Senior Bowl Week Proves Fruitful For Jesse Luketa, Penn State Prospects

Four former Nittany Lions took part in the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl game Saturday afternoon, after a week of practices under NFL coaching staffs.

While Jesse Luketa and Jordan Stout excelled in the game itself, Arnold Ebiketie and Tariq Castro-Fields also entered impressive practice performances throughout the week, likely boosting their draft stocks ahead of the NFL Draft in April.

Jesse Luketa

Of the four Penn State prospects, Jesse Luketa likely had the most personally impactful Senior Bowl week.

Listed as a linebacker on the Senior Bowl’s official roster, Luketa picked up playing time on the defensive line and special team units for the National Team.

During the game, Luketa spent as much time behind the American Team’s offensive line as he did in front of it. Luketa continuously won his matchups on the line, recording a handful of quarterback pressures. At the end of the first half, Luketa finally found the stat sheet with a huge third down strip sack, leading to a rushed field goal attempt that missed wide right.

In the fourth quarter, Luketa recorded his second sack of the day, when he destroyed record breaking Western Kentucky quarterback Bailey Zappe.

Luketa’s Senior Bowl performance built upon strong reps in the week’s practices. His impressive pass rush chops drew praise and holding penalties alike.

Originally projected as a late round draft pick or undrafted free agent, it would be unsurprising to see Luketa climb as high as an early Day Three draft slot.

Jordan Stout

Serving as the National Team’s only punter, Jordan Stout received a lot of work in the Senior Bowl.

The reigning Big Ten Punter of the Year punted four times for 198 yards, averaging out to 49.5 yards per punt. Stout landed two punts inside the 15-yard line, including one that traveled a whopping 75 yards.

Last year, only one punter was selected in the NFL Draft, in the seventh round. Though with ESPN Draft Analyst Jim Nagy calling Stout “among [the] best punting prospects to come out in the past five to ten years,” perhaps the former Flow Bro will hear the commissioner call his name in April.

Arnold Ebiketie

Defensive end Arnold Ebiketie’s week earned mixed feedback. While some were left underwhelmed by the man known as AK, others agreed with Mel Kiper Jr.’s projection of Ebiketie being a first round selection.

Ebiketie’s largest contribution from Saturday’s game came from his Twitter post in support of fellow Nittany Lion Jesse Luketa.

Tariq Casto-Fields

Cornerback Tariq Castro-Fields did not make a strong impact on the game field Saturday. However, Castro-Fields picked up a couple of noteworthy practice reps in the lead up to the Senior Bowl.

Though he did not have the impactful Saturday that Luketa or Stout experienced, most draft pundits argue the preceding practices are more important for players’ draft stock. Castro-Fields is currently projected as a mid-round pick for the NFL Draft.

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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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