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Late March Mock Draft Roundup 2022: Nittany Lions in the NFL

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Sadly, despite Drew Hartlaub’s 4.22 40 time, he did not appear in the recent projections.

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Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver Jahan Dotson (5) dives for extra yards as Maryland Terrapins defensive back Jakorian Bennett (2) defends during the second half at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium. Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

As we get closer to the 2022 NFL Draft, taking place from April 28th until April 30th, let’s look at where our beloved former Nittany Lions are predicted to end up according to various gurus.

Draft sites used: ESPN (Kiper/McShay), CBS Sports, Pro Football Network, Sporting News, NFL.com: Bucky Brooks, Daniel Jeremiah, Chad Reuter, Cynthia Frelund, and Lance Zierlein, and PFF

Italics= New projection

Arnold Ebiketie: 21st to New England (Kiper on March 1st), 51st to Philadelphia (Sporting News on March 6th), 35th to Tampa Bay (Chad Reuter on March 25th), 46th to Minnesota (Ryan Wilson on March 21st), 78th to Browns (PFN on March 26th)

  • AK appears on the NFL.com projections for the first time and would fit in well with a Bucs team that needs defense.
  • PFN is out of their minds putting Ebiketie in the third round.

Jahan Dotson: 26th to Tennessee (Bucky Brooks on March 1st, Kiper on March 1st), 27th to Tampa Bay (PFF on February 28th), 28th to Green Bay (Pro Football Network on March 4th, and Sporting News on March 6th), 49th to New Orleans (Chad Reuter on March 25th). 43rd to Atlanta (Ryan Wilson on March 21st), 22nd to Green Bay-trade from Las Vegas (Multiple CBS Sports writers from March 22-24), 38th to Jets (PFN on March 26th), 30th to Kansas City (Sporting News on March 25th)

  • 49th is far too deep for Dotson to fall in the draft. Now that Chicago just a pick before has lost Allen Robinson to free agency, perhaps the Bears pick him up at 39, if not earlier in the draft.
  • That said, I’m glad to see several more first-round projection this round of picks. The Packers would be an intriguing landing spot, especially given the departure of Davante Adams, as would the Chiefs after losing Tyreek Hill.

Jaquan Brisker: 35th to Jets (Sporting News on March 6th), 47th to Washington (Ryan Wilson on March 21st, Chad Reuter on March 25th), 37th to Texans (PFN on March 26th)

  • Brisker would be the second former Nittany Lion safety in five years to be picked up by the Commanders (man, do I hate that name). He would almost assumedly get more playing time than the diminutive Troy Apke.

Tariq Castro-Fields: 59th to Packers (Chad Reuter on March 25th), 116 to Broncos (PFN on March 26th)

  • TCF makes his first appearance on any mock drafts. As of right now, he would join former Penn Stater Adrian Amos in Green Bay, or DaeSean Hamilton* and KJ Hamler in Denver.

*Note: This story was written prior to Hamilton being signed by the Texans on March 28th.

Rasheed Walker: 108th to Texans (Chad Reuter on March 25th), 129 to Cowboys (PFN on March 26th)

  • Walker is the Nittany Lion who has had the most precipitous drop since the beginning of the 2021-22 season, being discussed as a first or second-round pick entering the season. His fourth-round projection at this moment may be the right one given his performance in 2021.

Brandon Smith: 132nd to Packers (Chad Reuter on March 25th), 59th to Packers (PFN on March 26th),

  • We know that Smith has all of the athleticism, but he could use a little more coaching before making a significant impact on the field in the NFL. Time will tell if he gets enough playing time to crack a roster.

Jesse Luketa: 138th to Steelers (Chad Reuter on March 25th), 151st to Falcons (PFN on March 26th)

  • Luketa is listed as an EDGE, but he can clearly be successful as a traditional linebacker as well. I for one hope he climbs up the projections soon due to his versatility.

Ellis Brooks: 195th to Chargers (PFN on March 26th)

Thoughts:

  • It’s nice to see more Penn Staters appearing on draft boards. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ellis Brooks climb up on other boards in the next month.
  • This has nothing to do with Penn State, but Tyreke Smith being projected 220th in the draft is oddly satisfying.