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Twelve Penn State Football Players Join NFL Teams Over Draft Weekend

Between the 2019 NFL Draft and subsequent signing of free agents, Penn State football’s presence in the NFL increased by 12 players over the weekend.

After a Nittany Lion-less first round of the draft on Thursday, Miles Sanders heard his name called Friday in the second round of the draft. Much to the delight of Penn State’s “just outside Philly” crowd, Sanders was selected No. 53 overall by the Philadelphia Eagles. This pick marked the start of Philadelphia’s Penn State crusade over the weekend, as Sanders was the first of four Nittany Lions to join the Eagles.

Another NFC East team dipped into Penn State’s pool of prospects on the second day of the draft. The Dallas Cowboys called Connor McGovern’s name with the 90th pick in the draft to bolster their already-strong offensive line. McGovern was the first Penn State offensive lineman to hear his name called at the NFL Draft since Tampa Bay selected Donovan Smith in 2015, and he was the first guard since the Ravens took John Urschel in 2014.

Shareef Miller was selected at the end of the fourth round by — you guessed it — the Philadelphia Eagles. Miller was born and raised in Philadelphia, making his selection by the Eagles all the more poetic. He’ll have a chance to contribute on a defensive line anchored by star end Brandon Graham.

Cornerback Amani Oruwariye had to wait longer than he may have expected to get drafted, but the Detroit Lions finally called his name in the fifth round at No. 146 overall. Oruwariye will join the NFL’s eighth-best pass defense in 2018 to begin his NFL career.

In the sixth round, Baltimore added a third quarterback, much to the delight of Penn Staters everywhere. Trace McSorley joined Lamar Jackson and Robert Griffin III when the Ravens used the 197th pick in the draft on Penn State’s all-time winningest quarterback. General manager Eric DeCosta revealed himself to be quite the McSorley stan with his post-draft press conference remarks about his final draft pick of the year.

“We fell in love with the kid,” DeCosta said. “We think his skill set fits what we’re trying to accomplish on offense and can do other things. He’s a great kid by all accounts. He’s ready to get to work.”

Nick Scott rounded out the six Penn Staters selected in the NFL Draft when the Rams used the No. 243 pick on him. Scott’s selection was a bit of a surprise to some, but he’s a versatile, high-character option who can contribute on both special teams and defense as a safety.

These Penn Staters weren’t selected in the draft, but are headed to the NFL after they were signed as undrafted free agents:

Penn State finished tied with Clemson, Notre Dame, Auburn, and Ole Miss with six NFL draftees over the weekend. Only six schools — Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Washington, Texas A&M, and Georgia — had more draft picks than the Nittany Lions.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]

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