LAS VEGAS (WTAJ) – Former Penn State linebacker Brandon Smith was selected by the Carolina Panthers, in the fourth round as the 120th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

The linebacker joins WR Jahan Dotson, DE Arnold Ebiketie, S Jaquan Brisker, and P Jordan Stout as Nittany Lions drafted this year.

With Smith’s selection, Penn State has 170 linebackers selected in the NFL Draft, the most of any university. The Panthers are coached by former Penn State linebacker, Matt Rhule.

Smith was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, following his ten tackle performance against Auburn.

At 6’3 244 lbs Brandon Smith was all over the field finishing second on the Nittany Lions with 81 tackles and he played a big role on a defense that allowed the fewest touchdowns in the Big Ten. Thomas Frank Carr of Blue White Illustrated says the way the game is played at the NFL level is something that will benefit Smith.

“The RPO game and the play action game and read option have all infiltrated the NFL and all of that attacks linebackers,” said Frank Carr. “So the traditional thumper in the middle, the big guy, that guy’s kind of gone. So the NFL is kind of reassessing what they need at that position and what they need is speed. Brandon Smith running a 4.5 at 250 pounds at the combine, his testing metrics at Penn State as far as his agility, his burst, all of those things check the boxes.”

Measurables

HeightWeight Bench Vertical Broad 40 L-Drill
6-3.52442037.5 10.84.526.94

Career Stats

Games played34
Solo tackles68
Tackle assist64
Total tackles132; Career-high: 10 (vs. Michigan 11/13/21)
Tackles for loss/ yards14-58
Sacks/ yards2-13
Interceptions1
Passes defended7
Forced fumbles- fumbles recovered1-1