Penn State Football: 2 Nittany Lions Named Top-10 NFL Draft Prospects by CBS Sports

Penn State Football
Cade McNamara #12 of the Iowa Hawkeyes is sacked by Chop Robinson #44 and Adisa Isaac #20 of the Penn State Nittany Lions during the first half at Beaver Stadium on September 23, 2023 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

With the 2023 college football season and the Senior Bowl firmly behind 2024 NFL draft prospects, all eyes have turned to the NFL combine and individual school pro days. Penn State Football figures to play a starring role in this year’s draft.

Ahead of these two pivotal events in the draft process, however, two former Nittany Lions find themselves among the top 10 prospects in the upcoming draft in the latest Top 25 Big Board by CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso.

Here is the latest from Trapasso on two former Nittany Lions.

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Edge Chop Robinson: 8th overall prospect

Former Penn State defensive end Chop Robinson checks in as the number eight overall prospect and the second ranked edge prospect in the 2024 NFL draft according to Trapasso.

Trapasso points out that Robinson has the vital trait that scouts look for in defensive ends in today’s NFL, speed, noting “when he wins, he wins fast.” Robinson’s twitch and speed off the edge has him firmly grading as a first round pick, with potential to be drafted into the top 10 or 15 picks, with teams looking for “electric, bendy outsider rushers.” In two seasons at Penn State, Robinson accumulated 17.5 tackles for a loss and 9.5 sacks over 22 games.

Trapasso predicts that Robinson will perform well at the combine, as “per usual” for Penn State which could solidify his positioning as one of the top defensive ends in the 2024 NFL draft class.

Offensive tackle Olu Fashanu: 9th overall prospect

For the first time this draft cycle, offensive tackle Olu Fashanu is not the highest ranked Nittany Lion on an NFL prospect list or mock draft.

Fashanu checks in as the ninth best prospect, one spot behind Robinson, and the top overall offensive tackle prospect. Only 21 years old, Fashanu has elite traits as a pass blocker, grading as one of the highest offensive linemen of the 2023 season per PFF. Trapasso notes that Fashanu built strength to his game after returning to school for a fourth season in 2023 and “exudes athletic gifts.” While different outlets differ on whether Fashanu gave up a sack last season against Ohio State, Fashanu has given up either one or zero sacks over 21 starts over three years in blue and white.

If both Robinson and Fashanu impress at the NFL Combine and the Penn State pro day, the talented pair could be the fifth and sixth players selected in the first round of the NFL draft in the James Franklin era and the 41st and 42nd first round picks in Penn State history. The pair could also mark the second draft in the James Franklin era where Penn State would have two picks in the first round of the same draft (2021 Micah Parsons, Odafe Oweh) and the tenth time in Penn State history (1974, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2003, and 2021). Both Robinson and Fashanu have been invited to the NFL Combine beginning on February 29th in the next step in the draft process. 

MORE: How Penn State Replaces Olu Fashanu Will Prove Critical in 2024

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