A look at recent successful undrafted Michigan State football players in the NFL

There is no guarantee when you enter the NFL Draft that you will hear your name called. That isn't always a bad thing. Michigan State football has had plenty of impactful players that didn't hear their names called in recent memory.
Dec 31, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Ben VanSumeren (57) in
Dec 31, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Ben VanSumeren (57) in / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 NFL Draft has been completed and only one Michigan State football player heard his name called during the three-day event. That was center Nick Samac who was selected in the seventh round (No. 228 overall) by the Baltimore Ravens.

That has been a common trend over the past several years, where no more than three or four Spartans have heard their names called in the draft. Most have had to settle for signing as undrafted free agents.

That was no different in this class, as five former Spartans have signed as undrafted free agents or been invited to a rookie mini-camp in this year's class.

Those include Jacoby Windmon, Tre Mosley, Harold Joiner, Aaron Brule, and Jalen Sami. There's no guarantee that any of them will make an NFL roster in 2024 but they are getting a chance and that is all you can hope for. Even if you don't make a 53-man roster there is still a chance a team likes you enough to where you can be picked up as a practice squad member.

In fact, that's how several memorable Spartans have been able to make their way to the NFL.

The most recent example was just last season, as Ben VanSumeren a linebacker was invited by the Philadelphia Eagles to a rookie mini-camp. Then eventually to training camp, and proceeded to make the Eagles practice squad to start the 2023 season. His hard work and dedication paid off as he was brought up to the main roster late in the season, and ended up playing the last couple of games, including a victory on Christmas Day against the New York Giants where he finished with six tackles.

VanSumeren ended his rookie season with 13 total tackles and appears to be heading into 2024 with a shot to make a career in Philly.

He isn't the only former Spartan who has used the undrafted route to make an NFL career, Joe Bachie is another great example as he just signed a major extension with the Cincinnati Bengals.

There are around 10 Spartans on NFL rosters that were undrafted players, and that speaks volumes about their commitment to persuing their pro dreams even when they weren't drafted.

More often than not, going undrafted is sometimes a better thing than being drafted,

I certainly wish the five Spartans from this year's draft that weren't selected all the best in their pro careers.