NFL draft gives reason to be excited about Michigan State football's offensive line

Michigan State's head coach Jonathan Smith walks to the sideline during the Spring Showcase on
Michigan State's head coach Jonathan Smith walks to the sideline during the Spring Showcase on / Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA

The 2024 NFL Draft has come and gone, and unfortunately for Michigan State football fans, there really wasn't much to get excited about. Only one Spartan was selected in the draft this year, and that came in the seventh round when offensive lineman Nick Samac was selected by the Baltimore Ravens.

However, there was one draft pick in the first round that should excite a lot of Michigan State fans when it comes to the potential of what we can see from the Spartans' offensive line in the coming years.

Oregon State tackle Taliese Fuaga drafted No. 14 overall

During the first round of the NFL draft this weekend, Oregon State offensive tackle Taliese Fuaga was drafted 14th overall to the New Orleans Saints. You may be wondering why this matters for Michigan State fans, but it's a huge deal because it speaks to the strength of new MSU offensive line coach Jim Michalczik.

Jim Michalczik is the new offensive line coach for Michigan State after he followed Jonathan Smith to East Lansing this offseason. So Michalczik worked with Fuaga his entire career at Oregon State and helped turn him into one of the top picks in this year's draft.

This was no small feat for Michalczik as Oregon State isn't really a school you think of when it comes to NFL success. In fact, Fuaga is the highest Oregon State draft pick since 1963. Not only is that the case, but Fuaga was ranked as the No. 1,544 player in his high school recruiting class. So this isn't a case of Michalczik landing an elite recruit who was bound for the NFL no matter what, Fuaga was a fringe Power Five player that Michalczik was able to develop into one of the top players in the draft.

This has to excite Spartan fans everywhere just knowing the potential of Michalczik could bring to Michigan State as the offensive line coach. Sure these examples of turning a low ranked recruit into a high draft pick are few and far between, but Michalczik has already proven that he is capable of doing just that. So why can't he do the same at Michigan State?

It has been awhile since the offensive line was a strength for Michigan State. But this is a great sign towards that potentially changing.

We all know that games are won and lost in the trenches, so if MSU can see this type of development on their offensive line then I think we're going to start seeing a lot more wins in East Lansing very soon.