(Note - this article initially said the spring draft was tomorrow. It's actually today. We regret the error. - Pete)
Unlike many spring football games, which often have a team's backups playing the starters, Michigan State's spring game chooses its teams by first splitting the seniors into two teams. The two teams of seniors then draft the rest of players. One group of seniors will pick a position, and then have their choice of players in that position. The other group then drafts a player in that position, and each side takes turns drafting players until all players in that position have been picked. Another position group is then selected, and the draft proceeds until all players have been selected.
Dantonio, as head coach and dictator-for-life of Spartan football, is allowed to shift players between teams (even during the game) as he so chooses, but for the most part the teams stay the way they were drafted.
While it's hard to glean useful information from the spring game itself, the draft can be useful to see what the seniors think of the other players in the program. The one big example of this was when Le'Veon Bell was selected ahead of all the other running backs a few years ago; Bell not only went on to be the starting running back his sophomore year but be, as memory recalls, a fairly to mildly decent player.
With that in mind, here are four positions that will be interesting to see who goes where in the spring game draft today.
- Wide receiver - Junior Macgarrett Kings is suspended for the Spring due to the dreaded "unspecified violation of team rules", so he won't be eligible. A lot has been made of DeAnthony Arnett's resurgence this Spring, so it'll be interesting to see whether he or R.J. Shelton will be second off the board; I expect Aaron Burbridge to be first and Tony Lippett, as a senior, will be doing part of the choosing.
- Tight end - Senior Andrew Gleichert was listed as first on the depth chart at the start of spring. Sophomore Josiah Price looks like the favorite to be picked first here, but good things have come out of camp regarding one-time linebacker Jamal Lyles as well as redshirt freshman Dylan Chmura.
- Quarterback - I assume Connor Cook's being drafted first. The real interest here is who gets taken second - Tyler O'Connor or Damion Terry? The only thing we know stat wise is that O'Connor went 10-15 for 132 yards and a touchdown in the first spring scrimmage.
- Field Corner - This is Darqueze Dennard's old position, and sophomore Darian Hicks was at the top of the heap when the spring depth chart was released. Hicks hasn't had a lot of experience though, so don't be surprised if Jermaine Edmondson or Ezra Robinson get called ahead of Hicks.
Those are the main positions of interest I spotted. That said, is there anything else you're looking forward to in tomorrow's draft?