Scouting the Big 10: Michigan State

After an unexpectedly solid campaign which included a bowl appearance in 2003, the Spartans look to do more with less this season. While several seniors offer late round possibilities in next April's draft, the top pro-prospects on this roster come from the ranks of the underclassman.

A pair of senior tight ends will be closely watched by NFL scouts starting with Jason Randall.  A solid athlete that displays good blocking strength, Randall also possesses a consistent pair of hands.  Randall run solid routes for a tight end and is effective picking up yardage after the reception yet he is not a pass catcher that consistently makes plays into the secondary.  As of now he is late round consideration.  Teammate Eric Knott is also a solid athlete and proficient pass catcher yet a player that runs hot and called, which is why he presently resides number two on the depth chart.  He must pick up all aspects of his game to get late round consideration next April. Left tackle stepped Stefon Wheeler is one of two good-looking underclassman.  An athletic blocker, Wheeler displays solid footwork protecting the quarterbacks blind side and overall blocking range.  He does not have the top height one wants in a left tackle but seems to possess both the technique and know how to play the position.  Receiver Matt Trannon is a King sized pass catcher that will draw comparisons to Plaxico Burress.  Though only a sophomore by playing standards (he was academically ineligible as a freshman), Trannon has already shown more consistency than the former number one pick and offers a large amount of upside for the next level.

Defensively linebacker Ronald Stanley was a prospect we liked coming into the 2003 season yet he did not raise his level of play as a junior and as a result will not carry high grades coming into his senior campaign.  Stanley has the makeup to play on the weak-side but the question is does he have the speed in man that position in the NFL.  Defensive end Clifford Dukes is a pass rush specialist with marginal size and growth potential.

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