Thirty-four former Penn State players were on the rosters of 21 National Football League (NFL) teams as the NFL season opens. The Nittany Lions are perennially a top-20 program in producing players in the NFL. A total of 24 Penn State players made 53-man rosters, while the Nittany Lions have five former players on practice squads and four Penn Staters currently on injured reserve with NFL teams. In addition, there are two Nittany Lions on NFL rosters who did not play football at Penn State in Chris Hogan (New England) and Ross Travis (Indianapolis).
Additionally, alum Sean Lee was selected as team captain for the Cowboys for the sixth-straight season.
The Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers boast a league-high three Penn Staters each, including 10th-year defensive end Cameron Wake on the Dolphins and 2018 No. 2 overall draft pick Saquon Barkley on the Giants.
Five teams — Arizona, Chicago, Oakland, San Francisco and Tennessee — each have two Penn State alums. Fourth-year safety Adrian Amos enters the Bears season following a breakout 2017 campaign and is joined by former Jaguars receiver Allen Robinson II, who is coming off an ACL injury suffered in last season’s opening week.
Fourteen-year vet and San Francisco All-Pro placekicker Robbie Gould is Penn State’s elder statesman. In the NFC East, Pro Bowl linebacker Sean Lee returns for his ninth season with the Cowboys, while sixth-year offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski is looking to help the Eagles defend their Super Bowl title.
A total of 10 players from Penn State’s 2017 Fiesta Bowl-winning squad are on NFL rosters. In addition to Barkley, Marcus Allen (Pittsburgh Steelers), Mike Gesicki (Miami Dolphins), Brendan Mahon (Carolina Panthers), DaeSean Hamilton (Denver Broncos) and Troy Apke (Washington Redskins) are on active rosters, while Curtis Cothran (Minnesota Vikings), Grant Haley (New York Giants), Saeed Blacknall and Jason Cabinda (Oakland Raiders) will start the season on practice squads.
Former Penn State men’s lacrosse player Chris Hogan also appeared in the most recent Super Bowl and is returning to the Patriots for his sixth season in the NFL. Additionally, former men’s basketball player Ross Travis is with the Indianapolis Colts for his third NFL season, but is on injured reserve.
Eight former Nittany Lions are patrolling the sidelines as part of NFL coaching staffs in 2019: Tom Bradley (Pittsburgh, defensive backs), Gary Brown (Dallas, running backs), Bobby Engram (Baltimore, wide receivers), Peter Giunta (New Orleans, senior defensive assistant), Al Golden (Detroit, linebackers), D’Anton Lynn (Houston, assistant defensive backs), Mike Munchak (Pittsburgh, offensive line) and Paul Pasqualoni (Detroit, defensive coordinator).