This page was last updated April 24, 2013. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.
Le’Veon Bell*, RB, Michigan State
Height: 6-1. Weight: 230. Hand: 9.18.
40 Time: 4.52.
Projected Round (2013): 2-4.
4/24/13: Bell received a lot of interest in the form of pre-draft visits. He looks like a good bet to go on Day 2. Bell was among the running backs who helped themselves at the Combine. He ran faster than expected, showing some burst in the 10-yard split. Bell said he played in the 240s in 2012 and plans to play in the 230s in the NFL.
Bell carried Michigan State’s offense in 2012. He averaged 29 carries (382 total) per game as the Spartans struggled to move the ball aside from handing it off to him. Bell averaged 4.7 yards per carry despite all the action and ran for 1,793 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2012. He also had 32 receptions for 167 yards. Bell went over 200 yards against Boise State, Eastern Michigan and Minnesota.
The concern with Bell is if he has enough quickness to hit the hole in the NFL. The Big Ten has produced a lot of Ron Dayne-types who are big backs but not fast enough to play at the next level. Bell needs to prove that he has enough speed.
It was a good move for the junior to enter the 2013 NFL Draft rather than let Michigan State’s coaching staff run him into the ground as a senior. He has demonstrated plenty of durability already.
8/16/12: Bell is a massive back who could move to fullback in the NFL. He outperformed Edwin Baker and became the lead back for the Spartans in 2011. Bell ran for 948 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also caught 35 passes for 267 yards.
The Spartans like to run the ball and are breaking in a new quarterback, so Bell should get plenty of carries in 2012. He ran for 605 yards and eight touchdowns as a freshman.
William Gholston*, DE, Michigan State
Height: 6-6. Weight: 281. Arm: 34.08.
40 Time: 4.96.
Projected Round (2013): 3-5.
4/24/13: Gholston didn’t take the next step in 2012 and was a disappointment. He didn’t develope any pass-rushing moves and struggled to pressure the quarterback. Gholston defended the run well, but was a liability as a pass-rusher. He totaled 59 tackles, 13 tackles for a loss, 10 passes broken up, one forced fumble and 4.5 sacks this year. His sacks came against Central Michigan, Wisconsin, Northwestern and Minnesota.
Gholston would be best as a 3-4 defensive end.
8/27/12: Gholston, a true physical specimen, flashed in 2011 and if he becomes more consistent, could skyrocket up draft boards. The junior from Detroit looks ready for a breakout season, although he already was a Second-Team All-Big Ten pick in 2011.
Gholston broke into the lineup as a sophomore, totaling 70 tackles with five sacks, one forced fumble and 16 tackles for a loss. He was suspended for the first Wisconsin game after punching Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan and twisting the helmet of quarterback Denard Robinson.
Gholston finished the season with a phenomenal game against Georgia in the Outback Bowl after playing well against Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship. He is very physical at the point of attack and is one of the better run-defenders at defensive end in the draft class.
The biggest thing that Gholston needs to improve is his pass rush, but he has the potential to be an excellent rusher. There are times when Gholston displays a dominating bull rush and a devastating spin move. If the junior produces on his potential this year, he could be a high first-round pick.
Gholston is the cousin of famed New York Jets bust Vernon Gholston, so it will be interesting to see if teams hold that against William.
Dion Sims*, TE, Michigan State
Height: 6-5. Weight: 262. Arm: 33.18. Hand: 10.48.
40 Time: 4.75.
Projected Round (2013): 3-5.
4/24/13: Sims weighed in much lighter than expected at the Combine. He had a solid 40 time and did fine in the field work. Sims is still more of a blocking tight end.
Sims is a big-bodied tight end who is a good run-blocker with some receiving ability. The junior was the Spartans’ leading receiver this year before missing three games in October with an ankle injury. He totaled 36 receptions for 475 yards and two touchdowns in 2012.
Sims was mainly a backup in 2011, but caught 12 passes for 99 yards and three scores. He has some surprising quickness for such a heavy tight end. Sims could consider slimming down more to help his receiving ability for the NFL.
Johnny Adams, CB, Michigan State
Height: 5-10. Weight: 185.
Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
Projected Round (2013): 6-7.
4/24/13: Adams had a bad habit of giving up long pass plays in 2012. He was beaten for a long reception downfield after mistiming his jump in the Spartans’ season opener against Boise State. Adams was bested for another long touchdown against Notre Dame, plus missed a tackle on a touchdown run and was called for a pass interference on another deep pass. He was beaten again, versus Ohio State, for a long touchdown pass that was the game-winning score for the Buckeyes.
Adams had 35 tackles, three tackles for a loss, seven passes broken up and three interceptions this year. An injury kept him out of both the bowl game against TCU and the Senior Bowl. Adams was solid at the Combine, but that doesn’t make up for his shaky season.
9/1/12: Adams had a solid junior season for the Spartans. He contributed 51 tackles with four tackles for a loss, three sacks, six passes broken up and three interceptions in 2011.
Adams was an All-Big Ten Second-Team selection in 2010, his first season as a starter, after recording 50 tackles with three interceptions and seven passes broken up. He definitely needs to add some bulk for the NFL and should look to improve his ball skills as a senior.
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