After playing in several minor bowl games the past two seasons, Minnesota hopes to take the next…
Scouting the Big Ten: Michigan State
Senior tackle Stefon Wheeler, a productive collegiate blocker, is a solid prospect for the next level. Quick off the snap, he is also patient in pass protection and plays with solid fundamentals. Opening holes for the running game, Wheeler walls defenders from the action yet at the same time moves them off the line. Not effective on the move, Wheeler fits only certain blocking schemes and may project to guard for some teams. Guard Kyle Cook is another lineman best in a small area. Playing with a nasty attitude Cook blocks with forward lean and really looks to take defenders out of the action. A bit undersized, Cook is not effective on the move but has potential as a backup. Center Chris Morris is a heady blocker on the pivot, very effective with the shotgun snap. A solid technician, Morris keeps his feet moving throughout the action and works hard. Possessing marginal playing strength, he rarely opens holes in the middle of the field and looks best suited as a back-up in the NFL. One Spartan to keep an eye on is receiver Matt Trannon. A tall, rangy athlete who also plays on the school's basketball team, Trannon is a solid possession wide out who out muscles or out positions opponents to make the difficult reception. Displaying soft hands he gets vertical the grab the pass and is tough to bring down running after the catch. Lacking a detailed game, Trannon lazily comes off the line, takes his eyes off the ball and is not as productive as one would think. Possessing a lot of underlying skill, Trannon is a prospect on the fence and a player who needs a big senior season to move into the draft's first day. Michigan State has a pair of defensive lineman to watch starting with tackle Brandon McKinney. A leverage lineman who stays low to the ground, McKinney moves well in every direction and works hard to make plays. Quick off the snap, he possesses an excellent first step and displays a good degree of explosion. Not displaying top playing strength, he easily handled at the point or removed from the action by blocks. At nearly 320-pounds McKinney must learn to play to his size on every down basis but does offer upside for the next level. End Clifton Ryan is a player who stands out on film. Quick off the snap, Ryan is fast off the edge and displays speed in every direction. Also needing to improve his playing strength, Ryan is easily pushed from his angle of attack or handled by opposing tight ends.
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