Trae Waynes, CB*, Michigan State
Height: 6-1. Weight: 182. Projected 40 Time: 4.43. Projected Round (2014): 1-2.
2/7/15: Waynes totaled 10 passes broken up, three interceptions, and 50 tackles in 2014. He was reliable in coverage and demonstrated the ability to be a press-man corner. The junior is quick and physical.
Waynes notched four tackles, one interception and one pass broken up against Penn State. Versus Michigan, Waynes had five tackles with a pass broken up. He played well against Wolverines receiver Devin Funchess, although an idiotic official flagged Waynes falsely on one contested pass. He had two interceptions against Nebraska with good coverage. Waynes was called for two pass interference penalties, too, but only one was legitimate.
Waynes had excellent coverage all night against Oregon. On the first drive of the game, Mariota went his direction, but Waynes nailed a receiver to knock a pass away. Waynes had tight coverage throughout the night on receivers running deep downfield. In the second half, Mariota tested Waynes deep, but he was in the hip pocket of the receiver. Waynes got away with some contact, but it was a better non-call.
8/27/14: While Darqueze Dennard received all the headlines in 2013, Waynes also had an excellent season for Michigan State. The sophomore was an honorable mention All-Big Ten pick by the coaches and media. He totaled 50 tackles with five deflections and three interceptions. Waynes ended the year on a high note with good games against Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship and Stanford in the Rose Bowl.
Waynes has the size and athletic ability to be a press-man corner. He should add strength as he matures. The question for the NFL will be if Waynes has enough speed, although he reportedly has run the 40-yard dash in under 4.4 seconds.
Personal: Son of Ron and Erin Waynes.
Tony Lippett, WR, Michigan State
Height: 6-2. Weight: 192. 40 Time: 4.61. Projected Round (2015): 3-5.
3/14/15: Lippett was Connor Cook's No. 1 receiver in 2014 and had good production for the Spartans with 65 receptions for 1,198 yards with 11 touchdowns. Lippett showed nice route-running and hands for Michigan State. The senior was very improved over his previous seasons, although he didn't stand out at the Senior Bowl and ran slow at the Combine. Some teams are thinking of moving Lippett to defensive back.
Lippett had 44 catches for 613 yards with two touchdowns in 2013. The previous year, he hauled in 36 receptions for 392 yards and two scores.
Jeremy Langford, RB, Michigan State
Height: 5-11. Weight: 208. 40 Time: 4.42. Projected Round (2015): 4-6.
3/14/15: At the Combine, Langford had a superb 40 time to help him stand out in a crowded running back class. However, Langford doesn't play as fast as he times. Langford totaled 1,522 yards and 22 touchdowns in 2014 while averaging 6.0 yards per carry. He also had 11 receptions for 62 yards. Langford is a physical back, and would be best as rotational back. He was the workhorse for the Spartans' offense and subjected to a heavy load. Langford's performance at the Senior Bowl was just average.
8/27/14: Langford had the tough task of replacing Le'Veon Bell as the Spartans' feature back in 2013, but he did a great job of filling the huge void left by Bell. Langford was the workhorse of the Michigan State offense, averaging 4.9 yards per carry on his way to 1,422 yards and 18 touchdowns. He caught 28 receptions for 157 yards and a score. For the NFL, Langford may be best as part of a rotation as he can handle duties in the passing offense.
Personal: Son of Jeffery and Shamine Langford. Majoring in sociology.
Kurtis Drummond, S, Michigan State
Height: 6-0. Weight: 205. Projected 40 Time: 4.59. Projected Round (2015): 3-4.
2/7/15: Drummond totaled four interceptions, 72 tackles and 11 passes broken up in 2014. The senior is a smart and instinctive safety who covers a lot of ground in the back end. However, he has to improve his eye discipline, and that issue caused him to have some feast-or-famine performances in 2014. Drummond didn't stand out at the Senior Bowl.
Drummond had some rough moments against Oregon and allowed a long touchdown pass by biting on play-action. That tape against Oregon will hurt Drummond's chances of being a first-round pick. Drummond had a solid performance against Nebraska, and played well against Michigan with some impressive plays in coverage on wide receiver/tight end Devin Funchess.
8/27/14: Drummond is a smart and instinctive safety who covers a lot of ground in the back end. For the NFL, he looks like a potential starter at free safety. Drummond was one of the best safeties in the Big Ten in 2013, his first season as a full-time starter. He was an all-conference First-Team selection.
Drummond started 2013 in impressive fashion. He made a highlight-reel interception versus Western Michigan and played well against South Florida and Notre Dame. Drummond also stepped up and was very active against Michigan. He kept up the strong play all season by solidifying the deep middle of the field for the Spartans' defense. The junior had 91 tackles, 10 passes broken up and four interceptions for the year.
Drummond started seven games in 2012 while playing in 13. He totaled 53 tackles with 4.5 tackles for a loss, four passes broken up, two interceptions and a forced fumble.
Personal: Majoring in psychology. Son of Evette Drummond.
Taiwan Jones, ILB, Michigan State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 245. 40 Time: 4.95. Projected Round (2015): 3-4.
3/7/115: Jones was a solid defender for the Spartans over the past few years. He had 60 tackles, 12.5 for a loss, four sacks and an interception as a senior. In the East-West Shrine, Jones had an excellent week to really help himself. He showed quickness and the agility to function in pass coverage. Jones also has the size to be a tough run-defender. He could use more development, but he has three-down starting potential. Jones ran slower than expected at the Combine.
Jones was a backup during his first two years, but as a junior, he had 67 tackles with seven for a loss.
Marcus Rush, DE, Michigan State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 251. Projected 40 Time: 4.70. Projected Round (2015): 7-FA.
3/7/15: Rush totalled 37 tackles with 10.5 tackles for a loss, 7.5 sacks, three passes batted and two forced fumbles in 2014. He is a gritty player who is tough. I would have Rush ranked higher if he were larger. Rush did not participate in the Combine.
8/23/14: Rush was a solid contributor for Michigan State's outstanding defense in 2013 with 30 tackles - 7.5 tackles for a loss and five sacks. However, he could be short on size and speed for the NFL.
Rush took over a starting spot on the Spartans' defensive line in 2011. The redshirt freshman registered 58 tackles with 12 tackles for a loss, four sacks, one forced fumble and five passes batted. Rush's production dipped to 38 tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss, two sacks, one interception, five pases batted and a forced fumble in 2012.
Personal: Majoring in advertising. Son of Ginny and John Rush.
Mike Sadler, P, Michigan State
Height: 6-0. Weight: 175. Projected Round (2015): 6-FA.
2/14/15: Sadler averaged 41.2 yards per punt in 2014 with a long of 66 yards.
8/27/14: Sadler had a quality junior year with 43 yards per punt. He put up a long of 69 yards. Sadler took over as the Spartans' punter in the 2011 season. He averaged 41.1 yards in his first season, plus 25 punts downed inside the 20. As a sophomore, Sadler improved his average to 43.3 yards with 31 punts placed inside the 20. He improved his punts of over 50 yards from six to 19 that year.