Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

PSU Football

Penn State Football’s Top 2024 NFL Draft Prospects

Photo courtesy of Olu Fashanu’s Twitter account

The 2023 NFL Draft just ended, and six Penn State players were selected.

Is it too early to start talking about next year’s Draft?


But we’re going to take a crack at it anyway. Here are six Penn State players to watch for 2024.


Fashanu could have gone in the first round of this year’s draft. But he surprised pretty much everybody and decided to stay at Penn State.

There’s nothing stopping this guy from being the top offensive lineman taken in 2024’s draft. He established himself as one of college football’s best before getting hurt in late October last season. He’s only going to get better so long as his health holds up.

2023 NFL Draft player comp: Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State (Round 1, Pick 6) Fashanu would have been a first-round pick if he had come out in 2023. The only question is how high he can climb. The bigger issue is that teams near the top of the draft are frequently quarterback-needy, so many years, there is only so far a tackle can rise. But Fashanu should be right near the top. — Alan Saunders


Penn State just had a corner go in the Draft in Joey Porter Jr. Although Porter is happy about being drafted and certainly happy about going to his dad’s old team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, it’s somewhat disappointing for JPJ not to be selected in the first-round, which was widely expected.

Now, it could be King who’s the first corner in Penn State history to go in the first round. With his three interceptions being just one shy of new 49er Ji’Ayir Brown’s team lead last season, King knows how to make big plays and is also an asset against the run.

King is a complete corner. He should continue to be a big part of Penn State’s team in 2023.

2023 NFL Draft player comp: Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State (Round 1, Pick 16) I actually think Forbes was over-drafted a little bit, as I had him rated below Porter and ticked for the start of the second round. Either way, he’s a perfect comp for King as lankier players that will probably be best in the slot that have elite ball skills. King could very well break Penn State’s first-round DB slump. — Alan Saunders


Chop transferred in from Maryland last summer. It didn’t take him long to make an impact. The former high-end four-star quickly became one of Penn State’s best players and ended the year with 5.5 sacks. That was one behind Abdul Carter— who could be a 2025 first-round pick— for the team lead.

Robinson has long been thought to be a potential stud. He first showcased that potential last season after a relatively uneventful year at Maryland. There’s no reason to think he can’t progress further in 2023.

2023 NFL Draft player comp: Will McDonald IV, Iowa State (Round 1, Pick 15) This is another player that was over-drafted slightly. I had him going in the last pick of the first round. Either way, it’s a first-round grade for Robinson, with a caveat. McDonald had back-to-back double digit sack seasons in 2020 and 2021 before falling off slightly in 2022. Robinson had 10 tackles for loss in 2022, but just 5.5 sacks. He’ll need to double digits or very close in 2023 to make this prediction come true. I think he can. — Alan Saunders


2022 was supposed to be a big breakout season for Jacobs, but it didn’t really play out that way.

He still put up fine numbers— 52 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and four sacks— but it didn’t feel like he took that big next step many expected him to before the season. Jacobs decided to return to Penn State for the 2023 season, and he and Carter could prove to be one of, if not America’s best linebacking duo by the time the season ends. The 6-foot-1, 235-pounder is athletic, versatile— he played receiver quite well in high school— and is coming off one of the best games of his career in the Rose Bowl win over Utah, in which he had two sacks.

That performance could serve as a lunching pad to a big year for No. 23.

2023 NFL Draft player comp: Daiyan Henley, Washington State (Round 3, Pick 86) Jacobs is athletic, makes plays and most crucially, also covers well. At a non-premium position, that is the skill that is worth valuing at the next level. Would like to see Jacobs to become a more consistent run defending tackler outside of his splash plays. Henley had 79 and 74 tackles his final two seasons. Curtis only had 39 last year. — Alan Saunders


2022 was supposed to be Tengwall’s year. Penn State’s No. 1 signee from the 2021 recruiting class was supposed to become a regular starter and a big part of a reborn offensive line in Happy Valley.

Penn State’s offensive line ended up being good, but Tengwall wasn’t able to play as big a part in it as he or the program wanted. Tengwall started the first five games of 2022. Then, during warmups of Penn State’s clash at Michigan, he got hurt, and wouldn’t play again the rest of the year.

Now, Tengwall is healthy, and he should be ready to start at left guard and have a big year in 2023.

2023 NFL Draft player comp: Anthony Bradford, LSU (Round 4, Pick 108) Tengwall was having a tough go of things in 2022, even before his injury. Guard aren’t drafted highly in the first place, so this is a player that should probably strongly lean toward coming out in the 2025 draft. But if he does declare, Bradford makes for a good comp. He started six games in 2021 before getting dinged by injury, played at both tackle and guard, and put together one solid season before bolting to the NFL. Not sure I’d recommend that path, though. — Alan Saunders


Johnson is slated to succeed new Jaguar Brenton Strange  as Penn State’s No. 1 tight end this season.

Unfortunately, his status isn’t as certain as we thought it was before last week. Last Wednesday. April 26, Johnson was charged with assault for an incident that took place in February. The results of those charges have yet to be determined, but one thing that’s for sure is that Johnson is a key cog in Penn State’s offense when he’s on the field. At 6-foot-6 and 256 pounds, Johnson is big, and his team-leading 16.4 yards per catch in 2022 speak well to what he can do once he touches the ball.

Johnson has all the makings of an NFL tight end, and depending on how this year goes, he could well become on in 2024.

2023 NFL Draft player comp: Davis Allen, Clemson (Round 5, Pick 175) Setting aside the off-the-field issues for a moment, both Allen and Johnson fall into the bucket of tight ends that don’t run block that well, but that also don’t have prolific statistics. Allen had 28 catches for 208 yards as a junior. Johnson had 20 catches for 328 last year. Allen was able to bump his up to 39 for 443 as a senior, and that moved him up into the middle of Day Three, despite a loaded tight end class. Johnson could be facing a suspension, which would obviously impact his season totals. That might do more damage than any potential fallout from a fistfight. — Alan Saunders

More from Nittany Sports Now

PSU Football

0 Update (4:17 p.m.)— Penn State’s Sept. 9 game against aware is scheduled to kickoff at noon on Peacock, not 3:30. The Big Ten accepted...

PSU Football

0 On Friday, former Penn State running back Devyn Ford exited the transfer portal and landed at Notre Dame. 🍀⚜️ — D. Ford...

PSU Football

0 There are only 99 days until Penn State football kicks off the 2023 season under the lights against West Virginia. Here are early...

PSU Football

0 As expected, one of the most hyped games on  Penn State football’s 2023 schedule will be a noon kick. College Football Insider Brett...