Last year, Penn State didn’t produce a single first-round pick in the NFL draft. Joey Porter Jr. was selected at No. 32 overall by the Steelers, but that was a second-round pick because Miami was forced to forfeit its first-rounder.
Either way, the Nittany Lions didn’t have anybody go in the first round and that was because Olu Fashanu returned for his senior season instead of entering the draft after his junior year. This year, Penn State could have three players go at the top of the draft, and two of them are underclassmen.
After losing to Ohio State, some Penn State fans are already looking forward to next season with the 12-team playoff, so it’s a worthwhile exercise to figure out which players could be elsewhere, either in the NFL or on another team, next season.
1. Chop Robinson, Junior
Last season, Olu Fashanu was a sure-fire first round pick and wasn’t interested in leaving for the NFL, but that doesn’t mean Penn State fans should get their hopes up about Chop Robinson.
The NFL covets pass-rushers and Robinson is one of the best in the country. There was a time when Robinson was commonly mocked in and around the top 10 of the 2024 NFL Draft, and since then his stock has fallen some, but not out of the first-round.
Robinson has missed time with an injury he suffered against Ohio State, but he was still No. 12 overall in The Athletic’s Dane Brugler’s midseason NFL draft big board. Robinson has nine tackles and three sacks this year.