Where an anonymous NFL scout thinks Penn State's players can go in the 2022 NFL draft
The 2022 NFL draft is set to begin Thursday and there are plenty of Penn State Nittany Lions who hope to hear their names called over the three-day event.
We spoke to an NFL scout to get their thoughts on eight of the Nittany Lion draft hopefuls.
WR Jahan Dotson
Bio: Dotson was a record-breaking wide receiver at Penn State and finished his career with 183 catches for 2,757 yards and 25 receiving touchdowns. Those marks are good for second when it comes to receptions and touchdowns and fourth in yards. He also set the single game record for receiving yards against Maryland in his final season, racking up 242 yards on the road against the Terrapins in November.
Scout's take: "He can go anywhere from late first to the second. People will look and study the receivers, and when you look at (the other receivers) it's almost pick your flavor. If you want the big, tall receiver, you're gonna have those guys over him. If you want the speedster, you're gonna go after Olave or Garrett Wilson. Jahan could be the second or third or fourth receiver taken, or the seventh receiver taken."
DE Arnold Ebiketie
Bio: Ebiketie only spent one season at Penn State but made his mark in limited time as a Nittany Lion. He led the team with 9.5 sacks during the 2021 season and added two forced fumbles. He finished his college career with 15.5 sacks, with the first six coming at Temple, where he spent the first three years of his career.
Scout's take: "I think Ebiketie goes in the second or third. He has high character, he knows how to rush, he had a good Senior Bowl, he tested well. He's checked all the boxes. Some people are gonna be like, 'I trust him so I'm gonna take him in the second round, early third and then call it a day and know that I have a really good football player.'"
S Jaquan Brisker
Bio: Brisker spent three seasons at Penn State after playing two years at Lackawanna Community College. In those three years as a Nittany Lion, he made 21 starts and established himself as one of the leaders of a high level defense. He made 153 tackles, 9.5 of which were for loss, hauled in five interceptions and broke up 14 passes in 34 career games played.
Scout's take: "He's a potential starter at safety. It's gonna take him some time to be what Penn State saw, similar to his career, where even though he started it wasn't always pretty then this year he kind of set it on fire. (His NFL career) is gonna be similar to that."
LB Brandon Smith
Bio: Smith got to Penn State as a five-star recruit at linebacker and became a starter by his sophomore season. He finished his career with 131 tackles, four sacks, a forced fumble and an interception as a Nittany Lion.
Scout's take: "Someone is gonna take him earlier. If people study his background and like him afterwards, then they'll take him in the third. And if someone studies his background and watches the tape, he may go in five or six."
OT Rasheed Walker
Bio: Walker finished his career as an entrenched starter at left tackle before an injury derailed his 2021 season. The offensive tackle was a highly touted recruit who quickly stepped in to start 13 games as a redshirt freshman and didn't relinquish the job from there.
Scout's take: "He is talented. But he has had no Pro Day, because of the meniscus surgery that he had. He hasn't really worked out for anybody. People are probably gonna question what he is. His tape is up and down. Rasheed is the one guy that could go anywhere from the third to the seventh."
LB/DE Jesse Luketa
Bio: Luketa was a linebacker for the majority of his career but a switch to defensive end opened the door for him to play both positions during the 2021 season. He totaled 151 tackles in four seasons of play, and added an interception during his last year at Penn State.
Scout's take: "Jesse ran slow when he pulled his hamstring. I'm trying to think of how many 4.89 defensive ends get taken before the fifth. Not many. I'll say he goes fifth or sixth."
CB Tariq Castro-Fields
Bio: Castro-Fields played five seasons at Penn State and started 30 games at cornerback in that time. He wrapped up his career with 138 total tackles, 10 of which were for loss, three interceptions and 25 pass breakups. He was also named All-Big Ten honorable mention by both the coaches and the media after the 2021 season.
Scout's take: "Tariq could go from the fifth to the sixth. A team needing him to tackle a lot puts him in the sixth. He doesn't get out of the sixth."
LB Ellis Brooks
Bio: Brooks started 20 games at linebacker for Penn State, racking up 230 tackles over four seasons. He became the 23rd linebacker in Penn State history to record at least 100 tackles in a season when he did so in 2021. Brooks was named second-team All-Big Ten by the coaches and honorable mention by the media during his final season.
Scout's take: "Some 3-4 team may take a chance on him. Ellis is a really good linebacker. Most teams would probably have him in the sixth or seventh round range. He's a really good ball player. I really, really like him as a player, but he's not gonna be for every team."