The NFL Draft was this past weekend, and all told six players were drafted (with another four signing on as unrestricted free agents). The results of the draft were:
- CB Joey Porter, Jr - Second Round - Pittsburgh Steelers
- OL Juice Scruggs - Second Round - Houston Texans
- TE Brenton Strange - Second Round - Jacksonville Jaguars
- S Ji’Ayir Brown - Third Round - San Francisco 49ers
- QB Sean Clifford - Fifth Round - Green Bay Packers
- WR Parker Washington - Sixth Round - Jacksonville Jaguars
Penn State athletics took the chance to point out that the Nittany Lions are one of just four teams to have 5 or more draft picks in each of the last six drafts.
The Lions join Alabama (2021 + 2018 national champions, 2022 + 2019 runner-up), Georgia (2023 + 2022 national champions, 2018 runner-up) and Ohio State (2021 runner-up, 2023 + 2020 playoff team).
So, what I’m saying, is that Penn State is in elite company. The team regularly recruits and develops talent at a high level, and not just in dribs and drabs, but in droves. The only thing missing for the Lions is getting over that hump and finally earning that elusive berth into the playoffs, alongside the other teams listed above.
Can the Lions do it? I’m sure, but like we’ve seen before, it’s not always as simple as out-athlete-ing your opponent. Especially when one of those other three teams is not only in the same conference, but in the same division, one small misstep can be the difference between the playoffs and a New Year’s Six bowl (which is, itself, no small feat).
Aside from the six players drafted - which by the way, included the third straight year the Lions have had three or more selections in the first two rounds (a first for the program) - Penn State also had four more players sign as undrafted free agents:
- LB Jonathan Sutherland - Seattle Seahawks
- LS Chris Stoll - Seattle Seahawks
- WR Mitchell Tinsley - Washington Commanders
- DT PJ Mustipher - Denver Broncos
We wish all of these players the best of luck at the next level - they’ve all worked hard and to make it to the NFL has been a dream for many of them since they were little.
Congratulations everyone! Rep Penn State far and wide! We’ll be rooting for you!