Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, April 19, 2016

Michigan State has been one of the Big Ten?s top programs in recent years, winning 11 or more games five times in the last six seasons. But the NFL draft doesn?t reflect that success. Instead, it reinforces the notion that Mark Dantonio and his staff have few peers when it comes to developing talent to fit their system.

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The results are prodigious, with nine bowl trips including an appearance in the College Football Playoff last season under Dantonio, who routinely turns three-star recruits into five-star studs.

It?s hard to imagine, but just one offensive line and one linebacker have been selected in the last 10 years. The linebacker drought may continue, but the Spartan blockers in the NFL should rise. In fact, OT Jack Conklin projects as a first-round pick after coming out early.

Bottom line: This year?s draft could be fruitful, as seven Spartans took part in the NFL Combine: Conklin; QB Connor Cook; DE Shilique Calhoun; C Jack Allen; WR Aaron Burbridge; DT Joel Heath and DT Lawrence Thomas. That?s the most MSU players invited to the Combine ever under Dantonio.

Here is a look at how Michigan State has fared in the last 10 NFL drafts.

Highest pick: CB Trae Waynes, 11th overall/Vikings, 2015
Most fertile draft: 2012, five selections
Total first-round selections: 2
Total picks: 25

Position breakdown
Defensive back: 6
Receiver: 5
Defensive line: 4
Running back: 3
Quarterback: 2
Tight end: 2
Offensive line: 1
Linebacker: 1
Punter: 1

Year by Year

3rd round DB Eric Smith, Jets
4 DT Domata Peko, Bengals
7 C Chris Morris, Raiders

2 QB Drew Stanton, Lions
5 DT Clifton Ryan, Rams
7 P Brandon Fields, Dolphins

2 WR Devin Thomas, Redskins
5 TE Kellen Davis, Bears
7 DE Ervin Baldwin, Bears

5 RB Javon Ringer, Titans

7 DB Jeremy Ware, Raiders

6 LB Greg Jones, Giants
6 DB Chris Rucker, Colts

2 DE Jerel Worthy, Packers
4 QB Kirk Cousins, Redskins
4 WR Keshawn Martin, Texans
6 FS Trenton Robinson, 49ers
6 WR B.J. Cunningham, Dolphins

2 RB Le?Veon Bell, Steelers
4 TE Dion Sims, Dolphins

1 CB Darqueze Dennard, Bengals

1 CB Trae Waynes, Vikings
4 RB Jeremy Langford, Bears
5 WR Tony Lippett, Dolphins
5 WR Keith Mumphery, Texans


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