April 27, 2011

Green-White Draft produces mild surprises, again

EAST LANSING - Breaking down the Green-White Draft, which is always one of the mid-week highlights of April. No, I'm not joking.

We all still make note of the draft two years ago when Kirk Cousins was selected ahead of Nick Foles. That was the first major inclination that Cousins was special; his teammates were early believers.

And last year, mid-year freshman Le'Veon Bell was selected ahead of Larry Caper and Edwin Baker. If there were any questions as to whether Bell was for real, the voices of his senior teammates spoke loudest of all on that day. And Baker was fueled by the indignity all summer, which turned out to be a good thing for the team in the fall.

This year, there were a few more surprises. Nothing as big or noteworthy as the Cousins selection of 2009, but there were a few that should be talked about at the local taverns tonight by the real astute fans who have no lives, like me:

Draft Round by Round

Green Seniors: QB Kirk Cousins, TE Brian Linthicum, WR Keith Nichol, WR Chris D. Rucker, S Trenton Robinson.

White Seniors: FB Todd Anderson, TE Garrett Celek, WR B.J. Cunningham, WR Keshawn Martin, WR Milton Colbert, OT Jared McGaha, DT Blake Pacheco,

1. Green: Johnny Adams, CB

White: Darqueze Dennard.

Green: Tony Lippett.

White: Mitchell White

Green: Dana Dixon

Comp's Take: Interesting that Lippett was the No. 3 CB taken, despite having repped there for less than 30 percent of the spring ... Narduzzi said last night that Dixon was the most improved defensive back. He's showing signs of life ... White isn't bad. Lippet's just for real.

2. White: Jerel Worthy, DT

Green: Anthony Rashad-White

White: Jordan Sanders (6-1, 288, R-Fr, Rochester Adams)

Green: Micajah Reynolds

White: Doug Curtis (6-2, 262, Jr., Weston, Conn.)

Comp's Take: Todd Anderson said the White team planned to take Worthy No. 1 overall. Worthy was dinged up a bit this week ... Green captains felt there wasn't enough of a dropoff from a slightly dinged up Worthy to Rashad-White, who is having a breakthrough spring ... I'm surprised that walk-on Jordan Sanders was selected ahead of Micajah Reynolds. Reynolds moved from o-line to d-line midway through the spring, but it's still noteworthy that a redshirt freshman walk-on would be selected ahead of him. Sanders obviously carries some clout with some teammates. Put that walk-on on the watch list.

3. Green: Dion Sims, TE

White: Derek Hoebing

Green: Andrew Gleichert

White: Drew Stevens

Comp's Take: Any questions about Sims' talent? He's going to be a major contributor this fall ... I saw Stevens in a yellow injured jersey on Thursday. I think he's still banged up and hasn't been able to make headway ... Gliechert is a live walk-on.

4. White: Le'Veon Bell, RB

Green: Edwin Baker

White: Nick Hill

Green: Larry Caper

White: Jeremy Langford

Quoteable: Trenton Robinson: "Rock is available? They didn't take Rock?"

Comp's Take: For the second straight year, Bell was selected ahead of Baker. Last spring, Baker was the No. 3 RB selected, but turned in an All-Big Ten type of year ... Green captains said the uncertain shuffling of the offensive line made the bigger back, Bell, more attractive. Trenton Robinson was thrilled that Baker fell to the second pick ... But if I were coach, I wouldn't give Baker more than 5 carries. Keep him in the fridge.

4. Green: Dan France, OT

White: Chris McDonald

Green: Blake Treadwell

White: Travis Jackson

Green: Zach Hueter

White: John Deyo

Green: Ethan Ruhland

White: Michael Dennis

Green: Shawn Kamm

White: Arthur Ray

Comp's Take: Green had to make France a priority at some point. White already had McGaha as a designated senior. If White had selected France as well, Dantonio might have forced a trade. But Green didn't want to wait and find out, and made France the first o-lineman selected. Quite a rise in stature and respect for the sophomore d-line transplant ... I think the two o-lines are very, very close in terms of quality. Slight edge to the Green with France over McGaha at LT, but give White a slight edge inside with Jackson, McDonald and Deyo over Treadwell, Ruhland and Kamm.

5. White: Isaiah Lewis, S

Green: Jairus Jones

White: Kurtis Drummond

Green: Mylan Hicks

Comp's Take: I think we're going to see some hitting from Mr. Lewis on Saturday. He had to play reserved and a bit unsure last year as a nickel back in limited action. He'll turn some loose on Saturday.

6. Green: Denicos Allen, OLB

White: Kyler Elsworth

Green: Jeremy Gainer

White: Steve Gardiner (questionable health)

Green: Anthony Folino

White: Ty Hamilton

Overheard: Cousins to War Room teammates, "Hey, I think Denicos is a player, man."

Dantonio: "Gardiner may play. There's a good chance."

Comp's Take: Gainer has been slow to earn trust, although Narduzzi threw him a compliment last night, telling media Gainer had improved. Still, Elsworth over Gainer is a walk-on pick over a scholarship guy.

7. White: Denzel Drone, DE

Green: Tyler Hoover

White: Marcus Rush

Green: Will Gholston

White: Taylor Calero

Comp's Take: Narduzzi said three weeks ago that Drone was off to a great start this spring. He echoed it again last night, and says Drone needs it to carry over to the fall and not become a Mr. April ... Rush over Gholston? That one raised some eyebrows, even with Gholston a big banged up ... But Gholston has heart, and he will want to perform. I give a big edge to the Green with the d-end tandem of Gholston and Hoover - each with something to prove - against McGaha and Dennis. The game could be decided right there. Andrew Maxwell has had more time against the No. 2 defense than Cousins has had against the No. 1 defense in scrimmages. That won't be the case on Saturday. Maxwell will be the one getting major heat.

8. Green: Bennie Fowler, WR

White: Keith Mumphrey

Green: Fred Smith

White: Donald Spencer (questionable)

Green: Kyle Nichol

Comp's Take: Smith moved back to slot WR, in a limited role as a "slot F", about 10 days ago. Watching him in WR drills on Tuesday, he didn't look as heavy and gimpy as he used to at that position, back when he was overweight and hampered by a hammy. He looked okay to me ... Spencer has been nagged by injuries this spring.

9. White: Max Bullough, MLB

Green: TyQuan Hammock

Comp's Take: Everyone likes Bullough. The fact that both teams waited this long to make a MLB selection is a compliment to Hammock and the apparent belief that there is little dropoff from No. 1 to No. 2 at this position. Good spring for Hammock, getting back into the human race at LB.

10. Green: Dan Conroy, PK

White: Kevin Muma

11. White: Mike Sadler, P

Green: Kyle Selden

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