2021 NFL Draft: Sorry Penn State fans, Micah Parsons isn’t coming back

2020 NFL Draft prospect Micah Parsons

Micah Parsons is breaking hearts as he will stay the course towards the 2021 NFL Draft. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Micah Parsons is breaking hearts, remaining in the 2021 NFL Draft pool

The Big Ten is winding up and gearing for their late October start date, and 2021 NFL Draft prospects all around are opting back in to get ready to play. Penn State has gotten tight end Pat Freiermuth back in after he originally opted out, however they will not get their other star player in linebacker Micah Parsons as he will stay the course.

Today, Penn State head coach broke the hearts of Nittany Lion Nation, telling the media Parsons will not be opting back in as he continues to train for the 2021 NFL Draft. His time was brief in University Park, but Parsons left a massive impact on the gridiron for the Nittany Lions.

Looking at the time Micah Parsons spent at Penn State

Parsons is coming off of a massive season with the Nittany Lions, a year where he wreaked havoc in opposing backfields with 14 tackles behind the line of scrimmage and five sacks. He added another 52 solo tackles, five passes defended, and four forced fumbles on the year for the Penn State defense.

The 6-foot-3 and 245 pound linebacker is one of the top defensive prospects for a reason. He is still new to the linebacker position and there are elements of his game he can still improve, but Parsons utilizes his instincts and athletic ability to fill in the gaps for the time being. As he becomes a more seasoned linebacker, the sky is the limit for him.

What is his 2021 NFL Draft stock?

Without a doubt, Parsons is one of the top defensive players in the nation and could be the top defensive player taken in the 2021 NFL Draft. He will certainly compete with players at a higher priority position such as Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain or Miami edge rusher Gregory Rousseau, but he has the potential to be a top-five pick.

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Not a traditional linebacker, however, as Parson has the ability to flash in coverage and bring the juice off the edge as a pass rusher as well, teams may be more willing to take him with a top draft asset. Up next for Parsons is the NFL Scouting Combine with the chance to give his draft stock another boost before the main event in April.