at the next level. However, his leadership and character will be valuable to any team and the Cardinals will benefit, especially as a young player in the locker room.