Michigan Could Tie the Record at the NFL Draft with Rival Ohio State
The 2016-2017 University of Michigan football team finished the season just on the fringe of the top 10 teams in the nation. While they finished the year with their second straight season with 10 wins, they didn’t win the Big 10 Conference. They also lost to Florida State in the Orange Bowl, and even fell just short of defeating their hated rivals — the Ohio State Buckeyes — during the regular season.
But, if there’s any consolation prize for head coach Jim Harbaugh and his football program, it’s the fact that Michigan could tie the NFL record for having the most players selected from one school this weekend, during the 2017 NFL Draft.
Currently, and ironically, it’s Ohio State who holds the record, when they had 14 players elected in the 2004 NFL Draft. According to most draft experts, it’s very possible that the same number of individuals who played for the Wolverines this past season will hear their names called during the draft, at some point this weekend.
Promising Defensive Players
The group is headlined by defensive end Taco Charlton, and defensive back Jabrill Peppers. NFL teams love the combination of size, strength, and hustle that Charlton showed for much of 2016, and he could hear his name being called sometime among the top 25 picks. Peppers was one of the most electrifying players in college football last year, and while teams have struggled to figure out what exactly he will be in the NFL, his combination of athletic talent and football intelligence will lead him to go no later than early in the second round of the draft as well.
Charlton and Peppers are just the tip of the iceberg, as far as Michigan Wolverine’s draft class. Defensive lineman Chris Wormley was one of the unsung heroes that made Michigan’s defense as impenetrable as it was last year. Teams will fall in love with his ability to play multiple spots along the defensive line, and he’s sure to be a day two selection. Same for tight end Jake Butt, who could have easily been a first round pick, if not for suffering a torn ACL in the Orange Bowl. Cornerback Jourdan Lewis is a late day two or early day three prospect, as he’s one of the best pure man-to-man corners in the draft, with the coveted ability to cover wide receivers who line up in the slot.
As good as Michigan’s defense was last season, it would only follow that they would have a lot of guys who will end up playing on Sundays. Defensive lineman Ryan Glasgow, safety Delano Hill, cornerback Channing Stribling, and linebacker Ben Gedeon should all be taken sometime on day three of the draft as well.
Strong Offensive Players
Of course, that’s not to take anything away from Michigan’s offense, though. It’s only natural for the Wolverines to produce future NFL offensive linemen; this year’s crop includes tackle Erik Magnuson and guard Ben Braden. From the skill positions, the team’s top two wide receivers — Amara Darboh and Jehu Chesson — as well as their leading rusher from last season (running back De’Veon Smith) should also be taken on day three.
The level — and depth — of talent that’s coming out of Ann Arbor, and into the NFL, is absolutely staggering. For any other program, losing the caliber of players that the Wolverines will be losing after this past season would send the program into an instant rebuild. But thanks to the masterful recruiting and coaching from Harbaugh, Michigan not only looks to be one of the top teams in the Big 10 in 2017, but the nation overall.