2019 Season Countdown: #33 Brad Hawkins

2019 Season Countdown: #33 Brad Hawkins


July 30, 2019
Brad Hawkins (image via MLive)

Name: Brad Hawkins
Height:
6’1″
Weight:
213 lbs.
High school:
Suffield (CT) Suffield Academy
Position:
Safety
Class:
Junior
Jersey number:
#20
Last year:
I ranked Hawkins #57 and said he would be a backup safety/Viper (LINK). He made 24 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, and 1 pass breakup.
TTB Rating:
78

Hawkins played a little more than I expected in 2018, likely in part due to the absence of Jaylen Kelly-Powell for a chunk of the year. Tyree Kinnel and Josh Metellus were slated to be the starters, with J’Marick Woods, Kelly-Powell, and Hawkins vying for backup snaps. However, Kelly-Powell suffered an injury that caused him to miss half the season, increasing the opportunities for Hawkins. Hawkins struggled at times but came up with some solid plays, which seems about on par for a sophomore safety.

After losing Kinnel to graduation, there’s room to step up for someone at the safety spot. The options there include Kelly-Powell (who has reportedly been spending much of his time time at nickel corner), but mostly the coaching staff seems to be looking at Woods, Hawkins, and freshman Daxton Hill. I get the sense that the coaching staff wants Woods to get first crack at the starting gig so Hawkins is free to play the nickel spot. There are rumors about next year seeing a position switch for either or both of Hawkins and Woods to end up at the Viper position once Khaleke Hudson and Jordan Glasgow graduate.

Prediction: Nickel safety, backup safety

31 comments

  1. Avatar
    Comments: 1209
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Jul 30, 2019 at 1:15 PM

    Hawkins’ depreciation today has been both swift and terrible.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3268
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jul 30, 2019 at 1:17 PM

      Haha. Yeah, I don’t know why he was #19 in the post initially. I must have been thinking of the year (2019) when I typed it at first.

  2. Lanknows
    Comments: 5334
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Jul 30, 2019 at 1:31 PM

    More than most years I think you can have a robust debate about 15-35. That reflects the relative lack of star players, strong depth at most positions on offense, and a whole lot of turnover and positional uncertainty on defense.

    Hawkins might be a starting safety who rarely leaves the field – a clear top 20 player – or he might be a rotation or package guy. How you parse his value-rank vs Woods vs Hill and others is very subjective. I lean Hill, Woods, Hawkins in that order but wouldn’t surprise if it was reversed.

    Flip a coin, make an argument. Similar situations at RB, WR, TE, RT, DL for better or worse.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 54
      Joined: 10/3/2015
      UM2013
      Jul 31, 2019 at 11:10 AM

      Agree that this is a difficult year. Just to memorialize it, here is my personal rank of the next 32, using the TTB criteria (note this assumes that the list was created before the Ambry Thomas injury rumors):

      1) Shea Patterson
      2) Lavert Hill
      3) Khaleke Hudson
      4) Cesar Ruiz
      5) Aidan Hutchinson
      6) Donovan Peoples Jones
      7) Carlo Kemp
      8) Josh Metellus
      9) Ben Bredeson
      10) Nico Collins
      11) Mike Dwumfour
      12) Ambry Thomas
      13) Jon Runyan
      14) Mike Onwenu
      15) Josh Ross
      16) Kwity Paye
      17) Zach Charbonnet
      18) Dylan McCaffrey
      19) Sean McKeon
      20) Donovan Jeter
      21) Andrew Steuber
      22) Tarik Black
      23) Mike Danna
      24) Nick Eubanks
      25) Jalen Mayfield
      26) Josh Uche
      27) Mike Sainristil
      28) Devin Gil
      29) Vincent Gray
      30) Tru Wilson
      31) Ronnie Bell
      32) J’Marick Woods

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5334
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Jul 31, 2019 at 11:48 AM

        Nice. My top 10 is very similar.

        I have Dwumfour instead of Hutchinson. I like Hutchinson but I think DT is much more critical to the overall success. If Dwumfour pops anything like Hurst did in his 4th year breakout, that’s season changing. If he falters we’re relying on freshman. His development is HUGE for this team. At DE we have Paye, Danna, Uche, Villain and others so Hutchinson is just lest critical in my eyes. Still top 15 though, on speculation of a sophomore year breakout.

        I do have Paye in the top 10 and above Hutchinson based on superior play last year, experience, Don Brown hype, and slightly more positional versatility.

        DPJ and Collins I have outside the top 10 simply because we have depth – in particular 3 WR that look so promising plus all the slot types and TEs. Both in the top 20 still, but if one goes down Black steps in. We’ll use all 3 of course but if any one of them goes down we still have multiple impact receivers. People are sleeping on Black a bit because of injuries – he was ahead of DPJ and Collins when healthy. TBD if he can get that position back but it speaks to his talent.

        I have Ross in instead (along with Paye). If Ross goes down then we’re going with a totally unproven MLB which is a long way to fall from Devin Bush. Ross is a good player already and ascending rapidly. I expect an all-conference season.

        • Avatar
          Comments: 54
          Joined: 10/3/2015
          UM2013
          Jul 31, 2019 at 11:59 AM

          All fair points – I might actually move Hutchinson back a few spots now that I look at it – somewhere closer to ~10. I’m assuming that he has a breakout year, which obviously isn’t a given.

          I’m not sure what to make of Dwumfour – he was so highly hyped coming into last year, but didn’t seem to really live up to it. Agree that a breakout would be season-changing, but is there any reason to expect that at this point?

          Good points re. the receivers – I just feel like DPJ’s playmaking ability is hard to replicate on deep balls, end arounds and punt returns.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 5334
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Jul 31, 2019 at 12:04 PM

            The career arc of Hurst is nearly identical to Dwumfour. Hurst did face stiffer competition admittedly so I’m not expecting him to be THAT good but hope for a similar development to shore up against the run. I’m not dismissing the hype, just thinking it was premature.

            • Avatar
              Comments: 54
              Joined: 10/3/2015
              UM2013
              Jul 31, 2019 at 12:12 PM

              Dwumfour is a RS Junior, right? If I remember correctly, Hurst was a PFF machine his RS Junior year (albeit on a stacked DL in limited snaps). Perhaps I’m unfairly dinging Dwumfour because he’s had to take on a larger role early in his career.

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 5334
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Jul 31, 2019 at 2:35 PM

                The things being said about Hurst leading into 2015 were similar to the things said about Dwumfour leading into 2018.

                They had similar roles, limitations, and production in those seasons. Hurst showed more promise but he also had better supporting cast. Struggled in a bigger starting role when he was asked to do too much.

                Hurst broke out in 2016 as many expected. Dwumfour probably isn’t Hurst but he could break out in a similar timeframe.

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 5334
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Jul 31, 2019 at 3:10 PM

                Here’s Thunder’s take on Hurst entering his 4th year. Some similarities I think other than the big change in context – DT appears thin in 2019 and looked flush in 2016.

                https://touch-the-banner.com/2016-season-countdown-24-maurice-hurst-jr/

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5334
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Jul 31, 2019 at 11:55 AM

        Key differences 10-20:

        I don’t have Charbonnet in my top 35. The freshman I put in instead: Dax Hill.

        I have McCaffrey about 10 spots lower. I put Uche there instead because I think he’ll be a playmaker on defense and do more to replace Chase than most people expect.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 5334
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Jul 31, 2019 at 12:01 PM

          I am factoring in the Thomas news in my ranking of Hill. I didn’t move Thomas himself down because he’s still critical but I did move Hill up. Either way we need 2 new corners for the 3-person rotation and Gray is totally unproven.

          Hill sounds like he’s too good to keep off the field and CB is wide open and in need.

        • Avatar
          Comments: 54
          Joined: 10/3/2015
          UM2013
          Jul 31, 2019 at 12:02 PM

          I actually had Dax higher originally (I think ~20). This is my list of the remaining 32 guys, although I’d personally have some guys higher / lower (Hill, Turner, Hinton, Glasgow all higher, Bell, Woods, Wilson a bit lower).

  3. Avatar
    Comments: 1231
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    WindyCityBlue
    Jul 30, 2019 at 8:40 PM

    Unless Hill starts playing like a 5 star right away, we’re going to be very mediocre at safety. Again. Woods and Kelly-Powell are two of those “stars don’t matter”, “I trust the coaches” recruits from 3 years ago that have turned out to be as meh as they looked.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5334
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Jul 30, 2019 at 10:33 PM

      Metellus is all conference twice over and on the Thorpe watchlist. Michigan only needs the other safety to play a 2-star level to have a mediocre safety crew.

      Metellus was a low-end 3-star who only had 1 other power conference offer (Colorado). So yeah, trust the coaches.

      JKP was a 4-star with offers from Alabama, Notre Dame, OSU, Oklahoma, Oregon, and others. He’s an example of stars don’t matter, but not in the way you mean.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 1231
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        WindyCityBlue
        Jul 31, 2019 at 6:23 AM

        I’d be a rich man if I had a dollar for every time Metellus got beaten on a pass play over the middle last year, He has very pronounced limitations. And they put almost 50 guys on preseason watch lists. Someone from Michigan goes on almost by default.

        And Kelly-Powell was just a run-of-the-mill recruit, despite his offer list. Rivals had him a 3 star and 250 in the country, not even a top 20 safety. Woods wasn’t even that good. And three years in, they’re still struggling to find a position.

        • Thunder
          Comments: 3268
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Jul 31, 2019 at 7:23 AM

          You might say that, but people with statistics disagree with you: https://twitter.com/pff_college/status/1148052336457244674

          “Run-of-the-mill” is not top 250. There are 130 teams who hand out about 25 scholarships per year. 25 x 130 = 3,250. If you’re around #250, you’re in the top 8% of FBS scholarship recruits. I think it’s funny that you use Rivals, which was the site that ranked him lowest. JKP was a composite 4-star.

          • Avatar
            Comments: 1231
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            WindyCityBlue
            Jul 31, 2019 at 5:59 PM

            If a program aspires to be a perennial top 10 team and NC contender, the 250th ranked recruit in the country is absolutely “run-of-the-mill”. Please tell me you’re seriously not ranking Michigan’s talent next to teams that are signing recruits ranked in the 2000’s.

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 5334
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Jul 31, 2019 at 7:31 PM

              Run of the mill for an elite team: In other words an elite recruit.

              Most teams, even limiting to power conferences, rejoice at landing even marginal 4-stars let alone consensus ones. 10 of 14 Big Ten teams had fewer than 5 in the 2019 class.

              I know you like to take it as given that Michigan is a top 10 team (Thanks Harbaugh!) and every recruit that doesn’t come with 5 stars is a disappointment but I can remember all the way back to 2014 and 2008 when Michigan couldn’t front.

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 5334
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Jul 31, 2019 at 7:56 PM

              You surely know that’s not anyone else’s weirdo definition of “run of the mill”.

              “Alabama-caliber recruit” could be used if you mean that, though in JKP’s case the unfortunate truth is that he was.

              If what you really mean is that JKP is not a difference-making recruit that gets us ahead of Alabama then nobody is going to argue the banality of pointing out he’s not a 5-star.

              Of course even those players disappoint you – Rashan Gary, just a run-of-the-mill player defensive end; all conference 1st team and 1st round NFL draft pick

              This was just another run-of-the-mill “everybody sucks except alabama” comments from you. I’ve seen you do much better than this WCB and have raised my expectations for you to 9-3 levels of trolling. This was more like 5-7.

              • Thunder
                Comments: 3268
                Joined: 7/13/2015
                Jul 31, 2019 at 8:42 PM

                It’s more 3-9 Rich Rodriguez-level trolling.

        • Avatar
          Comments: 1564
          Joined: 1/19/2016
          je93
          Jul 31, 2019 at 9:45 AM

          Last year? No you wouldn’t. Lump in 2017, and I can start to see your complaints

          In 2018 mettelus was no superstar. But he was pretty good – well above “mediocre.” Even slight improvement should lead to a draft pick. Good for him; good for MICHIGAN

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5334
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Jul 31, 2019 at 10:06 AM

      This is a weak troll effort. The recruiting rankings are irrelevant at this point, as Metellus and JKP well illustrate. Hawkins was a 4* at WR but then fell after prep school for reasons unclear. Put him in the 3* bin if you want – it really doesn’t matter. What does matter is that he just finished a successful sophomore year as a key backup on top end defense. He was the 6th DB all year and had 6 tackles against Notre Dame.

      The worst you can say about Hawkins and Woods is that they are unproven for juniors. That’s not a problem. You don’t want freshman starting at safety, you want ‘boring’ players like Hawkins and Woods emerging from backups to starters as they gain experience. It’s not like it was a bad defense they were on.

      Neither is on the 1st round NFL pick track. That’s OK. Both are on track right now to be good college players. Between them I would guess there’s an all conference player or two – maybe not in 2019 but 2020.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 1564
        Joined: 1/19/2016
        je93
        Jul 31, 2019 at 10:41 AM

        MICHIGAN: starts young players
        Michigan fan: ugh, we don’t develop talent and are stuck with inexperience

        MICHIGAN: starts Juniors/Seniors
        Michigan fan: ugh, we’re not recruiting well enough, and now we’re stuck with umproven guys 😭

        • Avatar
          Comments: 1231
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Jul 31, 2019 at 6:05 PM

          Nice try, but silly and bogus on both counts.

          Michigan: Starts young players who have shown no particular talent, because they have nobody better among upperclassmen due to poor recruiting, player development and roster management.

          Michigan fan: Justifiably complains

          Michigan: Starts young players who have beaten out game-experienced upperclassmen due to exceptional talent and good coaching.

          Michigan fan: Justifiably pleased

          • Avatar
            Comments: 1564
            Joined: 1/19/2016
            je93
            Jul 31, 2019 at 6:42 PM

            Mettelus would start on every B1G team. Do you disagree? I’d go as far as saying he’d start on all but 5-6 teams in the nation. He’s far from mediocre

            Howany teams have a top 5-10 Safety, and another that’s close to it? Not many. Probably the same 5-6 teams

            Our Safety situation isn’t nearly as bad as you’re making it out to be. I’d definitely put Safety after DT & LB (even RB) on my list of concerns

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 5334
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Jul 31, 2019 at 7:32 PM

            What makes your complaining justifiable?

      • Avatar
        Comments: 1231
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        WindyCityBlue
        Jul 31, 2019 at 6:12 PM

        “Good” is just fine. We’ve got plenty of “good” on this defense, plenty of “decent”, plenty of “solid”. “Good” will probably get us another 9-3ish season, just like every other Harbaugh season here. If we’re hoping to actually beat top-notch opponents, if we’re hoping for more than another Citrus or Outback Bowl, we need better players than this.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 5334
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Jul 31, 2019 at 7:34 PM

          Not finishing 5-7 is good.

  4. Avatar
    Comments: 1
    Joined: 7/31/2019
    skippy123
    Jul 30, 2019 at 8:53 PM

    Hawkins is planning on entering the draft in 2020, so at least he will be motivated this year

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1231
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Jul 30, 2019 at 10:18 PM

      As what? A failed WR or a mediocre S?

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