While the Penn State Nittany Lions await the Rose Bowl, a few players have declared for the 2023 NFL Draft, and some have entered the transfer portal. With that being said, there are a couple of offseason priorities for the team going into next year. There have been a couple of key players who have already declared; therefore, there are some big shoes to fill. Here is a quick idea of who will be leaving the Nittany Lions, and where the team will need to put their offseason priorities.
Offseason Priorities: Who Has Left?
While there have also been players to enter the transfer portal, two key players have declared for the 2023 NFL Draft so far. Here are the players, and why filling in their spots will be one of the team’s offseason priorities.
Joey Porter Jr.
As expected, defensive back Joey Porter Jr. has declared for the 2023 NFL Draft. Porter is an expected first-round pick this season, but filling in his spot will be a Nittany Lions offseason priority. This season Porter played in ten games, having to miss time due to appendicitis. Even while missing time, he has had a great year with Penn State.
This season, Porter has had a total of 27 combined tackles, 21 of which were solo, and 11 pass deflections, according to Sports Reference. The only turnover stat of the season is one fumble recovery. Even without turnovers, Porter is not a cornerback the opposing team wants to throw near.
As for the offense, wide receiver Parker Washington officially declared for the 2023 NFL draft. Washington has been with the team for three years and will be missed. Although as of now he has been the only receiver to declare for the draft, it will be an offseason priority to find more receivers to fill his spot.
This season, Washington caught 46 passes for 611 yards, according to Sports Reference. Washington only had two touchdown receptions but averaged 13.3 yards per catch. While he may have not been the highest-scoring player on the team, he was the one to always put himself in a position to get the Nittany Lions the needed yards.
Penn State’s Offseason Priorities:
While Parker Washington may be the only receiver so far to declare for the draft, there is a chance more will follow. Wide receiver Mitchell Tinsley is eligible and there is a chance he may also declare. That being said, one of the offseason priorities for the Nittany Lions will be to look for big receivers. There is a recruiting class coming in, and some freshmen who were redshirted, but the team should also look into the transfer portal for guys who can make a difference, just as Tinsley did this season.
The team will also need to find depth for the defensive back position. In addition to Porter declaring for the NFL Draft, cornerback Jeffrey Davis Jr. entered the transfer portal. The team as of now will have Johnny Dixon back there but should look for needed depth as one of their offseason priorities.
While added depth anywhere will be helpful, one of the final offseason priorities as of now will be to add depth to the defensive line. Currently, two defensive linemen, Rodney McGraw and Davon Townley have entered the transfer portal. Added depth in that position will be a huge benefit to a team with an already stacked defense.
This season Penn State sacked the quarterback 37 times, according to ESPN. By adding depth as one of their offseason priories, and being a school that produces fantastic linebackers, this defense can make it hard on any opposing team’s quarterback.
As time goes on, these offseason priorities may shit, but these are some of the essentials as of now.
For more NFL and NCAA Content
Here is how the 12-team college football playoff expansion will help Penn State. Also, check out this week’s edition of the top Rutgers games this season.
Also, check out my week eight NFL Underestimated Player Spotlight here. Before watching the NFL this weekend, check out which 49ers players to watch, and if they can succeed with Brock Purdy.
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