These players will replace Penn State stars headed to the NFL in 2024

Penn State is losing 10 key contributors to the 2024 NFL Draft, so who will replace them on the depth chart next season?

Penn State linebacker Abdul Carter (11)
Penn State linebacker Abdul Carter (11) / Dan Rainville / USA TODAY NETWORK
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James Franklin may not be able to win the big game, but he can put together a roster with quite a few big names. Those stars, like projected first-rounders Olu Fashanu and Chop Robinson, are headed to the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine at the end of this month and while they’re prepping to fight for a starting job in the NFL, let’s see who in Happy Valley will take over their position on Penn State’s roster. 

Penn State has 10 former players who received invites to the combine, and with only limited action in the transfer portal, Franklin will need to replace them primarily with in-house promotions. These are the players who appear to be up next on the depth chart heading into 2024. 

Offensive replacements

LT: Olu Fashanu - Drew Shelton

Shelton didn’t perform particularly well in his 385 snaps last season, but the former four-star has clearly been groomed as Fashanu’s replacement at left tackle. Shelton played all 72 snaps at left tackle in the Peach Bowl after Fashanu opted out, but he did allow seven pressures in that game and 14 on the year in just 172 pass-blocking snaps. Fashanu only gave up 10 pressures in 382 pass-blocking snaps. 

RT Caedan Wallace - J’ven Williams

This is a tough one because in the Peach Bowl, once Wallace stopped playing at halftime, Anthony Donkoh slid into his spot at right tackle. It was just Donkoh’s fourth game of the season and his first career snaps at tackle. He played 46 snaps and only allowed one pressure, but Donkoh and Williams were both true freshmen last season Williams was the much higher-rated player coming out of high school. 

Donkoh could find a home on the interior of the offensive line, but Williams, a former five-star, should be given the chance to start in Year 2. 

C: Hunter Nourzad - Nick Dawkins

JB Nelson or Olaivavega Ioane could slide over to center to free up a spot for Donkoh, who the coaching staff is high on, but playing center is a whole different beast than playing guard. Dawkins is a natural center who was Nourzad’s primary backup in 2023, playing 140 snaps there across 10 games. 

TE: Theo Johnson - Luke Reynolds

Tyler Warren will step up as the team’s primary tight end, but he kind of was in 2023 when he played 69 more snaps than Theo Johnson and caught the same number of passes for 81 more yards. 

Reynolds is the No. 1 tight end in the Class of 2024 and Penn State’s top-rated incoming freshmen. He’ll raise the ceiling of the offense and be impactful from Day 1.