You may have heard, but a school based in Ann Arbor had a program record 11 players drafted during last weekend’s NFL Draft. Whether you like them or not (we don’t), that’s pretty damn impressive.
They weren’t the only Big Ten school to have a solid showing in Philadelphia, though. Ohio State had six players drafted, Iowa had four and Wisconsin had three. Michigan State fell in the middle of the pack with only two selections — Malik McDowell (2nd Round - SEA) and Montae Nicholson (4th Round - WAS) — but despite only having the duo hear their names called, Michigan State was able to extend some impressive NFL Draft related records.
The first concerns the modern NFL Draft era...
With McDowell’s selection, Michigan State become one of only five (!) schools to have a player drafted in each year of both the common draft era (since 1967 — when the AFL and NFL merged).
50. Straight. Years. That number speaks for itself.
The second record is even more impressive...
Michigan State has had at least 1 player selected in the NFL Draft since 1941, the third-longest streak in the nation. #SpartanNFLDraftNotes— Spartan Football (@MSU_Football) April 29, 2017
Most consecutive NFL Drafts with a player picked:— SpartanWire (@SpartanWire) April 29, 2017
Michigan State (1940)
The difference between this number and the one above is that before 1967, players could be drafted by either the NFL or AFL.
Those five programs are all heavyweights, making MSU’s place in history a lofty one.
The final one is kind of random but deserves noting nonetheless.
While McDowell definitely slid further than his sheer talent would indicate he should have, he adds to the impressive line of Darqueze Dennard (‘14, 24th overall - CIN), Trae Waynes (‘15, 11th overall - MIN) and Jack Conklin (‘16, 8th overall - TEN).
While this could easily be misconstrued as, as Spartan alum and ESPN personality Jemele Hill likes to say, “doin’ too much”, consider the pro’s that have been churned out of the conference over the past four years and it’s pretty incredible that this statement is, in fact, true.
Aside from MSU, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State Penn State and Wisconsin have all had first round picks in that span but none have been able to place one in the top 35 picks in each year. It’s a weird measurement, but that’s still pretty impressive.