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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Defensive Secondary replacements

CB1: Kalen King - Jalen Kimber

Kalen King was far from a shutdown primary cornerback on Penn State’s defense, but he will still be a Day 2 NFL draft pick and will be missed in the Penn State secondary. Jalen Kimber is the experienced SEC replacement that Franklin added to fill that role after Cam Miller struggled in his opportunity against Ole Miss. 

CB2: Johnny Dixon - A.J. Harris

Johnny Dixon was a better CB2 than King was a CB1 if that makes any sense. Dixon was excellent in 2023, and I’d wager that Harris gets the first crack at starting opposite Kimber. Harris only played 89 snaps over five games as a true freshman at Georgia, but the former four-star has enough talent to deserve an opportunity. 

CB3/Slot: Daequan Hardy - Cam Miller 

One of these three corners will be forced to move inside as the nickel and I suspect it’ll be Miller. He got torched as the starting outside cornerback in the Peach Bowl, allowing seven catches for 120 yards, but his issue wasn’t coverage it was ball skills.

Miller only played 12 snaps in the slot last season, but that’s more than Kimber who played just seven of his 488 snaps at Florida in the slot in 2023, and Harris who only took one snap as Georgia’s nickel. 

Miller will get more favorable matchups on the inside and won’t have to deal with receivers who can beat him at the catch points with superior size, strength, and athleticism as Ole Miss’s NFL-bound pass catchers did.

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