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Michigan State has seven players headed to next week’s NFL Combine, but according to one draft analyst, there’s one player that stands out.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. believes the Spartan with the most upside is cornerback Josiah Scott, who opted to forgo his final season of eligibility and enter the draft.

“I think there's a lot of different players that are going to be in the later-round discussion,” Kiper said when asked about Michigan State prospects. “But the guy I think of all the players – Kenny Willekes started out the year and looked like an elite guy and didn’t get off to a great start then came on late. But the player I like in terms of grade the best is Josiah Scott, the corner.

“He’s aggressive, he’s a willing tackler, he’s got good awareness, he was a really good recruit coming out, played right away, he’s got pretty good ball skills, seven career interceptions.”

Scott earned Freshman All-American honors in 2017 while being named third-team All-Big Ten. He started 12 games at cornerback, missing just one with an injury. Scott led team in pass breakups (10) and passes defended (12), while intercepting a pair of passes.

After missing the first eight games of the 2018 season with a knee injury, Scott returned to be named Redbox Bowl Defensive MVP after recording a career-high four pass breakups in addition to three tackles against Oregon.

In 2019, Scott started all 13 games and was named second-team All-Big Ten with three interceptions and 11 pass breakups along with 55 tackles. He started all 30 games he played in his Michigan State career and finished with 98 tackles, seven interceptions and 25 pass breakups.

“I like the tape,” Kiper said. “I like what I saw of him. I like the way he turns, I like the way he flips his hips, I like his feet. I think Josiah Scott has a chance. He’s going to help the secondary, whether he’s a starter, nickel, fourth corner, he’s going to be a guy that plays in the league for a long time I think, as I’d say a third- to fifth-round pick.”

MSU players at NFL Combine

Joe Bachie, LB

Brian Lewerke, QB

Josiah Scott, DB

Darrell Stewart, WR

Cody White, WR

Kenny Willekes, DL

Raequan Williams, DL

mcharboneau@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @mattcharboneau

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