Ranking Penn State’s all-time first-round NFL draft picks
Penn State great LaVar Arrington was a multiple-time Pro Bowler with the Washington Redskins. PennLive file photo
From 1956 to 2010, a total of 36 Penn State football players have been selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Those selections include four Pro Football Hall of Famers, 15 Pro Bowlers, NFL Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year, two No. 1 overall picks and one Heisman Trophy winner.
We’ve ranked all 36 first rounders from biggest bust to best pro career, beginning with the busts. Each player’s draft slot was factored in when determining these rankings.
All 36 players have been sorted into one of five tiers: “busts,” “too early to tell,” “solid NFL careers,” “Pro Bowlers” and “Hall of Famers.”
Again, just to clarify, this is a list examining only those Penn State players taken in the first round of the draft. Pro Football Hall of Famer Jack Ham (a second round pick) won’t appear on this list.
Read on for a look at which players earned a bust in Canton and which players were just plain busts.
Running back Ki-Jana Carter. PennLive file photo
Draft position: No. 1 overall, 1995 NFL Draft
Teams: Cincinnati Bengals (1995-99), Washington Redskins (2001), New Orleans Saints (2003-04)
Buzz: The first player in Penn State history to be drafted No. 1 overall, Carter was the first of three Nittany Lions to be taken in the top 10 of the 1995 NFL Draft. An All-American in 1994, Carter was the co-MVP of the 1995 Rose Bowl that Penn State won 38-20 over Oregon. After rushing for 2,829 yards in three college seasons, Carter tallied just 1,144 yards and 20 touchdowns on 319 career NFL carries. Other players on this list have had worse pro careers but Carter takes the top spot given his draft spot.