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Ben VanSumeren of the Michigan State Spartans reacts after a sack against the Indiana Hoosiers.

Ben VanSumeren 2023 NFL Draft Projection: How high could the Michigan LB go?

Despite not being invited to the NFL scouting combine, Ben VanSumeren is among the most athletic linebackers in the 2023 draft class. His performance at the Michigan State pro day was impressive. He recorded a 10-foot-11 broad jump and a vertical jump of 42.5 inches.

VanSumeren, who attended Michigan for his first two years before transferring to Michigan State for his last two, produced some outstanding test results in his bid to be selected in the NFL draft in April.

Statement made.

@benvansumeren would have put on a show at the NFL Combine

To put VanSumeren's stats into perspective, his 42-inch vertical jump would've been four inches higher than any other linebacker registered during the 2023 combine and equal with No. 1 among all linebackers in results going back to 2013. His 10-11 broad jump and 29 reps of the 225-pound bench press would both have tied for No. 1 this year among all linebackers.

Linebacker Ben VanSumeren with a 42 1/2 inch vertical at the Michigan State Pro Day!

VanSumeren participated in 626 snaps in 11 outings as a junior in 2022. He made 26 stops in addition to 50 tackles. He had seven total pressures as a pass rusher, including five quarterback hurries, one quarterback hit, and one sack. His coverage statistics included one pass defense, no interceptions, and a 102.7 QB rating when targeted.

Many NFL draft analysts have predicted that Ben VanSumeren will be selected in the sixth or seventh round.


What are Ben VanSumeren’s strengths and weaknesses?

With his outstanding agility and alertness, Ben VanSumeren possesses the necessary qualities to succeed in the current NFL. Although he is not the strongest at pulling off blocks, he excels at dodging blockers when facing the run. He runs with such precision that blockers have a hard time catching up to him. He might not play much defense in the NFL, but he could be a great special-teams player.

A thread of Michigan State LB#13 Ben VanSumeren (2022) 🧵

VanSumeren possesses good range and good movement capabilities. He has demonstrated that he can hold up in zone coverage. Because of his ability to locate the ball and the agility to get to it before second-level blocks can respond, he can also be deployed as a rangy run defender.

It should be highlighted that he does not play with adequate physicality. VanSumeren struggles to disengage when an offensive lineman can fit into his body because he tends to want to run around the edge too frequently.

Although he is a raw prospect and may never develop into a reliable player, we like the concept of banking on agility, particularly in a position where many clubs are deficient in that quality.

Edited by
Joseph Schiefelbein
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