Where Do Nittany Lions Fall In Recent 2023 NFL Mock Drafts?

With the 2023 NFL Draft now less than one month away, many football analysts have recently released mock drafts ahead of the big weekend. These pick-by-pick predictions oftentimes vary significantly, but nonetheless, include several Nittany Lions throughout.

As the March calendar is quickly set to turn to April this weekend, let’s take a look at when and where Penn State football’s NFL Draft hopefuls are slotted to be selected during the upcoming three-day spectacle.

Mike Tannenbaum, ESPN

For starters, the most sought-after Penn State prospect is none other than cornerback Joey Porter Jr. Over his four seasons repping the blue and white, the Bakersfield, California, native tallied 113 total tackles, one interception, and 20 passes defended. He was one of the key players across a talented Penn State defense that finished within the top-25 nationwide in fewest total opponent touchdowns with 28 and total yards allowed all season with 4,205.

Due to his athleticism and high ceiling, Porter proves to be a consensus first-round selection, with most analysts predicting that he will be drafted somewhere in the middle of the round. Tannenbaum, a former NFL general manager, has the cornerback being selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the No. 23 overall pick.

At this pick, Porter would be the third cornerback off the board in the first round.

Brad Spielberger, Pro Football Focus

Brad Spielberger has the Pittsburgh Steelers selecting Porter with the No. 17 overall pick.

Porter’s father, Joey Porter Sr., was an outside linebacker for Pittsburgh, where he played from 1999 to 2006. The four-time Pro Bowler was a first-team All-Pro and won a Super Bowl with the Steelers.

Bucky Brooks, NFL Network

Bucky Brooks has Porter being drafted higher than most, with the Washington Commanders swooping in at No. 16 overall to take the defensive back. This is the same spot that former teammate Jahan Dotson was drafted at a year ago.

Here, Porter would be the eighth defender and third cornerback off the board.

“The extra long corner could give Ron Rivera a shutdown defender in the mold of Josh Norman,” Brooks wrote.

Cam Mellor, Pro Football Network

In addition to Porter, wide receiver Parker Washington is also likely to hear his name called. Cam Mellor has the Vikings selecting the wideout in the fourth round with the No. 119 overall pick.

Washington was a legitimate weapon for Penn State’s offense before suffering an injury late in the season that sidelined him for the remainder of the year. Despite the injury and still having NCAA eligibility, he declared for the NFL Draft on December 9.

Back to the defensive side of the ball, safety Ji’Ayir Brown capped off his Penn State career with an impressive season. The senior led the team in total tackles and interceptions with 74 and four, respectively. Pro Football Network has the Raiders selecting Brown in the fourth round with the No. 109 overall pick.

Additionally, Juice Scruggs landed on Pro Football Network’s latest draft board. Scruggs played center for the blue and white and emerged as a leader in protection for quarterback Sean Clifford. After seeing him pancake equipment managers during Pro Day, it’s no surprise that Pro Football Network has the Jaguars drafting him with the No. 202 overall pick.

Staying in the trenches, interior defensive lineman PJ Mustipher aims to be an impending force for any defense. Mustipher had 37 total tackles this year as he worked his way back from a season-ending injury that caused him to miss the end of the 2021-22 season. Pro Football Network predicts the Raiders to select Mustipher with the No. 214 overall pick.

Last but not least, wide receiver Mitchell Tinsley could also hear his name called. Tinsley finished second on Penn State’s squad in receiving yards with 577, while also picking up 51 receptions. Pro Football Network has the receiver being picked by the Chicago Bears with the No. 258 overall pick, which is the second-to-last pick in the draft.

Shane Hallam, NFL Draft Countdown

Shane Hallam has the Jacksonville Jaguars picking Washington in the sixth round with the No. 185 overall pick.

Hallam has safety Ji’Ayir Brown being drafted much sooner by the Houston Texans with the No. 104 overall pick. Brown was a ball hawk in the secondary for Penn State and could help out any defense in need of an athlete.

Coming off a devastating injury in 2021, PJ Mustipher is still receiving favorable draft buzz. As a potential locker room glue guy, NFL Draft Countdown predicts the Houston Texans to select Mustipher with the No. 203 overall pick.

Meanwhile, tight end Brenton Strange was a primary receiving target with 362 receiving yards and 32 receptions last season. Strange offers impressive size and strength to aid in the run and pass blocking game.

NFL Draft Countdown has Strange joining Mustipher in Houston, with the Texans selecting him with the No. 201 overall pick.

Wide receiver Mitchell Tinsley is projected to hear his name called, according to the outlet. Pro Football Network has the receiver being picked by the Chicago Bears in the seventh round with the No. 258 overall pick.

The NFL Draft will begin at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 27, and will be televised by ESPN, ABC, and NFL Network.

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About the Author

Brendan Wagner

Brendan is a Junior majoring in print and media journalism. Born in Pittsburgh, he now lives in Mooresville, North Carolina. As a die-hard Pittsburgh sports fan, you can find him on Twitter, @brchwags, often complaining about the Pittsburgh Steelers and probably Russell Wilson.

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