With Micah Parsons and Saquon Barkley dominating the headlines, one has to wonder: Just how large of an imprint have the Penn State Nittany Lions made on the NFL? Here’s a look at how many Nittany Lions dot the NFL today and how productive they’ve been at the professional level.
How Many Penn State Players Are in the NFL?
Currently, there are 34 Penn State players on active NFL rosters. Additionally, several others — such as PJ Mustipher, Tariq Castro-Fields, and Amani Oruwariye — hold practice squad spots for their respective teams.
Penn State has the third-most NFL players among Big Ten teams, exceeded only by the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Michigan Wolverines. And looking at the Nittany Lions’ production on a broad scope, they’re one of a select few programs that averages over one player per NFL team.
The Nittany Lions’ NFL players list is particularly impressive, given how many Penn State products have gone on to not only stick in the NFL but also retain starting roles. The headliners are stars like Parsons, Barkley, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin, but the list extends far beyond that.
Parsons and Barkley are two of the four Penn State players selected in Round 1 of the NFL Draft since 2018. The other two are Baltimore Ravens EDGE Odafe Oweh (2021) and Washington Commanders wideout Jahan Dotson (2022).
2024 NFL Draft Set To Add to Penn State’s Legacy
Penn State has long been a mainstay when it comes to producing quality NFL talent. They lay claim to Pro Bowlers of the past like Tamba Hali, Sean Lee, Paul Posluszny, and NaVorro Bowman, and they also boast several Hall of Famers — among them Mike Munchak, Franco Harris, and Jack Ham.
The Nittany Lions’ legacy on the NFL Draft circuit is strong, and the 2024 NFL Draft should only add to it.
In the early stages of the 2024 NFL Draft cycle, Penn State already has several prospects projected as potential Round 1 picks. Offensive tackle Olu Fashanu is already regarded as a lock, and cornerback Kalen King, pass rushers Chop Robinson and Adisa Isaac, and linebacker Curtis Jacobs likewise have early-round appeal.
Other names in the Nittany Lions’ potential 2024 NFL Draft class include wide receivers KeAndre Lambert-Smith and Dante Cephas, tight end Tyler Warren, offensive linemen Caedan Wallace and Hunter Nourzad, defensive tackle Coziah Izzard, and cornerbacks Johnny Dixon and Daequan Hardy.
Looking ahead to the 2025 NFL Draft cycle, quarterback Drew Allar, running back Nicholas Singleton, and linebacker Abdul Carter are all regarded as potential Round 1 prospects as well. Suffice it to say, Penn State’s NFL pipeline won’t be slowing down any time soon.
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