How Do 2024 Penn State Football Draftees Fit With Their NFL Teams?

The 2024 NFL Draft has come and gone, and eight Nittany Lions heard their names called.

Olu Fashanu was the first Nittany Lion off the board as the New York Jets selected him with the No. 11 pick, and the final selection was Kalen King, who was drafted by the Green Bay Packers with the No. 255 pick. Let’s analyze the fits for all the players on their new teams.

Olu Fashanu: New York Jets

The Jets brought Fashanu to the Meadowlands slightly earlier than he was widely projected to go, which was to New Orleans three picks later. Nonetheless, protecting one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time in Aaron Rodgers sounds like fun.

However, it’ll take some time before Fashanu becomes Rodgers’ full-time protector on the left side. The Jets signed Tyron Smith, whom Fashanu called his “football idol” on a one-year deal last month.

Veteran Morgan Moses, who also joined the Jets this offseason, is currently the projected starting right tackle. With two veterans on each side, Fashanu is unlikely to start.

However, this doesn’t mean Fashanu isn’t a good fit in New York. The Jets’ 64 allowed sacks were the fourth-most in the NFL last season, and Fashanu didn’t allow a single sack in college.

New York likely has its tackle of the future and learning from Smith and Moses should make Fashanu even more prepared to eventually take over the starting job.

Chop Robinson: Miami Dolphins

Chop Robinson will join a Miami edge rusher unit in desperate need of reinforcements. Jaelan Phillips’ and Bradley Chubb’s timelines are uncertain after both suffered injuries, so adding Robinson may take some pressure off new defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver.

However, many believe Robinson is still raw and needs time to reach his ceiling, which should be high. If that’s the case, he shouldn’t start immediately, especially on a Miami team that’s in “win-now” mode.

The Dolphins did bring in Shaquil Barrett, who is more than capable of holding it down until Phillips and Chubb return or the coaching staff determines Robinson is ready. Either way, it’s hard to complain about having a player who has been compared to Micah Parsons and Myles Garrett.

Caedan Wallace: New England Patriots

It was a pleasant surprise to see Caedan Wallace drafted in the third round as it wasn’t clear when he was going to hear his name called. Wallace will head to New England as one of its offensive line’s future members to protect Drake Maye, who was the team’s No. 3 overall pick.

“He was a guy that we felt was athletic enough to possibly make the switch over on the left side,” New England General Manager Eliot Wolf told reporters in his press conference following the selection. “He could possibly play guard. We think he could be a four-position guy but definitely feel like he can play on the left side.”

It’s interesting for Wolf to say that as Wallace primarily played right tackle at Penn State. There’s plenty of opportunity for Wallace to succeed with the Patriots, regardless of which side he plays on.

Adisa Isaac: Baltimore Ravens

Adisa Isaac will join once-Nittany Lion Odafe Oweh on Baltimore’s defensive line. Oweh is expected to start opposite Justin Madubuike, so Isaac will take his time getting to know the ins and outs.

The Ravens have a certain kind of player who fits their “play like a Raven” DNA, and Isaac is that. He’s physical and makes plays, and it was surprising to see him slip to the No. 93 overall pick. He’s at worst a good depth piece, and at best a starter. Baltimore got a steal.

Theo Johnson: New York Giants

The Giants had several options to choose from, and they went with Theo Johnson. His production increased every season with a career-high 341 yards and seven touchdowns last season. Penn State puts good tight ends in the NFL, and he has a chance to be the newest one.

Selecting Johnson was smart because of Darren Waller’s status. Waller, who had minimal production last season, is reportedly considering retirement. Daniel Bellinger and Jack Stoll are the only other tight ends on the depth chart, so there’s a path to starting if Waller hangs the cleats up.

Hunter Nourzad: Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City overhauled its offensive line in the draft by bringing in Kingsley Suamataia and C.J. Hanson alongside Hunter Nourzad. Nourzad is the only other center on the depth chart aside from the incumbent Creed Humphrey.

Nourzad’s experience in college should help prepare him to play in the event he’s asked to step up. If anything, though, there couldn’t possibly be a better organization to play for right now.

Daequan Hardy: Buffalo Bills

Daequan Hardy is an underrated player who could be a significant piece on the Bills’ special teams. He scored two punt return touchdowns against UMass last season and became the first player in school history to accomplish that feat.

Khalil Shakir is currently listed as the starting kick and punt returner for Buffalo, so it’ll be interesting to see how many reps he’ll get at that spot.

Kalen King: Green Bay Packers

For a guy who was a projected first-round selection at the beginning of last season, Green Bay is getting King for significant value.

King was the centerpiece of one of the best pass defenses in the country last season. He had a few rough outings, particularly against Marvin Harrison Jr. in Columbus, but he’s still talented.

Let’s not forget that King was an All-American in 2022. Last season didn’t end as he would’ve hoped, but he has shown he can produce at a high level.

King has reportedly been considered as a potential safety candidate around the NFL. He’d compete with fellow rookie Javon Bullard for a spot in Green Bay while also learning from Xavier McKinney. If he stays as a cornerback, learning from Jaire Alexander would be ideal while he gets up to an NFL pace.

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About the Author

Nolan Wick

Nolan is a third-year journalism major from Silver Spring, Maryland, which means he's an avid fan of all D.C. sports teams. If Nolan isn't writing about or watching sports, you can probably find him listening to all sorts of music or traveling. To keep up with Nolan, you can follow him on Twitter @nolan_wick or email him at [email protected].

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