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Staff Picks: Penn State Football’s 2022 NFL MVP

With the 2022 NFL season officially over, former Penn State football players are now on vacation. While there were no Nittany Lions on the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, plenty had standout seasons.

Some of our staffers made their picks for which Penn State football player had the best 2022 campaign.

Brady Miller: Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys

Personally, I agree that Micah Parsons was not deserving of Defensive Player of the Year. However, he was robbed of at least one first-place vote.

His pure athleticism makes him one of the most unstoppable forces in the league. He has the power to run you over. His 13.5 sacks were good enough for the seventh-best in the league. He scored a touchdown, too.

Saquon Barkley and Miles Sanders may have had great seasons, but they didn’t have the solo impact on games the way Parsons did each and every week.

Colleen Nersten: Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins

Sheeeesh. That man can hit the Griddy.

Aidan Conrad: Jaquan Brisker, Chicago Bears

The expectations for the Bears and Jaquan Brisker were limited heading into the season. Brisker landed on a team that lacked talent, and as a second-round rookie, people didn’t expect star-studded production out of the gate. Despite the tempered expectations, Brisker finished with 104 tackles, four sacks, and one fumble recovery in 15 games. This production makes Bears fans believe that Brisker can be a cornerstone of their defense going forward.

Jack Scott: Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

Saquon Barkley is the obvious pick for the Penn State NFL MVP. He was relied upon to pull the Giants into the playoffs, racking up the fourth-most carries in the league. He also tallied the fourth-most rushing yards this season and punched in 10 touchdowns. His bounce back into top form after two rough years has to be commended as well, putting his career back on the all-star trajectory from his rookie and sophomore seasons. All of these factors converge to make a strong argument for Barkley being this season’s best Nittany Lion in the NFL.

Nolan Wick: Jahan Dotson, Washington Commanders

When the Washington Commanders drafted Jahan Dotson at No. 16 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft, many thought it was a reach. However, Dotson showed immense potential this season. In 12 appearances, Dotson logged 523 receiving yards and seven touchdowns, including a two-touchdown performance in his debut. Dotson’s 523 yards were seventh-most among rookies.

The Nazareth, Pennsylvania, native showcased his speed and receiving abilities despite having inconsistent quarterback play. With a new starter poised to be under center in Washington next season, the future looks bright for Dotson.

Joe Lister: Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles

As an Eagles fan, I feel required to put Miles Sanders down for this award. While he didn’t have a great Super Bowl performance, Sanders was the leading rusher for one of the best teams in the NFL. He put up over 1,200 rushing yards in the regular season alone, paired with 11 touchdowns. Both those numbers are the best of his four years in the league thus far.

The Eagles wouldn’t have made the Super Bowl without Sanders, and he’s the only Penn Stater to play any significant role in the game.

Sam Fremin: Robbie Gould, San Francisco 49ers

Normally, I would choose Micah Parsons for Penn State’s NFL MVP because it’s the obvious choice. No one realistically comes close. However, I’m still bitter about the Cowboys’ performance in the playoffs, so Parsons is unfortunately ineligible for this award in my eyes.

Veteran kicker Robbie Gould played lights out in 2022. Not only did he finish fifth in scoring across the entire league, but he extended his perfect kicking streak in the playoffs, too. If his team hadn’t bit the injury bug, it’s very possible Gould would have been the one hitting a game-winning field goal in the Super Bowl instead.

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About the Author

Staff

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