Nittany Lions in the NFL: Week 2
Penn State is consistently one of the top football programs in the nation at producing NFL talent. Therefore, it is no surprise that there are currently 28 active alumni on NFL rosters. This includes an impressive 20 former Nittany Lions who saw playing time during this past week’s opening set of games. These are just some of the breakout players who once called Happy Valley their home, as they continue to showcase their talents in the professional ranks.
NaVorro Bowman (49ers Linebacker)- This Penn State graduate from the class of 2009 is now the unquestioned leader of the San Francisco 49ers defense. While he only racked up three tackles during his team’s home opener against the Carolina Panthers, Bowman has consistently proven over his eight-year career that he is an All-Pro linebacker and continues to strike fear into the hearts of offensive coordinators around the league.
Chris Godwin (Buccaneers Wide Receiver)- Hurricane Irma prevented one of the most recent Penn State graduates from making his NFL debut this past week. While he is stuck behind veteran wide receivers Mike Evans and Desean Jackson on the depth chart, the word coming out of training camp and the preseason is that quarterback Jameis Winston and the coaching staff are extremely high on the former Nittany Lions playmaker. While it may be tough to get receptions with such talent around him, Godwin will still see his fair share of playing time and looks to be a key part of the team’s future as they continue to get better each and every year.
Christian Hackenberg (Jets Quarterback)- Before Trace McSorley let the Nittany Lions to a Big Ten Championship last year, Christian Hackenberg was the face of Penn State football for three years. However, in just his second year in the NFL, Hackenberg is looking at playing backup for the foreseeable future. But on this New York Jets team, the quarterback position is anything but stable. Don’t be surprised if Hackenberg makes his first NFL start, or maybe even a couple, before the season is all said and done.
Chris Hogan (Patriots Wide Receiver)-The former Penn State lacrosse player is situated well this season, as he looks to be one of the top targets for Tom Brady in a thin Patriots offense.
Jesse James (Steelers Tight End)- James recorded one of his best games as a pro this past week, when he hauled in six catches, including two touchdowns. James looks to continue to be a big target for Roethlisberger for the rest of the season.
Sean Lee (Cowboys Linebacker)- The undisputed leader of the Cowboys defense recorded seven tackles this week against the Giants.
Carl Nassib (Browns Defensive End)- Nassib is starting at defensive end for a rebuilding Browns defense, and even recorded a sack this week on Ben Roethlisberger.
Allen Robinson (Jaguars Wide Receiver)- Over the past couple seasons, very few players have had quite the success as Allen Robinson. He has established himself as one of the best wide receivers in the league, but unfortunately he has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL.
Jason Marcus is a junior at Penn State studying telecommunications. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.