Michigan State Football: 5 most irreplaceable players in 2015

4 of 6

Jan 1, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Michigan State Spartans offensive tackle Jack Conklin (74) blocks Baylor Bears defensive end Shawn Oakman (2) during the 2015 Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium. The Spartans defeated the Bears 42-41. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

There may not be another offensive tackle in the Big Ten as solid and reliable as junior Jack Conklin. The third-year starter may be the team’s most important player since the offensive line is so vital to keeping Connor Cook upright and healthy, but there is so much depth at the position, that I had to list him as No. 3.

Nov 8, 2014; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans offensive tackle Jack Conklin (74) against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Related: MSU Football: 5 bold predictions for the 2015 season

Conklin is thought of by many to be a first-round NFL talent and a kid who could depart MSU early for the league. It would be great to see the junior tackle come back for another season, but with another solid year under his belt, it would be hard for him to say no to the top-20.

Coming out of high school as an under-recruited player whom no one saw as a threat to start at a power conference program, Conklin beat the odds and signed with Michigan State, earning a starting role in his redshirt freshman season.

Since then, he has given up very few sacks and quarterback hurries, looking like the most dependable lineman the Spartans have.

If Conklin were to go down with an injury this year, it would be nearly impossible to fill the shoes he left vacant adequately. That makes him one of the most irreplaceable guys on the team — if not the entire country.

Next: 2. Shilique Calhoun