Michigan State Football: What to expect from Mel Tucker’s first season

Mel Tucker, Michigan State football (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Mel Tucker, Michigan State football (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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Michigan State football
Kenny Willekes, Michigan State football (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Replacing NFL talent

Michigan State lost a number of players to the NFL draft this past season. Some will be difficult to replace, some most likely won’t.

The most difficult player to replace will most likely be senior defensive tackle Mike Panasiuk, who had 95 tackles and five sacks in his Spartan career. Jacob Slade and Dashaun Mallory are the top candidates to slot in the nose tackle position and replace Panasiuk.

Middle linebacker Joe Bachie also departs from MSU after a great career, and he would be the toughest to replace if not for Antjuan Simmons being so solid, and Noah Harvey playing well when Bachie was out last season.

Cody White and Darrell Stewart, the top receiving options from the last few seasons are also gone, but the wide out position is the strongest part of the team. Draft picks Josiah Scott and Kenny Willekes also leave huge holes in production on defense, but Kalon Gervin and Drew Beesley are experienced players who will take their spots.

Mel Tucker has a lot of tough decisions to make regarding who to play where, but he has enough talent on the roster that whatever decisions he makes will be good ones.