2016 NFL Draft Preview: Michigan Wolverines

2016 NFL Draft Preview: Michigan Wolverines


April 27, 2016
Jake Rudock 886x

Jake Rudock

The 2016 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. I’m not the world’s biggest draft junkie (you can only have so many obsessions in your life), but I am always enthralled by the first round of the NFL Draft. Other than the Super Bowl, it’s my favorite single NFL day of the year . . . depending on whether the Lions are in the playoffs or not, which is usually not. Tomorrow night I’ll be headed to a friend’s house where a half dozen of us will eat pizza, drink cold beverages, and make fun of each other’s favorite teams.

Several Michigan Wolverines will be on the board, but none will be taken on Thursday, barring a huge surprise. With their Combine and pro day numbers in mind (LINK), here’s a look at Michigan’s representatives in the Draft and some slightly educated guesses about where they’ll go:

Graham Glasgow, C
Glasgow is 6’6″, 307 lbs. and did 23 reps on the bench at the Combine. He ran a 5.13 forty and a 4.63 shuttle time. He also performed well playing both guard and center at the Senior Bowl. He will almost certainly get drafted, but probably not as the top center. It will be interesting to see whether his multiple off-the-field issues with alcohol will cause him to slide.
Best guess: Rd. 3, #87 overall to the Cincinnati Bengals

Willie Henry, DT
Henry stands 6’2″, 303 lbs. and did 28 reps on the bench at the Combine. He ran the forty in 5.0 seconds and a 4.53 shuttle. He also showed a 30.5″ vertical and a 9’2″ broad jump. Henry has good quickness off the ball and can be a playmaker, but he’s a little bit inconsistent. He struggled to hold up at times on the interior because of leverage issues, so he’s more of a 3-tech or an undersized end in a 3-4.
Best guess: Rd. 4, #106 overall to the Chicago Bears

Hit the jump for more on the expectations for Michigan’s outgoing seniors.

Jake Rudock, QB
Rudock was 6’3″, 207 lbs. at the pro day and ran a 4.85 forty. He showed a 9’3″ broad jump and a 4.22 shuttle. As a fifth year senior at Michigan this past season, he led the Big Ten in completion percentage (64%) and had the fourth-most yards (3,017), despite having the sixth-most attempts. Over the last six games of the year, he threw 15 TDs and just 3 INTs. He earned a start in the East-West Shrine Game, but he went 8/14 for 77 yards, 0 TDs, and 1 INT. Jim Harbaugh has stumped for him to get a shot in the NFL, and I think he will almost certainly be a highly sought after free agent if he doesn’t get drafted. Pro teams want pro-style guys, and there aren’t a lot of programs running the type of offense Michigan runs. I think it might be homerism to think that Rudock gets drafted, because he doesn’t have great size, arm strength, or athleticism. But I do think he’s a quality prospect who could make a career as a backup or spot starter. I see someone like Brian Hoyer still hanging around the NFL, so I see no reason why Rudock won’t get a fair shot.
Best guess: Undrafted

Sione Houma, FB
Houma is 5’11”, 243 lbs. and ran a 4.87 at Michigan’s pro day. He did 27 reps on the bench and ran a 4.46 shuttle. He was used as a part-time tailback as a senior, along with earning a split of fullback duties with Joe Kerridge. Houma has the ability to step onto an NFL team and become a lead blocker/combo back, although fullback is not a highly valued position in the NFL these days.
Best guess: Undrafted

James Ross III, LB
Ross is 5’11”, 232 lbs. and ran a 5.01 forty. He did 22 reps on the bench press, but he had a subpar showing with a 26″ vertical, a 4.62 shuttle, and an 8’9″ broad jump. Ross was very physical for his size, but his testing numbers don’t show great athleticism. I do think he’s more athletic with pads on than those numbers suggest, but the truth is that all three of Michigan’s senior inside linebackers leave something to be desired in that department. He made 188 tackles, 16.5 TFLs, and 3 sacks during his four years on the field. Some team might want him as a weakside linebacker, but I think he’s a backup due to limited size and speed.
Best guess: Undrafted

Jarrod Wilson, S
Wilson is 6’1″, 209 lbs. and notched a 4.55 at Michigan’s pro day. He also had a 36″ vertical and a 9’10” broad jump, plus a 4.43 shuttle and 17 reps on the bench. As a senior last year, he made 61 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 INTs. Wilson turned into a solid safety, especially as a run supporter, but he avoided being taken advantage of in the passing game as an upperclassman. He doesn’t have great measurables, but he does have a similar body to a player like Jamar Adams, who managed a few years in the NFL as a backup and/or practice squad player.
Best guess: Undrafted

Desmond Morgan, ILB
Morgan measured in at 6’0″, 231 lbs. at the pro day. He ran a 4.91 forty and a 4.19 shuttle while doing 21 reps on the bench press. Morgan is a heavy hitter and team leader who was Michigan’s most consistent linebacker. He might fit in the NFL as an inside linebacker, but he’s probably a career backup type of player.
Best guess: Undrafted

Mario Ojemudia, DE
Ojemudia tore his Achilles in early October and was denied an extra year of eligibility. He measured in at 6’2″, 255 lbs. at the pro day and did 20 reps on the bench, but he was otherwise unable to test due to his lower body injury. At his size he looks more like an outside linebacker, but a lack of elite athleticism makes him a tweener as an OLB/DE. He was not highly productive at Michigan but put up decent numbers (17.5 TFLs, 8 sacks over four seasons). He would have been a reach to get drafted pre-injury, and his inability to work out for teams probably sealed his fate. But he could be an UDFA signing.
Best guess: Undrafted

Joe Kerridge, FB
The 6’0″, 245 lb. Kerridge was the best lead blocker on the team, though a slightly less adept runner than Houma. He ran a 4.89 forty at the pro day, did 24 reps on the bench, and ran a quick 4.23 shuttle time. He has good hands and actually slipped a couple long runs up the middle throughout his career, but he’s a less versatile prospect than Houma. Kerridge is a more traditional, straight-ahead fullback.
Best guess: Undrafted

Joe Bolden, LB
At Michigan’s pro day, Bolden was 6’1″, 230 lbs., ran a 4.95 forty, and did 17 reps on the bench. He had a 9’4″ broad jump, a 35″ vertical, and a 4.5 shuttle. Bolden was mildly productive at Michigan, making 185 tackles over the last two years. He was not a standout, though. He was a captain this past season, but running just .05 seconds faster than Henry sums up his level of athleticism.
Best guess: Undrafted

Royce Jenkins-Stone, LB
Jenkins-Stone’s pro day saw him measure in at 6’1″, 238 lbs. and run a 5.0 forty. He did 25 reps on the bench, showed off a 30.5″ vertical, broad jumped 9’4″, and did a 4.49 shuttle. He made 40 tackles, 6 TFLs, and 3 sacks during his senior year when he earned his first significant playing time, mostly after Ojemudia got hurt. Jenkins-Stone played mostly as an outside linebacker after being recruited as an inside guy, but he’s too light and sawed-off to be an outside linebacker at the next level. His lack of production and his mediocre athletic skills mean he’s probably not on many teams’ draft boards at all.
Best guess: Undrafted

Which of these guys get drafted and where? Am I being pessimistic with just two Wolverines getting picked?

13 comments

  1. Avatar
    Comments: 1208
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Apr 27, 2016 at 6:55 AM

    Having flogged the same theme for the better part of the last five years, I see no reason to quit now. Somebody with a solid offensive line with the desire to run the football at a high level is going to provide Houma with a shot at an NFL career at Tailback. I’m thinking, Dallas, Seattle, maybe the New York Football Giants, the Steelers. Were I running one of those teams, he’s be my last pick, just so I wouldn’t have to fool with it.

    Bare minimum you have a big, healthy body with a little speed that hasn’t taken a lot of shots for your special teams.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3215
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Apr 27, 2016 at 8:12 PM

      I don’t see him getting a shot to play tailback at the next level. Best case scenario for him, I think he turns into a Mike Tolbert-like combo back.

  2. GKblue
    Comments: 309
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    GKblue
    Apr 27, 2016 at 8:44 AM

    Agree with Roanman on Houma’s skill set.

    I lean towards someone taking a late round chance on Rudock. If nothing else Houma and Rudock will get a shot as UNFA and earn a spot on a roster IMHO.

  3. Blue in NC
    Comments: 43
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Blue in NC
    Apr 27, 2016 at 10:10 AM

    He probably will not be drafted but Jarrod Wilson is a guy that was underrated at Michigan and probably underrated here. I could see him sticking on a roster for several years. His measureables seem okay to me and he seems like a heady, solid player. I think he could be around the league longer than anyone mentioned above other than Glasgow and Henry (maybe Rudock).

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3215
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Apr 27, 2016 at 8:10 PM

      You might be right. I like Wilson. I would take him back at Michigan in a heartbeat. I just don’t know how much NFL scouts love him, because he wasn’t a big-time playmaker. It wouldn’t be surprise me at all, though, if he turned out a solid NFL career.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 1184
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        WindyCityBlue
        Apr 27, 2016 at 9:03 PM

        You could be right…just look at Ryan Mundy. Useless here, but actually did OK in the NFL.

        Unfortunately, Wilson may have seemed better to us than he really is, because our standards for good safety play have gotten so low. It’s been a very, very long time since Michigan had a top-notch free safety.

  4. Avatar
    Comments: 2
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lou MacAdoo
    Apr 27, 2016 at 4:13 PM

    It’s sad to see all of these guy’s numbers. I was a little surprised to keep reading about a lack of athletic ability. Although it didn’t show much over the years, a lot of these guys were big prospects with supposedly above average athletic ability. I thought it was supposed to be a strength of Ojemudia, Ross, Wilson, Jenkins-Stone and Bolden. I guess not.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3215
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Apr 27, 2016 at 8:08 PM

      I expected those guys to show more athleticism. I think Ojemudia has decent athleticism for a defensive end, but not necessarily compared to other outside linebackers. I also think Wilson is a fine athlete. Once he settled in and learned his position, he didn’t get taken advantage of athletically. Those other guys were just so-so. Keep in mind, too, that pro days usually present favorable numbers for guys, so seeing a 4.95 or 5.0 forty for a linebacker at a pro day is pretty disconcerting. If he were at the Combine in a neutral setting, the numbers would probably be 5.1 or 5.2. Yikes.

  5. Avatar
    Comments: 1
    Joined: 4/28/2016
    NaptownBlue
    Apr 27, 2016 at 8:23 PM

    Wasn’t Mario’s injury an Achilles rather than an ACL? If so, it’s hard to see how he would even be able to participate in training camp this year. If he tore it early October, best case scenario is being physically able to due light on field work by August which is about 10 months post-op. I say this having come of an Achilles tear last February myself. Average recovery time is 12 months, but can be longer. Ask Robert Mathis.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3215
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Apr 27, 2016 at 8:31 PM

      Yes, it was his Achilles. Good catch. Thanks.

  6. Avatar
    Comments: 1184
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    WindyCityBlue
    Apr 28, 2016 at 6:44 AM

    Agree that Houma could very possibly find a roster spot, even if he isn’t drafted. He’s got some talent, and was certainly underused here.

  7. Painter Smurf
    Comments: 260
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    Painter Smurf
    Apr 28, 2016 at 1:07 PM

    May be irrational, but I would not be surprised if Rudock gets drafted. After the top 6 or 7 QB’s, I am not sure anyone stands out from anyone else. Hopefully, some scouts are in his corner.

  8. Lanknows
    Comments: 5153
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Apr 28, 2016 at 1:30 PM

    Good read. Like you I love the Draft and it’s one of my favorite days. Unlike you, I think the Super Bowl is lame – inferior to the previous two weeks of playoff games by a good deal.

    Generally agree with these takes, though I’d be a little surprised if Glasgow goes ahead of Henry just for upside reasons. I do know it’s supposed to be a deep draft for DL.

    Who the hell would have guessed a year ago that Houma (a rarely used backup FB who mostly played special teams) would be the third most likely M player to get drafted? I wouldn’t be surprised if he got drafted in the 7th round.

    Wilson, Ojemudia, and Rudock seems like guys whose fortunes will be left to fate. They aren’t going to wow anyone but if a couple injuries happen wherever they end up they could get an opportunity. If they grab it and take advantage they could play for a while in the NFL.

    Am I the only one who thinks it would be very smart of the Lions to use their 3rd and 4th round picks on Glasgow and Henry?

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