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Four Penn State Players Selected on Final Day of NFL Draft

James Franklin
© Matthew O'Haren- USA Today Network

Penn State had four players hear their names called during the 2024 NFL Draft in the final four rounds on Saturday. The four draft picks bring the total of Nittany Lions drafted since coach James Franklin was hired in 2014 to 52.

Tight end Theo Johnson, offensive lineman Hunter Nourzad and cornerbacks Daequan Hardy and Kalen King had their waits come to an end in the later rounds.

Johnson was the first of the bunch to receive a phone call after being selected in the fourth round with pick No. 107 to the New York Giants.

Johnson was one of the top players on the board entering the day after finishing with 34 receptions for 341 yards and seven touchdowns during the 2023 season.

The tight end's play was good enough to be voted as an All-Big Ten honorable mention after the season.

Nourzad would be taken off the board in the fifth round with pick No. 159 as he heads to Kansas City to block for quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Nourzad was named a 2023 second-team All-Big Ten member serving as a valuable part of Penn State's offensive line.

After earning his engineering degree from Cornell, Nourzad transferred to Penn State after the 2021 season and made 21 starts over his two seasons as a member of the blue and white.

In the sixth round, cornerback Daequan Hardy was selected by the Buffalo Bills with pick No. 219.

Hardy proved to be a versatile piece for the Nittany Lions last season, finishing 2023 as a third-team All-Big Ten cornerback and second-team All-Big Ten as a punt returner.

Leading the country with two punt return touchdowns last season, Hardy was also seventh with a 14.6 punt return average.

On the defensive side, Hardy had 22 tackles and two interceptions in 2023.

King was the final Penn State player to hear his name called during the draft as he was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the seventh round with pick No. 255.

Kalen king
© Kirby Lee- USA Today Network

Serving as Penn State's top cornerback last season, King was a second-team All-Big Ten member and finished with 29 tackles and two pass breakups.

King appeared in 38 games during his collegiate career, finishing with 82 tackles and three interceptions.

Overall, Penn State had eight players selected in the 2024 NFL Draft and it's the seventh straight year that the blue and white have had five or more draft picks hear their name called.


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