This is one of the most exciting NFL Draft seasons for Michigan fans in years, probably even surpassing the 2017 draft when Taco Charlton was taken in the first round, Jourdan Lewis seemed like a borderline first rounder, and several others were drafted. A couple players are expected to go in the first round, and another player is considered to be one of the top few players at his position.
Hit the jump for more.
Devin Bush, Jr. – LB
Bush weighed in at the combine at 5’11”, 234 lbs. and ran a blistering 4.43 forty. He also did 21 reps on the bench press and showed off a 40.5″ vertical. He is a virtual lock to go in the first round, and Louis Riddick has even suggested that Bush is the best player in the whole draft (see below).
Possible landing spots: #10 to Denver, #12 to Green Bay, #20 to Pittsburgh
Rashan Gary – DE/DT
Gary, at 6’4″ and 277 lbs., had one of the best overall combines of any prospect. He ran a 4.58 forty with a 38″ vertical and 26 reps on the bench, plus an impressive 4.29 shuttle time. There has been talk that Gary’s shoulder problems (reportedly a torn labrum) will need surgery, and it’s unclear if he can last through his rookie season before that would need to take place. He was not a productive defensive end in college, and scouts have questioned his pass rushing abilities, but the size and athleticism are very enticing. Due to the shoulder issues, some pundits are expecting him to fall in the draft from what was expected to be a top-10 spot.
Possible landing spots: #8 to Detroit, #11 to Cincinnati, #13 to Miami, #16 to Carolina, #19 to Tennessee
David Long, Jr. – CB
Long is 5’11” and 196 lbs., ran a 4.45 forty, ran a 3.97 shuttle, and showed off a 39.5″ vertical. While his testing numbers are impressive, the most impressive thing about him is that teams in 2018 were unable to take advantage of him. Pro Football Focus, for example, has Long as the best cornerback – or one of the top few – in the whole country by numerous metrics. Quite simply, other teams couldn’t complete anything against him. Despite those statistics, he’s not expected to be a first round pick.
When will he go off the board? Likely 2nd rounder
Chase Winovich – DE/OLB
Winovich measured in at the Combine at 6’3″ and 256 lbs., ran a 4.59 forty, and showed off a 4.11 shuttle. He’s a high-motor player who could get taken advantage of in the NFL because he plays recklessly at times, but he was extremely productive at Michigan and chased plays down all over the field. He’s probably a player who will need to play an outside linebacker position in a 3-4 rather than the 4-3 weakside end spot he played in college, but he doesn’t have much experience dropping into coverage, so that might be a small limitation.
When will he go off the board? Some talk about 2nd round, but I expect 3rd round
Karan Higdon – RB
Higdon is 5’9″ and 206 lbs., and he ran a fairly impressive 4.49 at the Combine. While he has decent speed and acceleration, his ability to break tackles and make people miss is a little bit of a question mark. He has the size of a third down back who can catch the ball out of the backfield, but he didn’t do a ton of that in college. He’s likely to get picked, but probably not until day three.
When will he go off the board? I’m guessing the 6th round
Zach Gentry – TE
Gentry is 6’8″ and 265 lbs., and he ran a disappointing 4.92 at the Combine, along with only doing 12 reps on the bench press. He improved those numbers slightly at Michigan’s pro day (a “4.76” and 14 reps), but overall, those measurements were not very helpful for his draft prospects. He’s a tight end who should probably play flexed out into the slot quite a bit, because he’s not very strong and still could have used another year of college development as a blocker (among other things). If he gets picked, it will probably be toward the tail end of the draft because it’s unclear if he’ll reach his potential.
When will he go off the board? 7th round or undrafted free agent
The rest of these Michigan prospects are unlikely to get drafted, but some will probably become undrafted free agents:
Juwann Bushell-Beatty – OT (UDFA)
Berkley Edwards – RB
Casey Hughes – CB
Tyree Kinnel – S (UDFA)
Lawrence Marshall – DT
Bryan Mone – DT (UDFA)
Grant Perry – WR (UDFA)
Wilton Speight – QB (transferred to UCLA but worked out with Michigan on pro day, UDFA)
Brandon Watson – CB (UDFA)
Where do you want or expect to see these guys go?
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