Three Nittany Lions Appear in First Round of Pro Football Focus 2021 NFL Mock Draft

By Nick Polak on May 2, 2020 at 3:30 pm
Jan 1, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions tight end Pat Freiermuth (87) runs with the ball past Kentucky Wildcats wide receiver Tavin Richardson (11) and linebacker Chris Oats (22) during the second half in the 2019 Citrus Bowl at Camping World Stadium.
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

2021 Mock Draft season charges on!

After naming Micah Parsons, Pat Freiermuth, and Jayson Oweh as "Players to Watch" for the 2021 draft, Pro Football Focus put out their actual mock draft and included all three in their projection.

No. 5 - Linebacker Micah Parsons (Carolina Panthers)

Parsons is already elite when it comes to making actual linebacker reads, which is an ability that many scouts worried about when it came to Isaiah Simmons’ evaluation. Parsons led the nation with a 94.8 run-defense grade as a sophomore. To play like a grown man at his age is special.

No. 18 - Edge Rusher Jayson Oweh (Tennessee Titans)

Oweh is still a projection at this point, as he was a part-time player as a true sophomore in 2019. The defensive end played only 332 snaps but earned an 81.8 pass-rushing grade that was on par with Yetur Gross-Matos.

No. 21 - Tight End Pat Freiermuth (Indianapolis Colts)

Freiermuth has prototypical-tight end size at 6-foot-5 and 259 pounds. While the Gronk comparisons are a little rich for me, that’s the type of tight end you’re getting in Freiermuth at least. He’s a jumbo route-runner who defenders just bounce off. He broke nine tackles on 43 catches last season.

Parsons and Freiermuth continue to be featured in nearly every 2021 mock draft, and will likely continue to be so. Oweh, however, is the new inclusion here. It may seem over-optimistic to project the soon-to-be first-time starter as a first-round pick, but the talent is clearly there. If he can put it all together for a full season, No. 18 overall may prove to be too modest.