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Shaka Toney Stirs Up NFL Interest During Senior Bowl Week

Although four Nittany Lions received invitations to this year’s Senior Bowl, Shaka Toney was the only former Penn State football star who elected to play in this weekend’s game.

Along with the contest on Saturday, Toney took part in practice sessions throughout the week that were watched closely by NFL scouts. The defensive end played for the National Team under head coach Brian Flores, who’s currently the head coach of the Miami Dolphins.

Toney didn’t light up the stat sheet during his squad’s 27-24 victory over the American Team in Mobile, Alabama, but he did turn heads by showcasing his abilities in the days leading up to the game.

NFL Draft Bible’s Vinnie Calderone said that the 6″2″, 238-pound defensive end had impressive quickness off the line and a few “unexpected power rushes.” He added that Toney’s lower-body looked strong as he used his legs well in one-on-one drills.

While he developed prowess as an edge rusher, Calderone also hinted that Toney could make the transition to linebacker to make himself a more valuable pick. The Philadelphia native managed just fine in several pass coverage drills and even stayed locked on former Boise State tight end John Bates.

While that was a nice addition for Toney, he also showed his skills off the edge on multiple occasions.

Along with a generally positive review from several scouts and writers, Toney garnered some attention from Pro Football Focus Sunday afternoon. The defensive end received an 89.6 overall ranking, which made him the third-highest graded defensive player at the Senior Bowl.

Toney now has a few more months to prepare before the NFL Draft in April. It remains to be seen if he’ll continue to work as a linebacker along with defensive lineman.

After logging five sacks and 31 total tackles during his final season in Happy Valley, Toney is currently projected as an early-to-mid round pick in the draft by several outlets.

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About the Author

Will Pegler

Will is a senior majoring in digital and print journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He is from Darien, Connecticut and is a lifelong Penn State football fan. He loves a good 80's comedy movie, Peaky Blinders, The Office, and the New York Yankees and Giants. You can catch some of his ridiculous sports takes on his Twitter @gritdude and yell at him on his email [email protected]

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