Just a couple of weeks after Michigan State had six players selected in the NFL Draft, analysts are already looking ahead to the 2013 draft, and the Spartans appear as though they will be prominent once again.
This difference this time is they could be taking over the first round.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. released his first Big Board today and three Michigan State players are in the top 25. Cornerback Johnny Adams is 14th, defensive end William Gholston is 17th and running back Le’Veon Bell is 21st.
The three Spartans are the most of any team in Kiper’s top 25 and it would be the first time they have had a first-round pick since Charles Rogers in 2003.
Obviously there is a LONG way to go until next April, but the fact three Spartans — Gholston and Bell are juniors — are included at this point is another testament to the job Mark Dantonio has done building the talent pool at Michigan State. When he arrived before the 2007 season the idea of three players being selected at all was a big accomplishment. Now, it appears, first-round talent is expected to come out of East Lansing.
If the board does play out, it would be the first time since 1967 that three or more Spartans went in the first round. In that season, Bubba Smith, Clint Jones, George Webster and Gene Washington all went in the first eight picks. The last time Michigan State has had multiple first-round selections was 2000 when Plaxico Burress went No. 8 and Julian Peterson was taken 16th.
Makes you wonder, again, about those recruiting rankings. But, that’s an argument for another day.