2017 Season Countdown: #87 Joe Hewlett

2017 Season Countdown: #87 Joe Hewlett

May 11, 2017

Joe Hewlett

Name: Joe Hewlett
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 195 lbs.
High school: Northville (MI) Northville
Position: Running back
Class: Redshirt junior
Jersey number: #27
Last year: I ranked Hewlett #91 and said he would have 2 carries for 5 yards. He had 2 carries for -1 yard.

Hewlett got a lot of run in the spring of 2016, and that led me to believe that he would see some non-crunch time carries – and he did. He ran once against Hawaii and once against Illinois for a total of -1 yard. He was also Special Teams Scout Team Player of the Week and Offensive Scout Team Player of the Week, according to his MGoBlue bio. The son of former Michigan quarterback Rich Hewlett, Joe was a high school quarterback at Northville and sometimes plays scout team quarterback when preparing for teams with dual-threat quarterbacks.

That athleticism and versatility is his biggest value to the team. Michigan has bigger and faster running backs, so Hewlett won’t ever factor heavily into the rotation. But he can make the defense work hard to corral him, and he’s talented enough to do some things that not many guys can. The coaching staff seems to like him, and he should be rewarded once in a while late in games whose outcomes have been decided.

Prediction: Backup running back; 1 carry for 3 yards

One comment

  1. Lanknows
    Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    May 11, 2017 at 8:41 PM

    A lottery ticket is worth more than a penny. A lottery ticket probably gets you nothing and the penny gets you more than that – but you are 99.99% sure the penny isn’t going to change anything. The lottery ticket is worth more.

    In countdown value terms, Hewlett is a penny and guys like Newsome, Paea and McCaffrey are lottery tickets.


    Player A: 10% chance of playing (90% red-shirt) and 5% chance of making a meaningful contribution

    Player B: 95% chance of playing but <1% chance of making a meaningful contribution.

    Player A is more important and more valuable.


    With so many options at RB and WR, I do not think that buried skill position walk-ons have much value to the team, even if there is a chance they get a carry or a catch at some point. Regardless of their participation in the spring practice, their expected value to the team is closer to zero.

    They may not get the ball but the walk-ons that are more valuable are the ones that play at thin positions (e.g., OL, DT, LB, DB). They at least can offer insurance in the event of a unlikely but not unprecedented string of injuries to a single position group. I do agree that special teams, scout teams, locker-room presence and other non-game day factors can play into value, but Michigan has plenty of options there.

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