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Adisa Isaac’s Versatility & High IQ Generate Mid-Round Steal In 2024 NFL Draft

In 2018, Adisa Isaac was a four-star edge rusher from Brooklyn, New York. Now, coming off his best year as a collegiate athlete, Isaac is set to take the next step in his football journey.

After committing, he joined a fantastic 2019 class for Penn State that included the likes of Brandon Smith and Caedan Wallace. Isaac was the No. 1 ranked player from New York and the No. 66 ranked player nationally. With offers from Miami, Alabama, and Texas A&M, Isaac settled on Happy Valley to call home for the next four years.

Isaac secured playing time as a true freshman and appeared in 11 games. He recorded 14 tackles and 1.5 sacks during his first season.

He had similar stats in his sophomore season with 13 tackles and 1.5 sacks in nine contests during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

Isaac was ready to jump into a huge role for the Nittany Lions heading into 2021. However, he suffered an Achilles injury which caused him to miss the entire 2021 season. It was a huge blow for the Nittany Lions as they lost a key part of their defense before the season even began.

Instead of allowing the injury to ruin his career, Isaac made the most of it by rehabbing and preparing for the 2022 season. When the following season rolled along, Isaac looked like a different player. A bigger, better, stronger, and faster Isaac was a force to be reckoned with.

Isaac’s progress showed on the field as he was named a starter for the first time in his career. He led the team with 11 tackles for loss and recorded 28 tackles and four sacks en route to being named third-team All-Big Ten.

He returned to Happy Valley in 2023 and rolled that success from 2022 into his final year donning the blue and white. Isaac not only led the Nittany Lions in tackles for loss again but sacks with 16 and 7.5 respectively. He also recorded a career-high 37 tackles, appeared in all 13 games, and was named second-team All-Big Ten.

While he could’ve returned to Penn State for another season, Isaac decided his time with the Nittany Lions was done. He declared for the 2024 NFL Draft and was invited to the NFL Combine.

At the combine, Isaac recorded an impressive 4.74-second 40-yard dash, a 34.5’’ vertical jump, and a 10’3″ broad jump. According to NFL Nex Gen Stats, Isaac’s combine performance was a 73, which ranked him as the ninth-best edge rusher overall.

Experts see Isaac with significant upside at the next level, believing his “motor and high-IQ play enable him to play and adapt to multiple systems.” His hands and speed are fantastic, which allow him to get to the quarterback at an elite rate.

Isaac fits the mold of an NFL edge rusher, but he’s currently projected to be taken near the late-second to early-third round as some teams believe there’s still room for him to develop.

Any team willing to take a chance on Isaac is taking a chance on a player who could excel mightily as a pro. He’s a high-ceiling prospect who can be one of the game’s best pass rushers if put into the right scenario.

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About the Author

Matt Brown

Matt is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism and minoring in sports studies from Bensalem, Pa. Matt is a huge Philadelphia sports fan and an overall sports fan in general. When not watching sports, you'll find him taking down any Dollar Dog challenge or rewatching the Big Ten Maps Commercial. To reach him, follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @matt_brown63, or email him at [email protected].

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