Best Penn State players still available on Day 3 of NFL draft according to ESPN

Penn State was happy to see four members of its football family be selected by NFL franchises in the first three rounds of the 2024 NFL draft, but they are hoping to see more go on the final day of the draft on Saturday. Any NFL franchise looking to add a linebacker to the roster will have a few solid options to choose from beginning in the fourth round, including Penn State’s Curtis Jacobs.

Jacobs was a standout performer for Penn State and is ranked as the third-best linebacker still on the board according to ESPN’s ranking of best available players going into Day 3 of the draft. He is also among the top 25 best players available when the draft resumes with the no. 24 ranking.

North Carolina’s Cedric Gray is the top linebacker available according to ESPN’s ranking. Clemson’s Jeremiah Trotter Jr. is the second-best available linebacker before Jacobs according to the same ranking. All three players figure to make some NFL franchise very happy with the bargain they will seemingly be getting.

Theo Johnson among best TEs still available

Penn State tight end Theo Johnson was hoping to go somewhere in the second or third rounds of the draft, but his wait will drag into Day 3 as well. Johnson is ranked as the fifth-best tight end still available with four rounds remaining, so he still has a very good chance of being drafted.

Ja’Tavion Sanders of Texas, Cade Stover of Ohio State, Tanner McLachlan of Arizona, and Jared Wiley of TCU are all ranked ahead of Johnson at the tight end position.

Hunter Nourzad watch is also on

Penn State has already had two offensive linemen drafted in the 2024 NFL draft. Olu Fashanu was a first-round pick of the New York Jets and Caedan Wallace went to the New England Patriots in the third round. But Penn State could get one more offensive lineman drafted with center Hunter Nourzad lingering on the board on Day 3.

ESPN ranks Nourzad as the third-best center available. Only Georgia’s Sedrick Van Pran-Granger and Wisconsin’s Tanor Bortolini are ranked ahead of him.

Cornerbacks look like long shots?

Penn State still has a few cornerbacks sitting and waiting for a call from the NFL going into the final day of the draft. Daequan Hardy, Kalen King, and Johnny Dixon are all still available, but all three are ranked between no. 21 and no. 25 at their position among best players available according to ESPN.

While Hardy and Dixon were always expected to be later round picks at best, the fall of King from a potential first-round draft pick a year ago is unfortunate to watch develop. If any player may have benefitted the most by returning for another season at Penn State, it is looking like it would have been King.

But maybe somebody is going to take a shot at King and capitalize on a player with a potential chip on his shoulder. If not, he will be one player to watch during the undrafted free agent frenzy following the draft.

Catch all of the latest updates from the NFL draft with USA TODAY’s live draft tracker. For a look at each Penn State draft prospect, be sure to check out our Penn State NFL draft tracker.

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Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire