CBS Sports ranks 100 most important NFL players in 2024, including these former Nittany Lions

He has yet to play a down of football in the NFL, but former Penn State offensive lineman Olu Fashanu is already being considered one of the 100 most important players in the league this season. The first-round draft pick of the New York Jets was highlighted in a list of the top 100 most important NFL players by CBS Sports for the upcoming 2024 season, which not-so-coincidentally is 100 days away from kicking off. Fashanu was not alone in representing Penn State on this list.

Fashanu’s inclusion on the list makes sense given how much is riding on the health of Jets starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers. If you blinked last season at the worn time, then you may have missed Rodgers’ 2023 NFL season. Rodgers was injured on one of the first plays of the year leading the Jets offense, giving the franchise even more reason to find ways to protect him in 2024. Fashanu, being one of the top offensive linemen in the NFL draft this past spring, was a pretty obvious pick for the franchise. And because of his role on the offensive line, it makes sense why Fashanu would be considered one of the most important players in 2024. The Jets have big hopes and dreams and it all relies on keeping Rodgers healthy. No pressure, Fashanu.

The CBS Sports list breaks the list down by division rather than providing any sort of overall ranking comparing players. In the NFC East, Dallas Cowboys linebacker-turned-defensive end Micah Parsons was highlighted as one of the most important players on the Cowboys’ roster. Parsons has played linebacker for the Cowboys since entering the league, although the team has worked him at various positions. This year will see Parsons spending more time on the edge of the line.

In the same division, running back Saquon Barkley was singled out as one of the most important players on the roster of the Philadelphia Eagles. Barkley signed with the Eagles after not being retained by the New York Giants.

Former Penn State quarterback Will Levis, who transferred from Penn State to Kentucky to finish his college career, was also included on the list. Levis is entering his second season as the franchise quarterback of the Tennessee Titans.

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Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire