Michigan State’s lack of first round picks reveals the gap Mel Tucker is trying to close – Sports Illustrated Michigan State Spartans News, Analysis and More

    The first round of the 2022 NFL Draft has come and gone, and Michigan State football has yet to produce a first-round pick since 2016, when offensive tackle Jack Conklin was selected No. 8 overall by the tennessee titans.

    On Thursday, running back Kenneth Walker III was by far the Spartans’ best chance at a first-round pick, but award-winning running back Doak Walker and Walter Camp remain on the board.

    Reading: Michigan state football draft picks 2021

    Mel Tucker and Michigan State have openly declared their intention to compete for national championships, but until the Spartans begin recruiting, developing and producing first-round NFL talent, those intentions will never be fulfilled.

    since college football playoff debuted in 2014, five different schools have won national championships: ohio state, alabama, clemson, lsu and georgia.

    since 2016, the last time michigan state had a first-round pick, here’s how many first-round picks those schools have produced: alabama: 24, ohio state: 13, georgia: 12, lsu: 11 , Clemson: 9. It’s no coincidence that the five schools that have won national titles are the same five schools that produced the most first-round picks since 2016.

    the state of michigan is nowhere near those programs at this time. that is not debatable. However, Tucker and his staff have provided means of encouragement to move forward when it comes to improving the Spartan talent pool.

    See also: Sporting News 2021 College Football All-America Team | Sporting News

    In 2022, Michigan State signed five of the top 300 players in its latest draft class, two more than the program signed in the previous three classes combined. the spartans’ recruiting class of 2022 finished no. 23 in the nation, the program’s highest-rated class since the class of 2016 finished no. 17.

    Tucker and his staff are also off to a strong start in the 2023 class, which is currently ranked No. 1. 16 in the nation, and Michigan State is in contention for several other high-profile prospects in this class.

    Another area the Spartans need to improve is the quarterback position. That’s not an opportunity for Payton Thorne, I really like him and I think he’s got a big year ahead of him in 2022, but there’s a gap between the signals that those top shows are recruiting and what the state of Michigan has recruited.

    Here are the quarterbacks who have won national championships since 2014: Cardale Jones, Ohio State; Jake Cook, Alabama; deshaun watson, clemson; Jalen Hurts/Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama; trevor lawrence, clemson; joe burrow, lsu; mac jones, alabama; stetson bennett, ga.

    watson, tagovailoa, lawrence, burrow and mac jones were selected in the first round of the draft, while hurts was selected in the second round and cardale jones in the fourth round.

    Coker wasn’t drafted, and Bennett isn’t a guy I expect to be drafted; He will return to Georgia in 2022. However, the defenses these quarterbacks had (Alabama in 2015 and Georgia in 2022) are considered two of the most dominant defenses in college football history.

    See also: College football picks against the spread week 9

    michigan state hasn’t had a quarterback selected in the nfl draft since connor cook in the fourth round of 2016. the spartans haven’t produced a first-round quarterback since earl morrall in 1956, and no he’s taken a qb in the second round since stanton drew was no. 43 in total in 2007.

    can thorne be a future nfl draft pick?

    I think so, yes. but it’s not on the same level as the first-rounders mentioned above. the average draft ranking of the nine previous championship-winning quarterbacks is no. 224 nationally. Thorne was ranked no. 1096 completed high school.

    Perhaps, in the next two years, the true freshman katin houser can become the caliber of quarterback michigan state needs to compete at the national level. houser was ranked no. 227 out of high school.

    tucker has moved the state of michigan in the right direction. The Spartans won 11 games in 2021, and the program is attracting top talent in a way that hasn’t been seen in a long time, maybe ever, in East Lansing.

    but michigan state has a long way to go before it can call itself a national championship contender.

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