Where Do Nittany Lions Fall In Post-Super Bowl NFL Mock Drafts?
Former Nittany Lions stars Nick Scott and Grant Haley won Super Bowl LVI with the Los Angeles Rams this past Sunday, officially setting the league’s offseason into motion.
Although the season is over, NFL Draft preparation has just begun. This year, a strong handful of Nittany Lions are expected to hear their names called come April, and many near the first two rounds.
With the offseason in full effect, it’s never too early to look at some of the mock drafts. Here’s what the experts have to say following the Super Bowl:
Pete Fiutak (Yahoo Sports)
Pete Fiutak released his first-round mock draft on Monday. He had Jahan Dotson going to the Miami Dolphins at No. 28. Dotson has been rumored to be picked around the late first round or early second.
“Dotson might seem like a luxury item for a team that needs to rebuild the foundation,” Fiutak wrote.
In this scenario, Dotson would be paired up with Jaylen Waddle, Miami’s former first-round pick from the 2021 draft.
James Dator (SB Nation)
James Dator of SB Nation also has Jahan Dotson going in the first round. Instead, he’s got the Nittany Lion product at No. 22 to the Las Vegas Raiders.
In his mock, Dator has Dotson as the fifth wide receiver of six drafted in the first round. Dotson is in a stacked wide receiver class, but Dator believes the Raiders’ new head coach Josh McDaniels wants to “get someone who they think can help move the chains and get the offense ticking.”
Nate Davis (USA Today)
Another name that has been mentioned in first-round mocks is defensive end Arnold Ebiketie. Ebiketie is projected in Nate Daviss’ mock to go to the Buffalo Bills at No. 25 overall.
Ebiketie has been up and down in mock drafts, some putting him at as high as No. 14 and others saying he’s worth a third-round pick. The Nittany Lion impressed many at the Senior Bowl practices this February and could hear his name called as early as round one at this year’s draft.
Dane Belbeck & Dan Wilkins (The Score)
Another mock with Arnold Ebiketie selected in the first round is The Scores’ first-round mock draft by Dane Belbeck and Dan Wilkins.
Wilkins and Belbeck have Ebiketie going to the Kansas City Chiefs with the No. 30 overall pick in the first round. With Melvin Ingram set to hit free agency, Ebiketie could provide “a situational edge rusher early on before settling into an expanded role,” they wrote.
Zack Patraw (Sports Illustrated)
Zach Patraw may have the strangest prediction in a mock draft for a Nittany Lions player. He’s got linebacker/defensive end hybrid Jesse Luketa going to the Detroit Lions with the No. 32 overall pick.
Luketa entered a strong performance at the Senior Bowl by recording two sacks. Luketa impressed scouts and consensus has risen to an early later-round pick, but according to Patraw, his name could be called on day one.
Patraw called Luketa “a big, long linebacker with impressive lateral burst and change of direction ability. He has experience in both an on-ball and off-ball role.”
Chad Ruter (NFL.com)
Chad Ruter released a three-round mock on Monday that included five Nittany Lions drafted in the first 100 picks. The earliest selection of a Nittany Lion wasn’t projected until the second round, though.
Ruter has Jahan Dotson drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 33 overall to kick off the second round. After that, he has three more Nittany Lions in the second round: Arnold Ebiketie No. 44 overall to the Cleveland Browns, Jaquan Brisker No. 49 overall to the New Orleans Saints, and Tariq Castro-Fields going No. 61 overall to the San Francisco 49ers. Ruter also has linebacker Brandon Smith ending his mock at No. 100 overall to the Baltimore Ravens.
If Ruter’s prediction came true, this yea’s draft would mark the most Penn State players selected in the first three rounds since 2003, when the Nittany Lions had six.
The NFL Draft will begin on April 28 in Las Vegas. Television coverage will be available on ABC, ESPN, and NFL Network.
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