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Mel Kiper Jr. Includes Two Nittany Lions In First-Round Mock Draft

Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN’s primary analyst for the NFL Draft, released his first mock draft of the year Wednesday morning. In it, two Nittany Lions were selected as first-round picks.

Kiper projected the Philadelphia Eagles will select edge rusher Arnold Ebiketie at No. 16 overall with the second of three first round selections for the team. Ebiketie would surely help boost an Eagles defense that ranked 18th in points allowed and second-worst in total sacks this year.

In his lone season at Penn State, Ebiketie recorded 62 tackles (including a conference-most 18 for a loss), 9.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and two blocked kicks.

The transfer from Temple was originally projected to be a mid-rounds pick but has recently seen his NFL Draft stock rise. With an invitation to play in the Senior Bowl, Ebiketie will have another opportunity to boost his profile in the coming months.

Kiper also predicts the Miami Dolphins will select wide receiver Jahan Dotson at No. 26 overall. If this panned out, Dotson would join former Penn State tight end Mike Gesicki on the NFL’s 17th-ranked passing offense.

In 2021, Dotson was easily Penn State’s most dangerous offensive weapon. The All-American receiver totaled a career-high 91 receptions for 1,182 yards and 12 receiving touchdowns. Dotson also found the end zone once in the ground game.

This season was a historic entry in Dotson’s prolific college career. In Penn State’s 31-14 victory over Maryland, Dotson set a program record for the most receiving yards in a single game with 242.

The Big Ten was the second-most represented conference in Kiper’s initial first-round mock draft with eight projected picks, just one behind the SEC. Other notable selections included Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson (No. 1 overall), Michigan’s David Ojabo (No. 7 overall), Iowa’s Tyler Linderbaum (No. 14 overall), and Ohio State’s Chris Olave (No. 19 overall).

Both Ebiketie and Dotson have already accepted invites to play in the Reese’s Senior Bowl. There, they’ll get another chance to play in front of NFL coaches, scouts, and executives when the game rolls around on February 6.

The 2022 NFL Draft is scheduled for April 28 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Television broadcasts will be available on ESPN and the NFL Network.

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About the Author

Sam Fremin

Sam is a senior from Ashburn, Virginia, majoring in journalism and political science & minoring in German and creative writing. He is a Dallas Cowboys fan who relishes the misery of Eagles fans. All hate messages can be sent to [email protected] or @SamFremin on Twitter.

He may or may not read every single comment he gets.

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