5 Penn State Football players who outperformed where they were Drafted

Green Bay Packers strong safety Adrian Amos (Photo by Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel VIA USA TODAY Sports Network)
Green Bay Packers strong safety Adrian Amos (Photo by Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel VIA USA TODAY Sports Network) /
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Penn State Football had only two players drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft in the past decade, but has put plenty of talent into the league in the later rounds

Penn State Football has had only Saquon Barkley and Jared Odrick selected in the first round of the draft this past decade, but that could change Thursday night in the 2021 NFL Draft.

This Thursday, star linebacker Micah Parsons figures to be the next addition to that list when he expects to hear his name called in the first round, potentially even inside the top 10.

Despite the lack of first round draft picks, Penn State Football ranks seventh in the country with 32 players currently in the NFL, good for third in the Big Ten behind only Ohio State and Michigan, respectively.

The later rounds, day two and day three picks have been where the Nittany Lions have been hidden gems for their respective NFL franchises, as some of the best current Lions entered the league with little to no fanfare.

James Franklin and his staff are a big reason for that, as his recruitment and player development in Happy Valley has been as good as any other team in the country. The 2021 NFL Draft should be further evidence of that as the Nittany Lions could see six or seven guys drafted this weekend.

As the sports worlds focus turns to the draft on Thursday, April 29th, let’s take a look at the five best Penn State Football players drafted in the last decade. 

5. Donovan Smith – 2nd round, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

Donovan Smith was a surprise pick to land in the top of the second round with the Buccaneers in 2015, but has proven that selection correct thus far.

Smith was protecting the blindside of quarterback Christian Hackenberg while in Happy Valley, and is now protecting future hall of famer Tom Brady en rout to winning the Super Bowl this past season with teammate Chris Godwin.

The left tackle was stellar in the Bucs post season run, shutting down pass rushers like Chase Young and Frank Clark. He has developed a reputation for being a consistent pass blocker and anchored one of the best offensive lines in the NFL last season.

In 2015 he was named to the PFWA All-Rookie team as he was a day one starter in Tampa Bay, originally picked to be the protector of Jamies Winston who was the first pick that year.