Penn State Has Six Players Drafted in 2021 NFL Draft

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By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

Penn State football knew one thing for sure entering the 2021 NFL draft: Micah Parsons would be a first-round pick.

The team also had two other players in Odafe Jayson Oweh and Pat Freiermuth who would surely hear there name called at some point in the draft, but there were also four additional draft-eligible players who were unsure if or when their names would be called.

In the end, sox of seven eligible players wound up having an NFL team spend some draft capital on them.

Unsurprisingly, the linebacker, Micah Parsons, was the first Penn Stater off the board, going to the Cowboys in the first round with the 12th overall pick. He figures to become an instant leader in the Dallas linebacking corps, replacing fellow Penn Stater Sean Lee who retired from the league earlier this week.

Parsons becomes the second player to come from the blue and white on the team as offensive lineman Connor McGovern remains on their roster, as well.

Fans didn’t have to wait too long for the second lion to come off the board as Odafe Oweh went to Baltimore just 19 picks later.

In the closing moments of the first round, the Ravens took the freakishly athletic edge rusher to bolster their defensive front. It was not long after his selection he announced he would prefer to be called by his true first name, Odafe, in the NFL.

Oweh joins Trace McSorely as the second Penn Stater on the roster.

Next off the board was Freiermuth who remains in state and following the same path as Jesse James by being drafted into Pittsburgh.

The tight end seemed to slip a bit following a shoulder injury that ended his 2020 season, but he was still selected in the second round, pick 55 overall.

He joins a roster that also features Marcus Allen and Trevor Williams on it’s defense.

There was a large gap between the next Penn Stater selected as it seemed Shaka Toney fell way beyond where he should have. Still, he heard his name called in round seven at pick 246. With it being so late in the draft it seemed unlikely other Lions would find themselves drafted, but Toney;s selection triggered a run on Penn State as the two following picks were Michael Menet and Will Fries at 247 and 248, respectively.

Toney heads to Washington, where he will join the speedy Troy Apke.

Menet joins the Cardinals, where Shareef Miller is currently on the roster.

Fries will be reuniting with Robert Windsor in Indianapolis.

The lone draft eligible player not to be drafted was LaMont Wade, who immediately latched on with the Steelers in free agency following the conclusion of the draft, giving him an opportunity to chase his dream.

Offensive lineman Steven Gonzalez is still looking for his own opportunity after COVID wreaked havoc on his ability to land with and grow with a team in 2020 undrafted free agency. He had been at Penn State’s Pro Day earlier this year.

Though not a Penn State player for the 2020 season, cornerback Zech McPhearson, a letterman at PSU from 2016-2018, was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth round (pick 123) following a strong season at Texas Tech. While he didn’t end his college career as a Nittany Lion, it’s still good to see.

Having so many players get drafted this season, particularly high in the draft, is good news for future recruiting within the program and should continue to build with some high-level prospects like Jahan Dotson, Rasheed Walker and Jaquan Brisker returning to Penn State this season in hopes of bringing their draft stock even higher for 2022.

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