Nittany Lions in the NFL: DL and DB
August, 23, 2012
By Josh Moyer | ESPN.com
Scott Boehm/Getty ImagesAfter a tour in the CFL, Cameron Wake has turned into a pass-rushing threat with the Miami Dolphins.NittanyNation takes a look at every Penn State player currently playing in the NFL -- where they are, what their role is and what their careers have looked like.
NittanyNation will look at defensive linemen and defensive backs this afternoon and already glanced at linebackers and punters this morning.
Justin King, CB, Indianapolis Colts
PSU career: A highly-touted prospect who, like Derrick Williams, contributed solidly but never quite lived up to his elite billing. King declared for the draft after his junior season. King had 49 tackles in his final season with Penn State along with two interceptions.
NFL career: Drafted in the fourth round in 2008. Played 35 games for the St. Louis Rams before signing with Indianapolis. Tore a ligament his rookie season but rebounded by seeing time in eight games in 2010. He started 12 games last season with 58 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble. King had six tackles in Week 1 of the preseason.
D'Anton Lynn, S, New York Jets
Role: Battling for third-string spot
PSU career: Three-year starter, Lynn had eight pass break-ups and nine pass deflections as a senior cornerback. He was a staple on the All-Big Ten team, mostly as an honorable mention.
NFL career: Undrafted earlier this year and hasn't registered any stats in the preseason. He’s best known right now for a preseason fight after shoving Joe McKnight out of bounds. McKnight then charged him, and Lynn fought back as the battle escalated.
Chaz Powell, S, Oakland Raiders
Role: Battling for a roster spot
PSU career: Moved around from offense to defense during his career but found a home at cornerback as a senior. He finished with 41 tackles and two interceptions. Great special teams player.
NFL career: Went undrafted earlier this year. No preseason stats. Raiders.com decided to profile him Tuesday, however. “I’m going out there and every day that I step on that field in training camp, I’m going to leave it all out there 110 percent," he told them.
Nick Sukay, S, Buffalo Bills
PSU career: A three-year starter who had to deal with some nagging injuries throughout his career. Led the team in interceptions last year with three and finished fifth in tackles with 66. Sukay had eight pass break-ups and 11 pass deflections as a senior.
NFL career: Went undrafted earlier this year. Has one tackle through two preseason games.
Chris Baker, DT, Washington Redskins
PSU career: Started seven games as redshirt sophomore and helped Penn State to a No. 7 ranking in run defense. Baker had 37 tackles and 4.5 sacks. Kicked off team before 2008 season and transferred to Hampton, where he finished with 69 tackles and a team-high 8.5 sacks.
NFL career: Went undrafted in 2009. Has played for the Broncos, Dolphins and Redskins. Played in two career games and recorded no stats. Has four tackles through two preseason games.
Jack Crawford, DE, Oakland Raiders
PSU career: Had 6.5 sacks as a senior. Saw a lot of action in all four seasons. Was a second-team All-Big Ten selection.
NFL career: Drafted in fifth round earlier this year. No preseason stats.
Jared Odrick, DE, Miami Dolphins
PSU career: Three-year starter who broke out in 2009 and had 4.5 sacks, 9.5 tackles-for-loss and 41 tackles. Was a first-team all-America selection, conference Defensive Player of the Year and a two-time All-Big Ten player.
NFL career: Drafted in first round of 2010 and played in 16 games, starting in seven, last year. Odrick had six sacks, an interception and a forced fumble. Has three tackles through two preseason games.
Ollie Ogbu, DT, Philadelphia Eagles
Role: Battling for roster spot; fourth-string
PSU career: Played in every single game and was all-Big Ten in 2010. Ogbu had 48 tackles and 8.5 TFL as a senior. Had 29 career tackles for loss.
NFL career: Went undrafted in 2011. Signed by Colts and then traded to Eagles last month. Didn't see game action last season but has one tackle through two preseason games.
Scott Paxson, DT, Cleveland Browns
PSU career: First-Team All-Big Ten as a senior and had three sacks and 10.5 TFLs.
NFL career: Undrafted in 2006. Paxson has played for the Steelers, Packers and Browns. He played in every game last season as a situational player, compiling 21 tackles and one sack. Has one tackle through two preseason games while nursing a knee injury.
Devon Still, DT, Cincinnati Bengals
Role: Backup; will compete for playing time
PSU career: Outstanding senior season where he was a consensus All-American, the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and a finalist for Chuck Bednarik Award. Still ended up with 4.5 tackles and 17 TFL. Started every game as an upperclassmen.
NFL career: Drafted in second round earlier this season. Has two tackles and a pass deflection through two preseason games.
Phil Taylor, DT, Cleveland Browns
Role: Starter; injured (tore left pectoral muscle)
PSU career: Kicked off Penn State for his role in a fight and transferred to Baylor. Had seven TFL as a senior and earned second-Team All-Big 12 honors. Had 20 tackles (6.5 TFL) for Penn State in 2007.
NFL career: Drafted in first round of 2011 and started every game last season, compiling 59 tackles and four sacks. Taylor might return to action halfway through the season.
Cameron Wake, DE, Miami Dolphins
PSU career: Seven blocked kicks and was known as "Derek Wake" at Penn State. Wake had 8.5 career sacks, 24 TFL and 191 tackles.
NFL career: Went undrafted in 2007. Signed with Giants and then went to the CFL for two seasons before becoming the surprise of the NFL in 2010 by making the Pro Bowl. Wake burst onto the scene with 14 sacks and three forced fumbles while starting in every game. Started 14 games last year and had 8.5 sacks.