Ranking the greatest Penn State hidden NFL draft gems since 2000

The 2024 NFL draft is approaching and Penn State has plenty of prospects who will be selected on Day 2 or 3 of the NFL draft. These are the best later-round picks that the Nittany Lions have produced.
San Francisco 49ers inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman (53)
San Francisco 49ers inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman (53) / Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 5

The NFL draft is fast approaching and while the Penn State Nittany Lions have a few first-round prospects like Olu Fashanu and Chop Robinson, there will be many more players from James Franklin’s roster who are selected on Day 2 or Day 3. 

As the draft drags on late into Friday night or Saturday, teams start to look for hidden gems who can plug holes on their roster and Penn State has a track record of producing some quality mid-late round picks. 

It's important to note that this list isn't getting into some quality second-rounders like Allen Robinson and Miles Sanders who have been excellent in the league. We're looking a bit later in the draft and these five fit that mold.

Here are the five best “hidden gems” from Penn State that the NFL uncovered this century:

. 2022. Round: 7 Pick: 249. player. Rasheed Walker, OT. Rasheed Walker, OT. Rasheed Walker. . 5. 49

In the seventh round, every team is just hoping to get a backup or special teamer who can contribute for a few snaps a game. Well, the Green Bay Packers stumbled into a starting left tackle.

All-Pro tackle David Bakhtiari has struggled to stay on the field, so in 2023, Walker was forced into the starting role and played all 17 games, with 15 starts. Over his 974 snaps, Walker allowed 36 pressures but was serviceable in his role and may enter the 2024 season as the starter.