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Penn State Football: NFL Draft Live Blog: Zettel, Jones, Nassib And Hackenberg Drafted

by on April 28, 2016 2:00 PM

It has been years in the making for these former Nittany Lions as their NFL future may start to take shape on Thursday night as the first round of the NFL Draft takes place in Chicago. While really only Christian Hackenberg is the long shot for a first round selection, Thursday is still an important checkpoint in a football player's quest to hit the professional ranks. will be keeping tabs on all the draft action and free agency in the coming weeks as several former Penn State standouts find their home at the next level.

While the number of Penn State players likely to sign with a team in the coming days is far greater than just four, the following players are the most likely to hear their name called at the draft this weekend.

Latest Free Agent Update:

Safety Ryan Keiser will reportedly head to Ravens rookie camp

TE Kyle Carter will sign a deal with the Minnesota Vikings.

CB Trevor Williams will sign with the San Deigo Chargers.

DT Tarow Barney will reportedly sign with the New York Jets. Not yet official.

Latest Draft Update:

  • Safety Jordan Lucas has been selected by the Miami Dolphins at 204 in the 6th round of the draft.
  • Anthony Zettel is headed back to Michigan as the Detroit Lions selected the Nittany Lions 202 overall in the 6th round of the draft.
  • DE Carl Nassib starts off the third round as the 65th selection in the draft by the Browns.
  • Quarterback Christian Hackenberg is draft 51st overall by the New York Jets. He joins former Nittany Lion Deion Barnes in New York.
  • DT Austin Johnson is selected 43rd overall by the Tennessee Titans. He will join fellow former Nittany Lion, and defensive lineman DaQuan Jones.

Other names to watch in free agency

  • Ryan Keiser
  • Angelo Mangiro
  • Brandon Johnson

Franklin on picks:

“We couldn’t be happier for Austin,” James Franklin said in a statement. “After graduating from Penn State in just three and a half years, he is ready to move to the next level. With his size, strength and great footwork, Austin has the ability to fit a 3-4 or a 4-3 defensive scheme, which not a lot of guys can do. I can see him being a fantastic contributor for the Titans. It’s also great to see him reunited with his good friend and former teammate DaQuan Jones.”

“So thrilled for Christian to hear his named called at the NFL Draft,” Franklin said. “He bled blue and white during his three years at Penn State and we are thankful for his contributions to the program and community. He has all the tools to be successful at the next level and I know he has a bright future ahead of him with the Jets.”

“Couldn’t be more excited for Carl,” Franklin said. “His amazing story of going from walk-on to Lombardi Award winner to Penn State graduate to NFL Draft pick is unprecedented. His productivity and tremendous measurables will serve him well at the next level. The sky’s the limit for Carl and there will not be anyone that will outwork him.”

“We are excited for Anthony to have earned his degree and now have this opportunity with the Lions,” Franklin said. “Anthony has always been willing to sacrifice for the good of the team and that is a trait that will serve him well in the NFL. His unique athleticism and explosiveness make him a very intriguing prospect at a number of positions.”

“I am excited to see Jordan have the chance to continue his football career,” Franklin said. “Jordan was an integral part of our defensive backfield. His combination of size and speed will allow him to play both corner and safety.”


Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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