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The Cleveland Browns have contacted Michigan State senior QB Connor Cook's old high school coach in a continued scouting effort for the 2016 NFL Draft.

Cook's coach at Walsh Jesuit High School, Gerry Rardin, told CBS Sports that the Browns visited him in July. Said the now-retired coach, "They feel like Connor is going to be one of the more important guys in the draft, for sure." It's certainly true that the 6-foot-4, 218-pound gunslinger will be one of the names to watch this season, but given how thoroughly the Browns tend to chew through quarterbacks, he would probably prefer that they latch onto somebody else.
Source: CBS Sports
Aug 27 - 7:43 PM

In an interview with Spartan Nation that will air on Wednesday evening, Michigan State HC Mark Dantonio reportedly indicated that junior RB Delton Williams will be available in the team's season-opener against Western Michigan.

Said Dantonio, "I feel he has paid his dues...I feel like we need to move on. We need to allow him get back with his life. Everything moving forward should be about his future, not the past." The university suspended Williams in the spring after he brandished a firearm in public. He pleaded guilty, resulting in reduced charges. Last season, the 6-foot-1, 228-pound back rushed 92 times for 554 yards and six touchdowns. Redshirt freshman Madre London is the team's current likely starter, with Williams, Gerald Holmes and LJ Scott all in the mix for a share of carries as the team looks to fill the gaping hole left by the departure of Jeremy Langford.
Aug 26 - 4:07 PM

Michigan State redshirt junior edge rusher Shilique Calhoun "us[es] his long strides to gain instant momentum," notes CBS Sports draft analyst Dane Brugler.

Calhoun's ability to create momentum from the snap allows him to "lean into blockers to transition [his] speed into power," wrote draft analyst Brugler. While the 6-foot-4, 250-pound redshirt junior is more polished as a run-stopper than a pass-rusher, he did notch a personal-best with eight sacks a season ago, to pair with 39 tackles (12.5 for loss). A consistent 2015 campaign would help to smooth out some of the criticisms that have been levied against him. Notably, TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline recently labeled Calhoun "overrated," grading him out as a possible third-round selection on the basis of his lack of size and a deficit in speed that would prevent him from moving to linebacker.
Source: CBS Sports
Aug 25 - 5:36 PM

Michigan State senior S R.J. Williamson flashes "strong tackling ability," notes NFL Media analyst Chad Reuter.

A season ago, Williamson started 10 games for the Spartans, recording 59 tackles and three interceptions (two of which were returned for touchdowns). Draft analyst Reuter likes the 6-foot, 212-pounder's tackling ability, as well as his "ball skills." Scout.com ranked him as the 31st best cornerback in the country out of high school. He'll start at free safety this season.
Source: NFL.com
Aug 25 - 3:22 PM

Per NFL Media draft analyst Chad Reuter, Michigan State redshirt senior DT Joel Heath is an "impressive physical specimen" with "solid straight-line speed for his size."

The 6-foot-6, 296-pounder had 29 tackles, five TFL and 2.5 sacks last year. "He grew into this build over his first three years on campus, and then earned a starting nod inside in 2014," Reuter wrote. "Continued growth and improved strength holding his ground and shedding blocks against pro-caliber Big Ten guards this season should convince scouts he can earn playing time as a three- or five-technique at the next level." TFY Draft Insider Tony Pauline calls Heath "very underrated."
Source: NFL.com
Aug 22 - 8:57 PM

Michigan State redshirt junior edge rusher Shilique Calhoun is "not a polished pass rusher, but dominates against the run game," notes NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks.

In an NFL.com ranking of the Top-20 college players in the country, Calhoun checked in at No. 17. Draft expert Brooks noted that the 6-foot-4, 250-pound redshirt junior is more complete as a run-stopper than a pass-rusher, but said that on the whole, Calhoun is a "disruptive edge player with a nasty streak." Fellow analyst Charles Davis is looking for a big 2015 season from Calhoun after he was "overshadowed" in 2014. None of the boys went as far in their criticisms as TFY Draft Insider Tony Pauline, though, who in early August called Calhoun "overrated" while tagging him as a third-round selection.
Source: NFL.com
Aug 18 - 3:51 PM

Michigan State redshirt junior edge rusher Shilique Calhoun "will be graded as a first-rounder if he can also hold his ground and shed regularly in the run game," believes NFL Media draft analyst Chad Reuter.

"Calhoun's flexibility around the edge is average, so he'll need to beat NFL-caliber tackles around the corner this season to show scouts that he can be a consistent pass-rush threat in the pros," Reuter wrote. Reuter pegs him the class' No. 8 overall senior prospect. Calhoun received a Round 2 grade from the advisory committee over the winter.
Source: NFL.com
Aug 16 - 4:56 PM

Michigan State senior LB Ed Davis will miss the 2015 season with a knee injury.

This really sucks. Davis injured his knee during Wednesday's practice and an MRI confirmed the news. Davis is one of our favorite linebackers in the entire country. Josh Norris recently posted a vine of Davis attacking a Nebraska guard at the line of scrimmage and forcing him three yards in the backfield, an uncommon play from a collegiate linebacker. Sophomore Chris Frey or JUCO linebacker Drake Martinez could take his spot. It is too early to know if Davis will enter the draft or apply for a medical redshirt season.
Aug 12 - 10:49 PM

NFL draft analyst Chad Reuter believes Michigan State senior QB Connor Cook "has the size, athleticism, anticipation, toughness, and football intelligence to excel in the NFL."

"Cook is one of the most intriguing prospects in college football, and could be the 2016 draft's top overall pick if he can lead an inexperienced group of receivers to success in his final season with the Spartans," Reuter wrote. The 6-foot-4, 218-pound Cook has already thrown for 6,063 yards, with 47 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, and has started the last 26 games for the Spartans. Cook's has been added to the watch lists for the Maxwell Award, Davey O'Brien Award, and the Walter Camp Player of the Year.
Source: NFL.com
Aug 10 - 3:33 PM

Michigan State senior QB Connor Cook's "arm strength and ability to fit passes into tight windows have allowed the Spartans to make big plays in the passing game to support a consistently good ground attack," notes Sports on Earth's Matt Brown.

"While Cook's decision-making and accuracy aren't as consistent as you would like, behind a great offensive line Cook has avoided making many costly mistakes, with a manageable eight interceptions last year and hardly any sacks taken," Brown wrote. He ranks Cook as the No. 34 overall player in the land. We like Cook's situational awareness, but the skill sometimes leads to the mistakes discussed by Brown: He had a higher QB rating when blitzed last year because of a usually-good instinct to loft the ball outside into single coverage after recognizing pre-snap aggressiveness from the defense. That style leads to big plays when the receiver finds the ball and mistakes when the defender does instead, though both scenarios stem from the same impulse. Coaching may be able to help him recognize when he's being bated into a disadvantageous scenario.
Aug 7 - 5:03 PM

Michigan State senior QB Connor Cook's quarterback rating greatly improved when he was blitzed, according to Pro Football Focus.

Cook's quarterback rating improved by 35: 83 when not blitzed and 128.6 when blitzed. Also, Cook threw 16 touchdowns and only one interception when blitzed. The difference is large but not totally surprising if you have watched Cooks, as he will immediately test single coverage on the outside with lofted passes once recognizing blitzes pre-snap. His receivers were able to adjust to these passes last year, which is critical for success.
Aug 3 - 12:30 PM

Michigan State coaches are calling senior LB Ed Davis one of the best players at the position in recent program history.

Josh Norris recently vined a play against Nebraska, where Davis met an offensive guard one yard beyond the line of scrimmage, then pushed the lineman four yards back. Needless to say, the Ameer Abdullah run was completely blown up. Davis did not receive a tackle for loss on the play, but as we always say "disruption is production." Davis is very good when moving forward against the run, and we will pay attention to how he is in coverage.
Source: ESPN
Aug 3 - 12:04 PM

Michigan State G/T Donavon Clark's "best fit is inside at the next level, and he has the attributes to start early in his career," postulates NFL Media draft analyst Chad Reuter.

"The Spartans have one of the best offensive lines in the country this season, in part because of this guy's skills," Reuter wrote. "Clark's size, length, and athleticism have allowed Spartan coaches to plug him in at left tackle, right tackle, and right guard during his first three years." The 6-foot-4, 317-pound Clark has played in 33 career games. He's made 19 starts, including eight at right guard, six at left tackle and five at right tackle.
Source: NFL.com
Aug 2 - 1:14 PM

Michigan State redshirt junior edge player Shilique Calhoun is "overrated" and a certainty to get over-drafted, postulates TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline.

Shockingly, the analyst grades Calhoun, who some see as a first-round lock, as a third-rounder. "Many salivate over Calhoun but I just don’t know where he lines up at the next level," Pauline wrote. "He’s small for defensive end and lacks the speed for outside linebacker. Calhoun will be over drafted due to his pass rushing skills." The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Calhoun, a two-time first-team All-Big Ten pick, reportedly received a Round 2 grade from the advisory committee after last season.
Aug 1 - 3:25 PM

TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline disagrees with NFL scouts who grade Michigan State redshirt senior DT Joel Heath as a late-round pick.

"He offers size, growth potential and plays strong football," Pauline wrote. "Heath is equally adept at making plays on the ball handler as well as occupying blockers to create opportunities for teammates. I’m told scouts stamped Heath as a late rounder but I believe he’s middle round worthy and potentially a top 125 player should he turn in a productive senior campaign." The former defensive end moved to tackle in 2013. The 6-foot-6, 296-pounder posted career highs in tackles (29), TFL (five for 22 yards) and sacks (2.5 for 19 yards) last year.
Jul 31 - 8:59 PM


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