Bursting onto the scene in 2021 and into the 2022 NFL Draft scouting reports was Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker III. A school record holder at both MSU and Wake Forest, Walker turned in yet another terrific season a year ago. But he’s not the only Spartan prospect on the list for the 2022 NFL Draft.
Michigan State 2022 NFL Draft Scouting Reports
Walker takes the headlines, but Jalen Nailor presents upside at the receiver position. Here are the full scouting reports from the Michigan State Spartans with eyes toward the 2022 NFL Draft.
AJ Arcuri, OT
Positives: Strong, small-area blocker who is effective in the running game. Sets with a wide base, bends his knees, and plays with great awareness. Strong and fires into run blocks. Turns defenders from the action and seals them from plays. Effective with his hands and anchors in pass protection. Jolts defenders with violent hand punch and properly places his hands into opponents.
Negatives: Ineffective blocking in motion and lumbers out to the second level. All over the place and lacks balance.
Analysis: Arcuri possesses the size, strength, and fundamentals to play at the next level. He could eventually develop into a backup right tackle if properly coached.
Anthony Russo, QB
Positives: Once a highly thought of signal caller who is patient in the pocket, effectively commands the offense, and spreads the ball around to all his receivers. Knows where targets are on the field, has good accuracy, and does not make receivers work hard to come away with the reception.
Keeps his eyes downfield rolling outside the pocket, displays a sense of timing, and goes to the safe underneath outlet rather than forcing the ball. Remains poised under the rush, takes off upfield only when completely necessary, and protects the football.
Negatives: Possesses an average arm and cannot drive deep throws. Barely saw the field the past two seasons.
Analysis: Russo followed up a terrific 2019 season at Temple by getting injured and riding the bench after transferring to Michigan State. He’s a game manager with an average arm, yet off the past two seasons, it will be an uphill climb for Russo.
Connor Heyward, TE
Positives: Large, athletic college tight end coming off a terrific senior season. Displays himself to be an offensive threat. Quickly gets off the line of scrimmage into pass routes, immediately gets to top speed, and splits the seam as a pass catcher. Gets vertical, snatches the ball from the air, and displays good eye/hand coordination. Keeps the play in bounds after the catch and breaks multiple tackles to pick up positive yardage. Runs solid routes for a big man. Extends his hands to make the catch.
Negatives: Must improve his blocking techniques and learn to finish off opponents. Lacks the size, specifically the height, you want in a tight end.
Analysis: Heyward comes off a terrific senior campaign and now projects as a Day 3 pick after receiving street free agent grades from scouts before the season began. He’s sort of an in-between skill player who lacks the height for tight end and the speed for running back. His best spot would be lining up as a West Coast fullback for an offense that employs the position.
Jacub Panasiuk, DE
Positives: Hard-charging college pass rusher who possesses tremendous quickness, plays with terrific leverage, and rarely gets knocked off his feet. Keeps his feet moving, effectively uses his hands, and slices inside blocks to penetrate the line of scrimmage. Quick when asked to twist or stunt, displays a variety of moves, and plays hard.
Negatives: Small and gets overwhelmed at the point of attack. Lacks great edge speed.
Analysis: Panasiuk was a hard-working college pass rusher, but he’s a first-step lineman with poor measurables and limited upside.
Jalen Nailor, WR
Positives: Reliable receiver who runs good routes and separates from defenders. Quickly releases off the line of scrimmage, immediately gets to top speed, and tracks the pass in the air. Nicely times receptions, possesses terrific eye/hand coordination, and makes the difficult over-the-shoulder reception downfield. Consistently catches the ball with his hands.
Quick-footed in and out of breaks, sells routes, and stays low on exit. Nicely makes the reception at full speed and adjusts to errant throws to catch the ball in stride. Uses his frame to shield away opponents.
Negatives: Possesses a thin frame and struggles in battles. Lacks a second gear. Has not been very durable in college. Turned in average production at Michigan State.
Analysis: Nailor is a consistent pass catcher with outstanding short speed and route-running ability. He easily gets separation in the short and intermediate fields and possesses enough pass-catching skills to make a roster as a fifth receiver.
For more information on Jalen Nailor, visit his full scouting report
Jalen Nailor, Michigan State WR | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Kenneth Walker III, RB
Positives: Instinctive, explosive ball carrier coming off a record-breaking campaign. Patient and displays outstanding vision. Quickly finds running lanes and shows a burst through the hole. Consistently turns it upfield working runs and carries the ball with authority and explosiveness.
Fast enough to beat defenders into the open field, quick enough to make defenders miss, and strings multiple moves together over the course of a single run. Runs with balance as well as body control, squeezes through the small creases of the defense, and at times looks like he squirted out of nowhere. Effective catching the ball down the flanks.
Negatives: Not a big-bodied back and lacks strength as a ball carrier. Rarely used as a receiver out of the backfield. Marginally productive prior to his arrival at Michigan State.
Analysis: Walker is a hard-charging ball carrier who was a touchdown machine in college and displayed a variety of skills carrying the ball. He possesses enough ability to be a feature ball carrier in a zone-blocking system, but Walker must be more productive as a pass catcher to have a long career in the NFL.
For more information on Kenneth Walker III, visit his full scouting report
Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State RB | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Kevin Jarvis, OL
Positives: Big-bodied college tackle who is best in a small area. Quickly sets up off the snap, keeps his feet moving, and immediately gets his hands into defenders. Nasty, keeps his head on a swivel, and always looks for someone to hit. Makes terrific use of angles in pass protection, stays square, and seals opponents from the action. Does enough to ride pass rushers from their angles of attack.
Negatives: Lacks balance and is on the ground too much. Struggles adjusting to defenders and gets beaten by quick or speedy opponents. Not light on his feet.
Analysis: Jarvis was a solid tackle at Michigan State but has athletic limitations. He projects as a power gap guard in the NFL but must elevate every aspect of his game.
Matt Allen, C
Positives: Underrated center who bends his knees, works his hands throughout the action, and plays with tremendous quickness. Stays square, gets leverage on opponents, and quickly gets out to the second level. Fires into blocks, squares into opponents, and seals them from the action. Tough, smart, and effectively leads the offensive line.
Negatives: Doesn’t get much movement run blocking and gets pushed off the line. Overextends into blocks and struggles finishing off opponents. Didn’t play well the last couple seasons.
Analysis: Allen looked like a potential starting center in the NFL early in his Michigan State career, but he has struggled the past two seasons. He possesses the size and skill to play on Sundays, but Allen must improve his playing strength, consistently block with proper fundamentals, and get back to where he was in 2018.