West Virginia head coach lauds NFL draft talent on Penn State defense

Penn State is preparing to open the 2023 season with a home opener this Saturday night against former regional rival West Virginia. In the first meeting between the two schools since 1992, West Virginia head coach Neal Brown is fully aware of just how much talent Penn State has to offer that his team will have to prepare for.

In a weekly press conference, Brown praised the star power on Penn State’s defense ahead of the Week 1 matchup. Brown said Penn State has nine draft picks on the defensive side of the football, according to WV Sports Now and reporter Mike Asti via X, formerly known as Twitter.

Nine players with NFL draft potential on one defense? Yeah, that’s pretty good. So who are those nine players Brown is referring to?

The three obvious ones are cornerback Kalen King, defensive end Chop Robinson, and linebacker Abdul Carter. King is being viewed as one of the top cornerbacks in the 2024 NFL draft pool, so long as he declares for the draft after this season. Robinson has been called a possible first-round draft pick as well. Carter is still just a sophomore, but you have to imagine he is on the radar of the draft scouts already.

Linebacker Curtis Jacobs and defensive end Adisa Isaac are probably the next two to come to mind, bringing our total to five players. Other starters developing their NFL draft stock may be defensive tackles Hakeem Beamon and Dvon Ellies. And safety Keaton Ellis and cornerback Johnny Dixon are likely players to be on the big board for some teams, even if later in the draft process.

Penn State’s defense should be locked in from the start this week and season. After a strong showing in the spring Blue-White Game, Penn State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz has a unit that will be able to create opportunities for the offense to do its thing.

Penn State hosts West Virginia on Saturday, Sept. 2 at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

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Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire