Three Penn State football players who should be replaced on the depth chart for 2024

The Nittany Lions made a mess of their 2024 dress rehearsal in the Peach Bowl and the loss exposed some major holes on James Franklin's roster. These are the holes that still remain and the starters who should be replaced next year.

Ohio State Buckeyes cornerback Jermaine Mathews Jr. (24) and Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver KeAndre Lambert-Smith (1)
Ohio State Buckeyes cornerback Jermaine Mathews Jr. (24) and Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver KeAndre Lambert-Smith (1) / Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA
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The Peach Bowl was a dress rehearsal for the 2024 Penn State Nittany Lions and it was about as big of a disaster as your future mother-in-law had a bit too much pinto grigio and knocked over the buffet tables. 

Penn State didn’t look like it belonged on the same field as Ole Miss, a team that came in ranked one spot behind James Franklin’s squad in the final College Football Playoff rankings. Well, the 38-24 loss to Lane Kiffin’s group sprung Franklin into action, signing six players in the transfer portal, his best class of the portal era. 

 He brought in Julian Fleming to fill the hole at wide receiver and added two SEC corners to sure up a secondary that held up as well as a leaky roof in a rainstorm. Penn State was without Kalen King and Johnny Dixon, both of whom are headed to the NFL, with Daequan Hardy, who did play against the Rebels. 

The offense wasn’t much better in the season finale, and beyond just bringing in Andy Kotelnicki to coordinator that side of the ball, James Franklin will need to replace a couple of key players who had big impacts in 2023 and are expected to start in 2024. These are the three players that Penn State most needs to replace this offseason.