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Takeaways from Penn State’s 2022 NFL Draft

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Jahan Dotson

Penn State had eight players selected and five more sign as un-drafted free agents in the 2022 NFL Draft.

From Jahan Dotson at pick 16 to Jesse Luketa at pick 256, Penn State was well-represented and had at least one player drafted on all  three days of the event.

Here are some takeaways from this years draft and what it means for Penn State’s draftees, and the future of the program.

JAHAN DOTSON IS THE MAN

Most people expected Dotson to be a first-round pick, but the common expectation was that he’d go somewhere in the 20s.

Dotosn ended up going a little higher. The Washington Commanders took him with the 16th overall pick.

Dotson is one of the best receivers ever to play at Penn State, and would still be regardless of where he went in the draft. With that said, the higher the better, and Dotson going at 16 certainly won’t hurt Penn State’s efforts in recruiting wide receivers.

JAQUAN BRISKER AND ARNOLD EBIKETIE WERE SECOND-ROUND STEALS

Jaquan Brisker is arguably as good as any safety in this draft class aside from Notre Dame’s Kyle Hamilton, and he went 48th overall. Arnold Ebiketie was a first-rounder in some mock drafts, and he went 38th overall.

It’s not that either Penn State defender was necessarily supposed to go in the first-round, but each player has first-round potential. It’s easy to see them playing well enough in the NFL to be looked at as steals in a few years, if not sooner.

 

RASHEED WALKER AND JESSE LUKETA ARE SLEEPERS

Walker was a player some saw going in the second or third round. Luketa was a top ten outside linebacker prospect according to ESPN’s Todd McShay.

The fact that both went in the seventh round is surprising. Sure, Walker has had some health problems and underperformed in 2021, but there aren’t a lot of seventh-round linemen with his athleticism.

Luketa is capable of playing linebacker and defensive end, so he provides more value than the average seventh rounder would as well. It doesn’t feel right that both Penn Staters fell so far, and both will probably have extra motivation to succeed in the pros as a result.

PENN STATE SHOULD HAVE WON MORE THAN SEVEN GAMES IN 2021

Penn State has more players drafted this season than any other Big Ten school, including Ohio State and Michigan.

It also had more picks than Alabama and Oklahoma. This is slightly misleading— for example, Alabama’s Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, Bryce Young, wasn’t eligible for the draft. Still, however, don’t you think Penn State should have been better than 7-6?

THIS WAS A GOOD THREE DAYS FOR PENN STATE 

Although Penn State’s abundance of picks probably made some of the more cynical fans think about how last year’s team underachieved, this year’s draft was certainly a good three days for Penn State. James Franklin deserves his share of criticism, but he knows how to get guys to the NFL. The more Penn State players that get drafted, the better it bodes for the program’s future.

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