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Penn State Football: Theo Johnson Drafted in Fourth Round by New York Giants

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Penn State tight end Theo Johnson continued a run of Nittany Lion tight ends to the NFL, going No. 107 overall to the New York Giants on Saturday in the fourth round. Johnson marks the fifth former Penn State player to hear his name called during the NFL Draft on what could be a historic weekend for the program.

Johnson was as reliable as they come in 2023, a marquee piece of Penn State’s offensive attack posting a career-high 34 receptions and seven touchdowns as a dependable red zone threat. While Johnson does not possess some of the flashiness of predecessors, his physicality and sure-handed nature should prove to be well-suited attributes at the next level.

He is the second Penn State tight end in as many years to be drafted, joining former teammate Brenton Strange, who was picked up late in the second round of the 2023 draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Penn State has not had a first round tight end selection since Kyle Brady went No. 9 overall during the 1995 draft. Despite this, Johnson does is the ninth Penn State tight end to be drafted overall since Brady’s selection.

As a program, Penn State is expected to have an upwards of 10 players drafted over the course of the three-day event, a figure that would tie the Nittany Lions’ highest-ever total set in 1996 and mark the highest under James Franklin, which was previously set at eight in 2022. Offensive tackle Olu Fashanu, selected No. 11 overall by the New York Jets, and defensive end Chop Robinson, picked up at No. 21 by the Miami Dolphins, are Penn State’s headliners this draft cycle.

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