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Penn State football defender is garnering NFL interest ahead of 2023 season

The Nittany Lions’ top defender is being pinned as a top NFL Draft target.



Penn State football, Kalen King, Olu Fashanu
© Dan Rainville / USA TODAY NETWORK

This fall, the Penn State football defense will be led by a plethora of talented star players, one of whom is defensive back Kalen King. King, who stood out last fall and has been named a preseason All-American in 2023, is garnering loads of college and NFL interest.

King is a former four-star recruit out of Detroit, MI, and has the potential to be one of the top Penn State football players in recent memory. A year ago, it was Joey Porter Jr. who shined in the Blue and White. However, with Porter now in the NFL, Kalen King looks to fill his shoes and then some. According to Pro Football Focus, King is one of the top cornerback prospects for the upcoming NFL Draft and is attracting plenty of attention from the league.

Penn State football defender Kalen King garnering national attention

According to every major outlet, Penn State football defensive back Kalen King is currently regarded as one of the best corners in the country, ranking within the top 5 among all defensive backs. In fact, ON3’s recent top 100 list places King among the top 10 players in all of college football, making him the second Nittany Lion to break the top 10 alongside Olu Fashanu (OT).

During the 2022 season, despite serving as CB2 for the Nittany Lions, Kalen King accumulated 30 tackles, 15 pass breakups, one fumble recovery, and three interceptions. His impressive performance last fall earned him national recognition as a second-team All-American by Walter Camp and a first-team All-Big Ten selection by PFF. Now, even greater expectations lie ahead for King, and he seems ready to embrace the challenge.

NFL is taking note of King’s talent

According to a recent article via Pro Football focus, the rising junior Penn State football star is looking like one of the top cornerback prospects for the 2024 NFL Draft.

“Joey Porter Jr. may have gone 32nd overall in the 2023 NFL Draft, but King was Penn State’s true star in the secondary this past season,” Pro Football Focus said. “In single coverage, the sophomore led all college cornerbacks with a 93.3 grade and an 18.3 passer rating allowed. His 15 forced incompletions in single coverage tied for third among FBS cornerbacks, as well.”

If Kalen King can live up to the hype this fall, he could potentially become the first Penn State football cornerback taken in Round 1 of the NFL Draft in the program’s history.

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Chris Mangum is currently a Penn State student and serves as a writer and editor covering Big Ten athletics. He has served as a beat writer, online reporter, print reporter, and more over the past few years of his career. He currently serves as the managing editor for Basic Blues Nation and others.


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