Top picks head to NFL Combine


The first player from MSU to hear his name called in the 2013 NFL Draft likely will have to wait until the second or third day, according to the NFL Network’s Mike Mayock.

The draft analyst participated in a conference call with members of the media Monday in preparation for the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine and projected four former Spartans to be drafted between the second and fifth rounds. All four players — running back Le’Veon Bell, tight end Dion Sims, defensive end William Gholston and cornerback Johnny Adams — have been invited to the combine, which begins Saturday, and have a chance to improve their draft stock based on various physical tests and drills.

Here is what Mayock had to say regarding MSU’s prospects:

Le’Veon Bell

Running back: 6 feet 2 inches, 237 pounds

2012 stats: 382 carries for 1,793 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Mayock’s projection: fourth round

“I don’t think he plays as big as he should play. He’s listed at 244 pounds and to me, he’s a little bit too much of an East-West guy. When he comes downhill and squares his shoulders and lowers his pad level, he’s pretty good. But right now at 244 pounds, I don’t think he plays that big, and I’ve got him more as kind of a fourth-round pick.”

Dion Sims

Tight end: 6 feet 5 inches, 285 pounds

2012 stats: 36 receptions for 475 yards and two touchdowns.

Mayock’s projection: fourth round

“His biggest attribute is his in-line blocking, and I think that’s going to help him. But in today’s NFL, the ability to get down the field and catch the ball and get vertical is a big deal — he’s not one of those guys. He’s an in-line blocker, he can do OK in the short to intermediate passing game, but (he will) mostly be viewed as a blocker. So again, I think he’s going to be close to a fourth-round guy. He’s one of the best blocking tight ends in this draft.”

William Gholston

Defensive end: 6 feet 7 inches, 278 pounds

2012 stats: 59 tackles (13 for loss, 4.5 sacks), 10 pass breakups, one forced fumble.

Mayock’s projection: second or third round

“Gholston I kind of like, I think Gholston’s got a lot of ability, great frame. I think the biggest issue with him is he’s hot and cold. If he was a more consistent football player, I think you’d see him listed higher on most teams’ charts. He’s a base 4-3 end, he should be a second or third-round pick. He’s a kid who I think could be a really good NFL player, it’s just gotta happen every single snap, not every other snap.”

Johnny Adams

Cornerback: 5 feet 11 inches, 177 pounds

2012 stats: 35 tackles (three for loss, one sack), three interceptions, seven pass breakups.

Mayock’s projection: fourth or fifth round

“He’s a better football player than he is an athlete, but again, he’s a little bit of a down-the-line corner as far as fourth or fifth rounders are concerned.”

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