The Michigan State Spartans had four players drafted in the 2022 NFL Draft, as offensive lineman AJ Arcuri barely snuck into the seventh and final round. Arcuri was taken No. 261 overall — out of 262 total picks — by the Los Angeles Rams.
With the 261st pick...— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) April 30, 2022
Welcome to #RamsHouse, @ARCURIaj85! pic.twitter.com/TmfGf16M6g
In addition to Arcuri, running back Kenneth Walker III (Seattle Seahawks), wide receiver Jalen Nailor (Minnesota Vikings) and fullback/tight end/H-back Connor Heyward (Pittsburgh Steelers) were the other Spartans who heard their names called during the 2022 NFL Draft. That is the most Michigan State players to go in one draft since 2016 (five).
Arcuri returned to Michigan State during the 2021 season, taking advantage of an extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA due to the COVID-19 pandemic that dramatically shortened the 2020 season. The decision has paid off for Arcuri, who will now play in the NFL.
After redshirting as a true freshman during the 2016 season and also missing the 2017 season due to an injury, Arcuri has been a mainstay for the MSU offensive line over the past few years.
He played in all 13 games during the 2018 season, but primarily on special teams. In 2019, he played in seven games with five starts before another injury shortened his season. In 2020, Arcuri played in all seven of Michigan State’s games at left tackle. In 2021, Arcuri started all 13 games for the Spartans, playing at right tackle for the first eight games and left tackle for the final five contests of the season.
Off to Cali!@ARCURIaj85 is joining the reigning Super Bowl champs pic.twitter.com/UZqOFRW9oc— Michigan State Football (@MSU_Football) April 30, 2022
Arcuri earned honorable mention-All Big Ten recognition from the media in 2021. He was also a five-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, one of only five players in program history to accomplish that feat. He was alo selected to play in both the 2022 NFLPA Collegiate All-Star Game and the Hula Bowl.
Arcuri, listed at 6-foot-7 and 320 pounds, is the first Michigan State offensive lineman drafted since center Brian Allen was selected by the Rams in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. The two Spartans will now play together along the Rams’ offensive line and look to help L.A. make another Super Bowl run.
Good luck to AJ in the NFL.