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Michigan State Spartans in the 2015 NFL Draft: Cornerback Trae Waynes

Looking at Trae Waynes' Resume

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL draft is coming up on Thursday, and I thought it was time for a Trae Waynes draft profile!

Trae made waves at the Combine for this impressive 40 time, but he was almost as impressive on the bench press. Strangely, Trae fared poorly in the 20-yard shuttle, and that's caused some over-thinking which I'll cover later. The major takeaway is that Trae is big and fast, and NFL GMs tend to like big, fast dudes.

Like Darqueze Dennard before him, Trae probably looks a little less impressive based upon raw stats. Being an All-American and Thorpe Semifinalist more accurately portrays his value as one of the greatest MSU defensive backs of all time. One underrated stat not mentioned in the chart above is that Trae started 27 consecutive games. A truly impressive career.

Around the Intertubes

Strangely, I couldn't find a mind-blowing Trae Waynes highlight video. This one will have to do, though the audio track might be NSFW:

I liked the above video because it highlighted Trae's ability to help out in the run game, as well.

Trae is projected to go to the Minnesota Vikings by both Mel Kiper and Todd McShay; it's a common projection around the blogosphere. I don't know if the Vikings play a defense suited to Trae's skills, which seems rather important.

ESPN put Trae at the top of their "Most Overrated Prospects" list, mostly because of that 20-yard shuttle time. #DISRESPEKT and all that. But seriously, it's kind of a silly list for ESPN to put together in general, because they're largely shaping the conversation around where prospects are rated. It'd be like me putting together a "Most Overrated Stats used by The Only Colors" article. Wait, that might be a good idea. Ignore my strawman.

Chris Collinsworth doesn't think that any corners should be drafted in the first round. I disagree.

You should be reading Space Coyote's B1G NFL Draft Profiles (MSU is in Part 2). Here's his takeaway on Trae:

All the tools are there, and the potential is there to fit any system, but in some systems it may take time. He's a jam specialist that will take time in schemes that ask him to do a lot of other things, as he doesn't have nearly the experience in other coverage schemes. He has tremendous upside, and it should be treated as such, but if you want him to be an immediate player, the scheme needs to correct for him. Could benefit from a situation similar to former MSU CB Dennard in Cincinnati where he has time to refine and develop more skills. From an athletic standpoint, it's all there, in some ways more than others. And while I think his ceiling is higher than Dennard, I don't think he's yet as polished. So the NFL team shouldn't be frustrated when he has some struggles as he adapts to his new responsibilities at the next level.

This is spot-on. The MSU system is so based around the aggressive cover four scheme that Trae could have a somewhat difficult transition to a new system. But Trae's got major upside (big & fast as mentioned above) and could step in right away in the right system.


Trae is absolutely a first round pick in this draft, and should be the first defensive back taken. Given the way mock drafts have gone, it'd be a slight surprise to see him in the top ten picks, and it'd be a pretty major surprise to see him fall past 20. That would make him the highest drafted MSU player since Charles Rogers was drafted second overall by the Detroit Lions in 2003.

Good luck on Thursday, Trae!