2017 NFL Draft Preview: Michigan

2017 NFL Draft Preview: Michigan


April 27, 2017

Taco Charlton

Players are listed in order of how I expect them to get drafted.

1st ROUND

Taco Charlton – DE
Charlton didn’t particularly enjoy playing a 3-4 defensive end role in 2015 under defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin, and he was more productive as a weakside end in 2016’s version of the 4-3.  He’s projected by NFL scouts as a 4-3 end, and mostly I’ve seen him pegged as going in the last third of the first round, though he has moved up to the middle third of the first round in some mock drafts over the last week or two.
Teams to watch: Saints, Bears, Dolphins, Falcons

Hit the jump for the rest of the draft preview.

2nd ROUND

Jabrill Peppers – S/LB
Peppers measured in at about 5’11” and 213 lbs. at the NFL Combine, and he was slightly disappointed in his numbers, since he claimed to have put on about 13 lbs. to work out with the linebackers. He ran a 4.46 forty and thought he could have got it down to the 4.3s if he had been lighter. The number that might hurt him a bit more, though, is his diluted urine sample at the Combine. Excuses have been made by his agent, but diluting your urine sample is considered to be an attempt to mask use of illicit substances, and now Peppers will enter the NFL under stricter drug testing guidelines. Some teams view him as a running back or linebacker, but he’s more likely to be a nickel defensive back.
Teams to watch: Cowboys, Falcons, Redskins, Steelers, Rams

3rd ROUND

Chris Wormley – DT
Wormley is a tweener. Is he fast enough to be a defensive end, and is he powerful enough to be a defensive tackle? He played both at Michigan, and while he was consistently good, he was rarely outstanding. A leg injury prevented him from testing in some speed/agility drills at the Combine, but he put up a solid 23 reps on the bench press. Somebody will probably take a shot at him in the 3rd or 4th round.
Teams to watch: Redskins, Texans

Jake Butt – TE
Butt suffered a second major knee injury when he tore his ACL in the bowl game loss to Florida State – a good piece of evidence for the likes of Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey not to play in those games. But before that, he won the Mackey Award as the nation’s top tight end, even though his senior year numbers (46 catches, 546 yards, 4 TDs) weren’t stellar. He’s a solid all-around player without being a standout in any particular phase, except maybe as a route runner. It’s hard to tell where he’ll go, since tearing an ACL for a second time is obviously a red flag.
Teams to watch: Bengals, Cowboys, Saints, Texans

Jourdan Lewis – CB
Lewis – whether he’s guilty or innocent – is suffering from a damaged reputation due to a domestic violence issue that took place this offseason. Generally considered to be one of the top few cover corners in the country, he was thought to be a second rounder until these charges. Some teams may have taken him off their board, and even teams still high on him are probably looking at him sidewas. He put up decent numbers at the Combine and pro day, but I’m guessing he’ll drop down to the 3rd or 4th round.
Teams to watch: Bears, Buccaneers, Dolphins

4th ROUND

Amara Darboh – WR
Darboh tested better than many expected (4.45 forty, 36″ vertical) and has a solid frame at 6’2″, 214 lbs. He wasn’t greatly productive in college, which could be a concern, and the thing that got him early praise in his career (his hands) have turned out to be questionable at times. He’s probably not in any danger of become a star at the next level, but he’s someone who might be referred to as a “savvy veteran” in a few years.
Teams to watch: Bills, Colts

Ryan Glasgow – DT
Glasgow didn’t wow anyone with his testing numbers, and he was even slightly disappointing with 24 reps on the bench press. Knows for his leverage and technique, he doesn’t have the long arms that might make benching difficult, but regardless, he’s going to get drafted for his production and performance on the field, not because he’s a great athlete. Glasgow is a player who can eat up some double-teams and is probably an undersized nose tackle in a 4-3 at the next level.
Teams to watch: 49ers, Lions

Delano Hill – S
At 6’1″ and 216 lbs., Hill ran a 4.47 forty and did 16 reps on the bench press at the NFL Combine. He’s a physical player who probably needs to play in the box, which is why it might make sense for a team like the Seahawks to take him, where he can play a lot of Cover 3 and be protected in coverage.
Teams to watch: Falcons, Patriots, Seahawks

5th ROUND

Channing Stribling – CB
Stribling measured in at 6’1″, 188 lbs. – 12 lbs. bigger than his college playing weight – but did just 5 reps on the bench press and registered a 40 time that was in the 4.6-4.7 range. However, he’s a long corner who had a good senior season and made some plays on the ball. He’s not a top-flight corner because of that lack of strength and athleticism, but some team will likely look at him that likes length from corners.
Teams to watch: Broncos, Panthers, Seahawks

6th ROUND

Ben Braden – OG
At 6’6″ and 329 lbs., Braden ran a 5.04 forty, showed off a 28″ vertical, and had a 4.90 twenty-yard shuttle at the NFL Combine. Additionally, he showed some versatility in college by playing right tackle, left guard, and left tackle throughout his career. Perhaps the opposite of Glasgow, Braden might get drafted by a team enamored with his athleticism, but not so much his excellence on the field.
Teams to watch: Raiders, Texans

Erik Magnuson – OG
Magnuson didn’t have a great pro day with a 5.4 forty and 21 reps on the bench press. He seemed to max out his athletic potential at Michigan, and while he played offensive tackle most of his time in college, most teams are looking at him as a guard or even a center.
Teams to watch: Browns, Rams

7th ROUND

Jehu Chesson – WR
Chesson has a few things going for him: decent height, good speed (4.41-4.47 forty), and good explosiveness (35.5″-39.5″ vertical), plus a willingness to block. The thing he lacked in college was great production. Can he be the guy who looked like a first or second day pick during the second half of the 2015 season? Or is he the player who was pretty quiet for the other 4.5 years in college? I think someone will take a late shot at him because of his raw skills.
Teams to watch: Raiders, Texans

UNDRAFTED

Kenny Allen – P
Punters rarely get drafted, but Allen has a good leg for punts and kickoffs, and he might earn a shot with a team as an undrafted free agent.

Jeremy Clark – CB
Clark measured in at 6’3″, 220 lbs. at the NFL Combine and did 20 reps on the bench press. He couldn’t do much more besides interview with teams, since he’s still recovering from a torn ACL. Unable – for some reason – to get a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA, he probably has to hope to make a team as an undrafted guy. He could end up playing cornerback, safety, or even possibly outside linebacker at the next level.

Ben Gedeon – LB
Gedeon ran a 4.75 forty, showed off a 34.5″ vertical, and broad jumped 9’9″. I’m very close to projecting him to get drafted, but he’s limited to inside linebacker (6’2″, 244 lbs.) and isn’t known for his pass coverage. He’s a good run stopper and blitzer. Some team will like him as an undrafted free agent if he doesn’t get picked.

Matt Godin – DT
Godin measured in at 6’6″, 294 lbs. and did 26 reps on the bench while broad jumping 9’0″ and running a 5.13 forty at the pro day. He never established himself as a standout, but he was a solid player for the Wolverines. He won’t get drafted, but he should get a look somewhere.

Kyle Kalis – OG
Kalis was a 5-star recruit, but that didn’t translate to his play in college. He put up some solid testing numbers at Michigan’s pro day (30 reps on the bench), but most were just so-so (5.47 forty). That probably won’t be enough to get him drafted, especially considering the whiffs that scouts and general managers have seen on film.

De’Veon Smith – RB
Smith was a so-so back in college who made a living running between the tackles – and through tackles. He looks like a third down back (short yardage ability, good pass blocking), but with a 4.83 forty time at his pro day and mediocre production, he’s probably looking at being an undrafted free agent.

Dymonte Thomas – S
Thomas is another guy who could get drafted very easily. With a 4.5 forty and a 9’10” broad jump, Thomas is an explosive athlete. He didn’t show a ton of ball skills in college, but the athleticism is there. I’ve seen him coming off the board in the seventh round in some mock drafts.

OTHER DRAFT ELIGIBLE FORMER PLAYERS/COMMITS TO WATCH FOR:

OG Kyle Bosch (West Virginia), TE Pharaoh Brown (Oregon), CB Gareon Conley (Ohio State), RB Derrick Green (TCU), LB Kaleb Ringer (Georgia State), DE Tom Strobel (Ohio)

21 comments

  1. Grand Lake
    Comments: 3
    Joined: 4/17/2017
    Grand Lake
    Apr 27, 2017 at 12:47 PM

    Would love to see Lions get Taco at 21, just think he would be great fit with Ziggy on other side but have a feeling that Quinn takes Davis or Reddick at LB if they are available since Lions basically have zero LBs and DE is pretty deep this year. Would like to see them get Glasgow in the later rds. Will take some time to get used to NFL but Glasgow is the kind of guy that will play at a very solid level for many years doing things that the casual fan never sees. If the Lions wish to ever shed the underachieving label they will do it by drafting players like Glasgow in the later rds.

    Peppers goes to Pittsburgh – they highly unlikely to care about a failed test as long as it wasnt PED related and wouldn’t be surprised if the report wasn’t leaked by some team hoping he falls to them at end of 1st rd.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3658
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Apr 27, 2017 at 5:30 PM

      I’ve heard some Charlton-to-the-Lions chatter. I’d prefer to see Detroit take a linebacker, but it’s easy to root for Michigan guys who play for the Lions.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5998
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Apr 27, 2017 at 7:11 PM

        I’m not going to invest much interest in the Lions until they show some intelligent management. Using a 1st round pick on a true LB is rarely worth the investment in modern football. Rueben Foster is the only option worth taking at 21.

        This seems like a deep draft for DEs and CBs and the Lions have needs there too. LB can be addressed later. If you’re talking about edge players who are hybrid DE/OLBs who can pass rush, I think that can work but that’s not what I call a LB.

        The answer as always is trading down to get more picks. The Lions haven’t done much of it.

        I think they can do better than Charlton. I also don’t like the fit with the Lions for Peppers and hope he lands in a better situation with a better defense around him. This would be one of the most disappointing outcomes to me even though I think Peppers is a good player and I root for the Lions.

        Also – while I think RBs are mostly replacement level – there are two elite prospects in this draft (Cook and Fournette) that might be difference-makers. With the Lions investing heavily in run-blocking there may be a golden opportunity.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 1307
        Joined: 8/13/2015
        Roanman
        Apr 28, 2017 at 7:37 AM

        You get your preference.

        Taco has to be feeling about as happy as a pig in the mud about now.

        Poor Jabrill, drafted into hell.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 5998
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Apr 28, 2017 at 3:17 PM

          Browns aren’t a good D but at least it’s not the Lions.

          Garrett + Peppers @ Browns > Peppers @ Lions

          I have to admit I kind of like the Browns/Buckeye fans having to come to grips with cheering for peppy pep. Plus the Browns have a cool/interesting uniform and seem likely to get a lot of fan support if/when they rise up. Beats rooting for Cowboys/Redskins and various other franchises with horrible owners/management/fan combinations.

          • Avatar
            Comments: 1307
            Joined: 8/13/2015
            Roanman
            Apr 28, 2017 at 3:40 PM

            Browns haven’t been worth excrement since Jim and Paul.

            Ickey shuffle was stupid looking.

            • Avatar
              Comments: 1307
              Joined: 8/13/2015
              Roanman
              Apr 28, 2017 at 5:12 PM

              My dear friend “Clemson Dad” has just called to remind me that Ickey Woods played for the Bengals. Got real arrogant and cocky about it too.

              Ok, Ok, when you’re right, you’re right.

              Same colors, founder, same town really. One is a mistake by the lake, the other is a mistake by the river.

  2. Avatar
    Comments: 1307
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Apr 27, 2017 at 2:11 PM

    Here’s Gideon’s page at NFL.com.

    I was a little surprised by his special team production. I had missed on that. Not so surprised by the missed tackle statistic. I still like him for being a big rugged NFL body that wants to hit.

    http://www.nfl.com/draft/2017/profiles/ben-gedeon?id=2558033

  3. Avatar
    Comments: 1307
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Apr 27, 2017 at 2:13 PM

    Here’s Gideon’s page at NFL.com.

    I was a little surprised by his special team production. I had missed on that. Not so surprised by the missed tackle statistic. I still like him for being a big rugged NFL body that wants to hit.

    http://www.nfl.com/draft/2017/profiles/ben-gedeon?id=2558033

    Chex out the comments at the bottom of the page, you’ll laugh.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1307
      Joined: 8/13/2015
      Roanman
      Apr 27, 2017 at 2:13 PM

      Gedeon, I hate spell check.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 183
      Joined: 9/15/2015
      ragingbull
      Apr 27, 2017 at 2:41 PM

      that scouting report / projection on gedeon actually looks spot on, not much to argue with there. tough to predict when a team pulls the trigger on a projected backup mike but you know hell get a chance and work his ass off and itd be surprising if he doesnt hang around long enough to earn a pension

  4. Lanknows
    Comments: 5998
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Apr 27, 2017 at 4:06 PM

    I think the knocks against Peppers are laughable. If somebody gets him in R2 it’ll be a steal for them. Same for Lewis in R3.

    I do not think Charlton is worthy of a 1st round pick. I see him and Wormley as similar low-risk players who are near locks to have long productive NFL careers, but I doubt either has the explosiveness to be an all-pro. The questions about which position Wormley belongs at are pretty silly to me.

    I do not see Butt as a 3rd rounder and I’d be a little surprised if he didn’t drop in R4 or lower. He has mediocre athleticism for a pass-catching TE and is an indifferent blocker at best. The ACL issue shouldn’t be a huge deal but it’s nice when rookies can contribute right away instead of falling behind.

    Hill and Glasgow – 4th round feels about right. Athletes like HIll are in demand. Glasgow is helped by his brothers success.

    Darboh I just don’t see the playmaking or production to see him as anything more than a depth guy in the NFL. Honestly I’d rather have Chesson if I”m an NFL team, but I don’t expect many of them to have paid enough attention to uncover the subtly.

    I bet Magnuson is drafted in R4 or 5. Can’t see Braden before Round 7.

    Stribling I’ll be watching very closely. I think you can get his strength up and the size is there, so how much of a problem is his speed at the NFL. The way he locked onto Godwin makes you think it’s not much of an issue. This is a guy a savvy team could grab in R4 or R5, but I still think he probably drops to R6 or R7.

    3 guys that I think will get draft (or at least 2 of them): Smith, Thomas, Gedeon.

    2 guys I don’t think will get drafted: Chesson & Braden

    Great post!

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3658
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Apr 27, 2017 at 5:42 PM

      We’ll see about Butt. I’m intrigued about his draft position. Most Mackey Award winners have gone in the 3rd round or higher. Of the 16 winners prior to this year, only Tim Stratton, D.J. Williams, and Nick O’Leary have gone after the 3rd round. Of course, not many (or any?) of them had a torn ACL at the time.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5998
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Apr 27, 2017 at 6:57 PM

        I agree he’s an interesting case.

        Butt didn’t deserve the Mackey. I don’t even think he was the best TE in the Big Ten. Certainly a step back from OJ Howard.

        Very good college player and a sure-fire low-risk pro with his size and polished receiving skills, but not a difference-maker. I think if he was healthy the 3rd round would be reasonable.

        Of course it only takes one team to look past the ACL concerns.

  5. Lanknows
    Comments: 5998
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Apr 27, 2017 at 4:17 PM

    This scouting profile on Thomas is pretty harsh, but a lot of it is hard to dispute.

    I think they convinced me to rescind my prediction that he’ll be drafted.

    http://www.nfl.com/draft/2017/profiles/dymonte-thomas?id=2558078

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3658
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Apr 27, 2017 at 5:35 PM

      Yep. If only he had that extra year under his belt for the 2018 draft…

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5998
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Apr 27, 2017 at 6:53 PM

        Do you think it would change anything?

        My impression is that pro teams are pretty capable of looking past production limitations and things that can be fixed with experience.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1910
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Apr 27, 2017 at 9:23 PM

      “lacks the size and physicality to handle safety duties… ”
      I can’t wait to not see this about MICHIGAN players any more

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5998
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Apr 28, 2017 at 3:25 PM

        You’re expecting this to change? Metellus, Hudson and Kinnel are not any bigger. Hawkins and Woods are – but JKP is not.

        I think it’s a silly criticism at the NFL level and entirely ridiculous at the college level. Though there are still plenty of bigger players the typical height continues to decrease (like at RB). About 6′ is normal. NFL all pro safeties (Berry, Collins, Harris) are 6′ or less.

        Peppers may want to pack on 10 pounds…or not.

        • Avatar
          Comments: 1910
          Joined: 1/19/2016
          je93
          Apr 28, 2017 at 6:49 PM

          The physicality part is what bugs me. From RR, to Hoke’s undelivered promises, I’d like to move on!

  6. Grand Lake
    Comments: 3
    Joined: 4/17/2017
    Grand Lake
    Apr 28, 2017 at 9:50 AM

    Taco to Dallas and Peppers to Browns – this couldn’t have turned out worse since they are prob the only 2 teams I actively root against in the NFL. Still hoping for Glasgow to Lions in 5th round.

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