Connect with us


Penn State football shines in NFL Draft, sends 6 new prospects to the league

The Nittany Lions had yet another successful NFL Draft.



Penn State football, NFL Draft,
© Dan Rainville / USA TODAY NETWORK

The 2023 Penn State football NFL Draft was quite successful, with six players getting drafted, including second-round steal Joey Porter Jr. and quarterback Sean Clifford, who turned heads. The Nittany Lions had the second-most players drafted in the Big Ten, behind only the Michigan Wolverines (9).

Penn State football NFL Draft: Six new Nittany Lions sent to the league via the draft

Penn State football has established itself as a pipeline for producing NFL Draft picks over the years. Despite not having a first-round selection, as many had anticipated, the Nittany Lions had a strong showing in this year’s draft, sending the second-highest number of prospects to the league among Big Ten programs.

The Michigan Wolverines led the conference with nine players selected, while Penn State and Ohio State each had six. At the bottom of the conference was Rutgers, with only one draft pick. Some of Penn State’s draft picks were expected, such as defensive back Joey Porter Jr. going to the Pittsburgh Steelers, while others were unforeseen, such as Sean Clifford being taken in the top 150 picks by the Green Bay Packers.

No Lions go on Day 1

Despite being projected as a first-round pick in every mock draft, Joey Porter Jr. fell to the early stages of the second round in the NFL Draft. However, he still ended up in his projected landing spot with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where his father had played and coached. Porter was the first Penn State player selected in this year’s draft, and he will continue his football career close to home as a North Allegheny High School prospect.

Penn State football sees a trio of Lions go in the second round

Penn State football missed out on having a first-round pick this year, but three Nittany Lions were selected in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Joey Porter Jr., the standout defensive back, was the first Penn State player off the board, followed closely by tight end Brenton Strange, who was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars, and center Juice Scruggs, who was selected by the Houston Texans. All three of these players were crucial to Penn State’s impressive 11-2 season in 2022, and are expected to excel at the professional level.

Another Penn Stater in Round 3

In the subsequent round, the San Francisco 49ers selected their fourth Penn State football alum and second Nittany Lion defensive back of the 2023 NFL Draft, former standout safety Ji’Ayir Brown.

Sean Clifford, Parker Washington round out this year’s Penn State football NFL Draft class

Sean Clifford’s selection by the Packers with the 149th pick in the 5th round of the draft turned heads around the league. Although Clifford was not on many draft boards, the Packers had expressed interest in the veteran Penn State quarterback ahead of the draft. Parker Washington, a former standout wide receiver, was selected in the 6th round of the draft, making him the sixth and final Penn State football player taken this year.

Penn State’s six draft picks are tied with Ohio State for second place in the Big Ten, and tied with Clemson, LSU, Ohio State, Oregon, and Pitt for third place nationally.

Thank you for reading Basic Blues Nation. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and insights on your favorite Penn State athletics. For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email us at [email protected] or direct message us on our social media. It’s due to your support that we can become one of the market’s fastest-growing Penn State sports outlets!

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.