Four former Spartans invited to 2019 NFL Combine

Four former Spartans will be representing the Michigan State football program at the 2019 NFL Combine. Wide receiver Felton Davis III, cornerback Justin Layne, running back LJ Scott, and safety Khari Willis have all been invited to the scouting event which is scheduled for February 26th-March 4th at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

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Davis suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in the October 20th matchup with the Michigan Wolverines. Prior to the injury, Davis was Michigan State’s best offensive weapon leading the team in receptions (31), receiving yards (474), and touchdown catches (four) despite playing in only seven games.

The 6-foot-4 wide receiver finished his career at Michigan State with 100 receptions, making Davis one of 30 players to reach the 100 reception mark in school history. Davis is also one of the 43 Spartans to reach 1,000 career receiving yards.

It’s unclear whether Davis will be healthy enough to participate in any of the physical testing at the 2019 NFL Combine. However, injured players can still attend and participate in medical testing and anything not prohibited by injury, such as meeting with NFL personnel.

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A first-team All-Big Ten selection by Pro Football Focus and a second-team All-Big Ten choice by the media, coaches, Associated Press, Athlon Sports, and Phil Steele, Layne projects as MSU’s best prospect in the 2019 draft. He elected to forego his senior season after a standout junior year that saw him develop into the Spartans’ best defensive back. Layne posted 72 tackles, 15 pass break-ups, and an interception last season, and moonlighted as a receiver when injuries wiped out Michigan State’s depth at the position.

The 6-foot-3 cornerback has length and speed, which should grab scouts’ attention at the 2019 NFL Combine. ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. lists Layne as the No. 9 cornerback available in the draft.

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Scott led Michigan State in rushing each of his first three seasons and choose to return to East Lansing for his senior season. However, Scott would only play in five games during the 2018 season due to injuries. He finished his career ranked among the Spartans’ all-time leaders in rushing yards (ninth with 2,855 yards), carries (ninth with 610), and rushing touchdowns (12th with 25).

Willis was a two-year starter who posted the best season of his career in 2018. As a senior, Willis was named a captain and finished with 84 tackles, two interceptions, a forced fumble, and 10 pass break-ups. Willis was the 15th Spartan to play in the Senior Bowl during the Dantonio era.

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2019 NFL Combine schedule

Scott will perform on-field testing March 1st, while Layne and Willis will work with the defensive backs on March 4th.

The full NFL Combine positional workout schedule is below:

  • March 1: RB, OL, ST, PK
  • March 2: QB, WR, TE
  • March 3: DL, LB
  • March 4: DB

Mark Dantonio era

This year’s combine invitations bring the total to 48 for Michigan State during the 12 seasons coach Mark Dantonio has led the program. Center Brian Allen was Michigan State’s only combine participant last year, which was the only time during Dantonio’s tenure the Spartans did not send multiple players to the combine. Allen went on to be drafted in the fourth round by the Los Angeles Rams.

Here is a breakdown (by year) of all the players that have been invited to the NFL Combine under coach Dantoni:

2008 (4): RB Jehuu Caulcrick, TE Kellen Davis, WR Devin Thomas, and S Nehemiah Warrick
2009 (3): QB Brian Hoyer, RB Javon Ringer, and S Otis Wiley
2010 (2): PK Brett Swenson and WR Blair White
2011 (4): WR Mark Dell, TE Charlie Gantt, LB Greg Jones, and CB Chris L. Rucker
2012 (6): RB Edwin Baker, QB Kirk Cousins, WR B.J. Cunningham, WR Keshawn Martin, S Trenton Robinson, and DT Jerel Worthy
2013 (4): CB Johnny Adams, RB Le’Veon Bell, DE William Gholston, and TE Dion Sims
2014 (4): LB Max Bullough, CB Darqueze Dennard, WR Bennie Fowler, and S Isaiah Lewis
2015 (6): S Kurtis Drummond, LB Taiwan Jones, RB Jeremy Langford, WR Tony Lippett, WR Keith Mumphery, and CB Trae Waynes
2016 (7): C Jack Allen, WR Aaron Burbridge, DE Shilique Calhoun, OT Jack Conklin, QB Connor Cook, DT Joel Heath, and DL Lawrence Thomas
2017 (3): LB Riley Bullough, DL Malik McDowell, and S Montae Nicholson
2018 (1): OL Brian Allen
2019 (4): WR Felton Davis III, CB Justin Layne, RB LJ Scott, and S Khari Willis

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