2024 College Draft Prospect Profile: TJ Malone

By Adam Lamberti | Apr 16, 2024

This draft is one for the ages. A combination of top-end talent and depth make this draft so intriguing for many fans, players, and coaches league-wide.

We know the headliners: Brennan O’Neill (Duke), Connor Shellenberger (Virginia), and Pat Kavanagh (Notre Dame) seem destined to go 1-2-3 at the top of the draft. But who are some of the under-the-radar guys who could become future stars in the PLL? I think TJ Malone (Penn State) is a really good prospect. 

Here’s why.

Malone is a two-handed slasher of an attackman from Penn State. The 2023 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year has battled injuries during his career in Happy Valley, but really found his stride last year and has continued strong play into this season.

Penn State’s offense runs through Malone. Not only is he a very two-handed dodger, but he can dodge from anywhere on the field. From X, from the wings, from up top down the alleys, you name it. He has scored goals from everywhere.

Like all great attackmen, Malone is a good feeder as well, making the right reads and really doing a nice job of letting the game come to him while picking and choosing his spots. He reminds me of Connor Shellenberger in that regard.

My favorite thing about Malone, however, is his intelligence and off-ball play. If you think back to 2019, Malone’s freshman year, he was playing alongside current PLL All-Stars Grant Ament and Mac O’Keefe, when he ran out of the midfield. Frequently drawing a short-stick, Malone was excellent at playing two-man games with Ament at X and would keep his feet moving to find open space for scoring opportunities.

I think Malone’s role will be coming out of the midfield like he did in 2019. While likely not the focal point of a PLL offense, he’ll embrace a crucial secondary role like he did his freshman year and is sure to be a steady contributor with his skillset.

Player Comparison: Matt Moore/Cole Kirst

Lamberti’s Projected Draft Pick: #15 to the Philadelphia Waterdogs