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Michigan State Football: 5 Spartans Who Could Be Top Picks In 2015 NFL Draft

Michigan State Football: 5 Spartans Who Could Be Top Picks In 2015 Draft

Michigan State Football 2015 NFL Draft Prospects
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday evening, Darqueze Dennard became the first Michigan State player to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft since Charles Rogers was picked by the Detroit Lions in 2003. However, there is reason to believe MSU could be back in the first round next year with a group of stars returning from last year's Rose Bowl championship team. Here are five Spartans who have the potential to be top picks in the 2015 draft.

5. Connor Cook

Connor Cook Michigan State 2015 NFL Draft Prospects
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

5. Connor Cook

Connor Cook Michigan State 2015 NFL Draft Prospects
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Connor Cook is the least likely of this group to go round one, as the QB will have another year of eligibility after the 2014-2015 season. However, there is no denying his place among the top signal-callers after leading MSU to a Big Ten championship and Rose Bowl win in his first year as the Spartans' starter. Cook has a good size and has played in a pro-style system, meaning another great year could propel him up draft boards.

4. Jeremy Langford

Jeremy Langford Michigan State Football 2015 NFL Draft Prospects
Reid Compton-USA TODAY Sports

4. Jeremy Langford

Jeremy Langford Michigan State Football 2015 NFL Draft Prospects
Reid Compton-USA TODAY Sports

Langford joined a growing group of star MSU running backs last season, totaling 1,442 rushing yards (4.9 yards per carry) and 18 rushing touchdowns in his first year as the Spartans' starter. As we've seen in the past two drafts, running backs have not been going in the first round, but Langford should be one of the first selected thanks to the minimal wear on his body, 4.4 speed and ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.

3. Trae Waynes

Trae Waynes Michigan State Football 2015 NFL Draft Prospects
Getty Images

3. Trae Waynes

Trae Waynes Michigan State Football 2015 NFL Draft Prospects
Getty Images

The latest staunch defender of MSU's "No-Fly Zone," Waynes could very well follow Dennard's path into the first round of the NFL Draft. Tall corners like Waynes (6-foot-1) are in high-demand due to a growing trend of big NFL receivers, making his success in MSU's aggressive press-man coverage impossible to ignore. However, it remains to be seen if the redshirt junior's time will come in 2015 or 2016.

2. Kurtis Drummond

Kurtis Drummond Michigan State Football 2015 NFL Draft Prospects
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

2. Kurtis Drummond

Kurtis Drummond Michigan State Football 2015 NFL Draft Prospects
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Kurtis Drummond was one of the most important pieces of MSU's elite defensive unit in 2013 with 91 tackles (3.5 for losses), six pass break-ups and four interceptions earning him first team All-Big Ten honors (coaches) and an honorable mention All-American shout-out from SI.com. This season, Drummond will be the leader of the MSU secondary and a strong season could certainly solidify his status as a first-rounder.

1. Shilique Calhoun

Shilique Calhoun Michigan State Football 2015 NFL Draft Prospects
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

1. Shilique Calhoun

Shilique Calhoun Michigan State Football 2015 NFL Draft Prospects
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Calhoun could have been a first-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, but another year in the trenches may secure him a spot in the top ten. The Smith-Brown Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year has been likened to Hall of Famer Michael Strahan by NFL analyst Bucky Brooks and it's hard to argue with him given Calhoun's blend of size, speed and work ethic. The former basketball prospect is certainly not short on athleticism, either.

Michael Briggs is a College Football Writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.