Top 5 Michigan State football NFL Draft busts

These five former Michigan State football players had high expectations in the NFL but will always be remembered as busts.
Tony Mandarich
Tony Mandarich / Mike Powell/GettyImages
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With the NFL season now in the books, attention is already turning to the NFL Draft. That's an event that Michigan State has been involved in since its inception in 1936 when two Spartans, Sid Wagner and Bob Allman, were taken by the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears respectively.

More recently, MSU has seen nine of its players taken in the last four drafts combined. That includes three last season.

Of course, over the years, there have been some notable Spartans taken in the NFL Draft. In 2012, Kirk Cousins was selected in the 4th round by the Washington franchise. That made him the first Spartan drafted in six years.

A year later, future All-Pro running back Le'Veon Bell went in the second round to the Pittsburgh Steelers. A first-team All-American in 2012, he would go on to be a first or second-team All-Pro three times and a three-time Pro Bowler.

Speaking of the Super Bowl, back in 2000, future Super Bowl hero Plaxico Burress was the No. 8 overall pick of the Steelers. He would go on to catch the winning TD pass for the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII in 2008 as the Giants upset the previously undefeated New England Patriots 17-14.

Unfortunately, there have also been some Spartans who've proven to be disappointments in the NFL as well. Today, that's our focus as we take a look at the five biggest busts to come from Michigan State.

No. 5: Trae Waynes

Some might suggest that a seven-year NFL career is nothing to be ashamed of. However, what former Michigan State defensive back Trae Waynes did during his seven years in the NFL didn't come close to matching his draft stock.

Taken with the No. 11 overall pick in the 2015 draft, many expected great things from the 2014 first-team All-Big 10 selection. What's more, given that he was an All-American selection by some media outlets, it appeared that the sky was the limit for the Wisconsin native.

However, as a rookie, he couldn't crack Minnesota's regular defensive back rotation. In fact, he played only 19 percent of the team's snaps that year. A year later, he did play 60% of the snaps and started eight games but he still wasn't considered a difference-maker. Then, he ended the 2017 season with 65 tackles (four for a loss), 11 pass breakups, two interceptions, and one sack.

However, after that, he saw his play drop off and by 2020, Minnesota would be finished with him allowing him to sign a free-agent deal with Cincinnati. He did make $42 million with that deal but because of injuries, he would be cut before the 2022 season. That summer, he would retire.

Because he did make a good deal of money at the NFL and because he lasted seven seasons, some may not want to label Waynes a bust. However, he never came close to being a Pro Bowl player or an All-Pro, which is what the Vikings expected of him when spending the No. 11 pick on him in the draft.