Our rookie scouting reports combine film and analytics to provide the best possible predictions for player performance. With the 2023 NFL Draft less than a month away, let’s take a look at the scouting report for Michigan State LB Ben VanSumeren.
Ben VanSumeren NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Linebacker
- School: Michigan State
- Year: Redshirt Senior
VanSumeren was a three-star recruit out of Garber High School in Essexville, Michigan. He had quite the wild ride before even getting to college. VanSumeren initially committed to Western Michigan. He later decommitted and committed to Iowa. He then did the same thing again, finally opting to play college football at Michigan.
VanSumeren was one of those high school players who were just really good at everything. He was a two-way player, playing both wide receiver and linebacker. Interestingly enough, he opened his college career as a running back.
As a freshman in 2018, VanSumeren appeared in four games but didn’t record any stats. 2019 was more of the same, as he played in five contests, carrying the ball nine times for 20 yards and a touchdown.
In 2020, VanSumeren made the switch from running back to linebacker. He played in six games but only recorded seven total tackles.
After failing to earn playing time during his three years at Michigan, VanSumeren committed what Michigan fans would call the ultimate betrayal by transferring to rival Michigan State.
VanSumeren did play in all 13 games in his first year as a Spartan, but he only amassed 12 total tackles.
After four years, VanSumeren had put next to nothing on tape and the box score to showcase his skills. As a result, he returned to school for a fifth season.
In 2022, VanSumeren finally became a key cog in the defense. In 11 games, he totaled 81 tackles and recorded two sacks.
Tony Pauline’s Scouting Report for Ben VanSumeren
Strengths: Athletic linebacker who watched his game take off last season. Keeps the action in front of him, quickly picks up assignments, and flows well laterally. Displays smooth, quick change-of-direction skills, covers a lot of area on the field, and chases around to make plays. Slides off blocks, shows speed moving laterally, and stays with coverage assignments. Physical, sells out, and squares into ball handlers.
Weaknesses: Has just one year of big-time production. Doesn’t play like a 230-pound linebacker and is easily blocked from the action or out-positioned from plays. Doesn’t play to his 40 time or show a great closing burst.
Overall: VanSumeren was a solid linebacker at Michigan State who really didn’t jump onto the scouting radar until late in the year. He knocked it out of the park on pro day, timing as fast as 4.38 seconds in the 40, completing 29 reps on the bench press, and touching 42.5 inches in the vertical jump. Athleticism alone will be worth signing him after the draft, but VanSumeren comes with a large upside.
Ben VanSumeren Pro Day Measurements and Results
- Height: 6’1″
- Weight: 237 pounds
- Arm Length: 31″
- Hand Size: 9 1/4″
- Bench Press: 29 reps
- 40-Yard Dash: 4.40
Michigan State LB Ben VanSumeren Current Draft Projection
On Tony Pauline’s Big Board, VanSumeren ranked 390th overall and is projected to go undrafted. With a 3.17 grade, he is Pauline’s OLB34 in this class.
VanSumeren’s college career was a bit unconventional, but he settled in nicely at linebacker. With that said, college production is the most predictive indicator of NFL success. VanSumeren didn’t produce at all until his fifth season.
Linebacker is very much a position where size and athleticism matter. It is no surprise that VanSumeren was able to dominate younger, smaller opponents as a redshirt senior.
MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board
On a more positive note, VanSumeren is quite athletic. His 40 time is really impressive for a guy his size. While he’s far from a complete player, VanSumeren has athletic traits that can’t be taught. At the very least, it gives NFL coaches something to work with.
Unfortunately, not only does Pauline project VanSumeren to go undrafted, but he has nine other outside linebackers graded higher than VanSumeren that also project to go undrafted.
There’s no guarantee VanSumeren will ever get a chance to even make an NFL roster. Hopefully for him, he can sign somewhere as a UDFA and at least get a shot to impress at training camp. Simply earning a spot on an active roster would be a success for VanSumeren.
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