Blue White Illustrated

June-July 2022

Penn State Sports Magazine

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 38 of 67

J U N E / J U L Y 2 0 2 2 3 9 W W W . B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M P enn State had one of the better drafts in school history this year when eight former Nittany Lions were chosen during the three-day event last month in Las Vegas, starting with first-round wide receiver Jahan Dotson. The Lions' eight-man class was the Big Ten's largest this year. Only three schools nationally — Georgia (15), LSU (10) and Cincinnati (nine) — had more players chosen than Penn State. It was also the biggest PSU draft class since 1996 when 10 Nittany Lions were chosen. Here's a closer look at the Lions' eight draftees: Jahan Dotson ROUND: First (16th overall pick) TEAM: Washington Commanders DETAILS: One of the most produc- tive receivers in school history, Dotson was the first Nittany Lion off the board and the fifth receiver taken in this year's draft. Seeing action in 42 games during his four collegiate seasons, he totaled 183 catches for 2,757 yards and 25 touch- downs. Dotson ranks second in school history in receptions and receiving touchdowns and fourth in receiving yards. Those numbers helped make the 5-foot-11, 184-pounder the first Penn State receiver to be drafted in the open- ing round since Bryant Johnson in 2003. Not since Philadelphia made Kenny Jackson the No. 4 overall pick in 1984 had a PSU wideout been selected as early as Dotson. JAMES FRANKLIN SAYS: "Jahan has an intense, laser-like focus on great- ness and a competitive edge that will serve him well at the next level." T. FRANK CARR'S ANALYSIS: Dotson is capable of outdueling most slot corners and is equally dan- gerous against man and zone coverage. His route run- ning and precision will enable him to shine in the NFL. The real problem for Dot- son will be at quarterback. Car- son Wentz is one of the least-accurate quarterbacks in the league according to Pro Football Focus. Last season, he tal- lied a 72.3 percent adjusted completion percentage, which was 29th out of 32 starting quarterbacks. Luckily for Wentz, Dotson is an ac- robatic phenom in the air and routinely snags highlight-reel catches on errant throws. Arnold Ebiketie ROUND: Second (38th overall pick) TEAM: Atlanta Falcons DETAILS: Ebiketie's lone season at Penn State proved to be a memorable one. Arriving from Temple ahead of the 2021 season, he took his place as one of the Big Ten's most fearsome pass rush- ers, ranking second in the conference with 18 tackles for loss and third with 9.5 sacks. PFF gave the 6-3, 256-pound Ebiketie a pass rushing grade of 90.5 in 2021 — the fifth-best mark among power-confer- ence edge rushers who played 50 percent or more of their team's pass rush snaps. FRANKLIN SAYS: "He arrived in Happy Valley as a talented player with collegiate experience, [and] his willing- ness to buy into our system and culture really allowed him to take his game to the next level." CARR'S ANALYSIS: Ebiketie will most likely be used by the Falcons as a stunting lineman when not rushing off the edge. Ebiketie's bend, quickness and burst make him a star pass rusher in any situation but incredibly effective in these scenarios. The Falcons' rebuilding efforts took a significant step forward by drafting Ebiketie. He's a great fit because his skills fit every NFL defense. He's one of the best pure pass rushers in the 2022 NFL Draft and one of the best to come out of Penn State under Franklin. Eight Ways To Sunday A blue-and-white octet gets set to join the NFL after the Nittany Lions enjoy a bountiful 2022 draft Jahan Dotson became the first Penn State wide receiver taken in the opening round of the draft since Bryant Johnson was chosen 17th overall by the Arizona Cardinals in 2003. PHOTO BY STEVE MANUEL

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue White Illustrated - June-July 2022