Canadian LB Jesse Luketa signs rookie contract with Arizona Cardinals

Photo courtesy: Jesse Luketa (@OttawasVeryOwn)

Canadian linebacker Jesse Luketa has signed his rookie NFL contract with the Arizona Cardinals.

The Ottawa native was selected by the club in the seventh round (256th overall) of the 2022 NFL Draft following his collegiate career at Penn State. His contract is reportedly worth $3.7 million over a four-year period including a $77,000 signing bonus.

Luketa played twelve games at outside linebacker and defensive end for the Nittany Lions as a senior in 2021, making 61 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 0.5 sacks, and one interception. He was named a third team All-Big Ten selection by the conference’s coaches.

The 23-year-old was selected in the second round of the 2022 CFL Draft by his hometown Ottawa Redblacks but is expected to exhaust his NFL opportunities before coming north to play in the CFL.

Originally a four-star recruit out of Mercyhurst Prep in Pennsylvania, Luketa spent the first three seasons of his college career as an off-ball linebacker. In 46 career games, he made 143 total tackles, seven tackles for loss, 0.5 sacks, eight pass knockdowns, an interception, and a fumble recovery.

Luketa measured in at six-foot-three and 253 pounds at the NFL Combine in and ran a 4.89 forty-yard dash on his first attempt before suffering an apparent leg injury on his second attempt. He rebounded to perform for scouts at Penn State’s pro day three weeks later and posted a 4.27-second short shuttle and 7.29-second three-cone drill.