2020 NFL Draft Preview: Michigan

2020 NFL Draft Preview: Michigan


April 22, 2020
Cesar Ruiz

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Just for fun, I like to take a shot at the NFL draft prospects from Michigan each year. This year there is less top-end talent than last year (Devin Bush, Rashan Gary) but more depth. It seems like only two guys are guaranteed to get drafted through Day 2, and then the rest is a crap shoot.

Hit the jump for a rundown on all of Michigan’s draft-eligible athletes.

Cesar Ruiz – C
Ruiz, who spent three seasons in college, is 6’3″ and 307 lbs. with 33 1/8″ arms and 11″ hands. (See his Combine results below.) Largely regarded as the top center in the draft, Ruiz is thought to be a borderline 1st/2nd rounder. Centers aren’t highly valued overall, but you usually see one taken in the bottom third of the first round.
Possible landing spots: #23 to New England, #32 to San Francisco, #43 to Chicago
Twitter says: 1st round

Joshua Uche – OLB
Uche seemed to really take off after the season when he shined at the Senior Bowl. At 6’1″ and 245 lbs., he’s not the biggest guy, but his ability to rush the passer and bend off the edge should be intriguing for teams who run a 3-4. He has 33 5/8″ arms and 9 1/2″ hands. He didn’t test at the Combine other than the bench (18 reps) because of a hamstring injury, which hurt him when Michigan’s pro day was canceled. I have seen some people projecting him late in the 1st round, but I think that’s a stretch. He could end up playing well enough for that spot, but you can still get effective edge rushers in the 2nd.
Possible landing spots: #27 to Seattle, #35 to Detroit, #42 to Jacksonville, #56 to Miami
Twitter says: 2nd round

Ben Bredeson – OG
Bredeson measured in at 6’5″ and 315 lbs. at the Combine with 31 1/8″ arms and 10 1/8″ hands. Bredeson was always a solid offensive guard at Michigan, but he never really destroyed opponents like a lot of Michigan fans hoped. He is reportedly viewed as a solid player who could have a long NFL career, but not one who’s athletic enough to become a premier player at his position.
Projected round: 4th
Twitter says: 3rd round

Michael Onwenu – OG
Onwenu is 6’3″ and got himself down to 344 lbs. for the Combine. (He was previously 370+ during his college career.) He has 34 3/8″ arms and 10 1/2″ hands, and he did 26 reps on the bench without doing the rest of the battery of athletic tests. I have seen some scouts raving about his pass protection (he’s impossible to bull rush), but his lateral movement has come into question. And for such a big guy, he rarely gets praised for his ability to move people in the run game.
Projected round: 5th
Twitter says: 5th round

Donovan Peoples-Jones – WR
Peoples-Jones is probably the most interesting guy to me out of Michigan’s draft prospects, because his physical talent is near an elite level, while his production and route running were mediocre. He measured in at 6’2″ and 212 lbs. with 33 1/2″ arms and 10 1/8″ hands. In a weaker receiver class, I might be able to see him still going in the 3rd or 4th round, but there are a lot of good available wideouts. If he takes to next-level coaching, I could see him having a good career. But he also had plans of going to medical school when he came out of high school, so he might play for a few years and, if he doesn’t find a great deal of success, go ahead and move to the next stage of his life.
Projected round: 5th
Twitter says: 4th round

Lavert Hill – CB
I think Hill started loading up on the creatine after the season, because he was 5’10” and 190 lbs. at the Combine. He has 30 7/8″ arms and 9 1/8″ hands, and he also put up 21 bench press reps. He’s another one who did not run. I have seen some scouts praise his physicality and think he would make an ideal slot corner, which I disagree with. I think he’s also too slow to match up with a lot of speed you see in the NFL. Ultimately, I’m not sure I see a great spot for him to succeed at the next level, but he’s still worth drafting late.
Projected round: 6th
Twitter says: 4th round

Jon Runyan, Jr. – OG
Runyan is 6’4″ and 306 lbs. with 33 1/4″ arms and 9 1/8″ hands. He has impressive athleticism and tested well at the Combine. His lack of height and bulk may end up hurting him in the long run, but he appears to have done just about the best he could in the lead-up to the draft, putting his best foot forward. I don’t see him as a future starter in the NFL, but he’s the kind of guy you can picture running on the field to play center, guard, or tackle when a starter or two get injured. He might just make a career out of being the 7th lineman on a roster.
Projected round: 6th
Twitter says: 5th round

Sean McKeon – TE
At 6’5″ and 242 lbs., McKeon has 33 1/2″ arms and 9 1/8″ hands. He did 18 bench press reps but also did not run due to a hamstring issue. I mentioned over on MGoBlog that I sat in on a Zoom clinic with Michigan tight ends coach Sherrone Moore, who said McKeon was about to get drafted. I thought he was a fringe prospect, so I’ll throw him in here toward the end of the draft, but I have doubts. I was never super impressed with McKeon, who never really showed an ability to go up and high-point the football or adjust super well to the ball in the air. He’s also not a great in-line blocker. Coincidentally, I could see him going somewhere like Baltimore, who traded away Hayden Hurst but uses multiple tight ends to help in their run game with Lamar Jackson.
Projected round: 7th
Twitter says: Undrafted

Josh Metellus – S
Metellus is 5’11” and 209 lbs. with 32 1/4″ arms and 10 1/4″ hands. His testing numbers turned out pretty well, but unfortunately, his playmaking skills at Michigan just weren’t flashed very often. His short-area quickness is lacking, and his long speed is only adequate. He’s physical in coverage and will come up and stop the run, but if other teams can manipulate him into open space, then I think it will become a problem. Metellus is a guy who I think will hang around the fringes of the NFL for a few years, kind of like a Thomas Gordon or Tyree Kinnel.
Projected round: 7th
Twitter says: Undrafted

Mike Danna – DE
Danna is 6’1 1’2″ and 251 lbs. with a 4.9 forty and a ridiculous vertical (LINK). Unfortunately for him, he was a backup at Michigan and didn’t have great production (38 tackles, 3 sacks) after being a standout at Central Michigan. Danna never really showed a ton of explosion in a Wolverines uniform, but he’s one of those guys who just seems to get the job done and play consistently. Much like the next guy, he kept playing at a high level even when going against some of the best prospects in the country in the East-West Shrine Game.
Projected round: Undrafted
Twitter says: Undrafted

Jordan Glasgow – LB
At 6’0″ and 221 lbs., Glasgow is not the biggest guy. He claims 30 5/8″ arms and 9 5/8″ hands. As a senior in 2019, he made 89 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, and 5 sacks. He was one of the top performers in the East-West Shrine Game, and I was impressed with how often he was around the ball. There were bigger, faster, and “better” players on his squad, and I try to be unbiased, but he was in on more plays than almost anyone. I don’t think he’ll get drafted. He seems like the quintessential undrafted guy who might work his way up the ladder, just like he did as a walk-on. (I have seen him projected as a 6th rounder.)
Projected round: Undrafted
Twitter says: Undrafted

Khaleke Hudson – LB
Hudson measured in at 5’11” and 224 lbs. with 29 3/8″ arms and 10″ hands. For all the talk about his athleticism coming out of high school, his testing numbers – other than his bench – were not off the charts. His 40 time and vertical were worse than teammate Josh Metellus’s (see above), and his vertical was just two inches higher than Shea Patterson’s (see below). Hudson looked great at times during his career, and he also disappeared for stretches of time. While I think he could have value in certain situations in the NFL (special teams, for example), I don’t see where he fits in a broader sense. He’s not nearly good enough in coverage to play safety, and he doesn’t get off blocks well enough to play linebacker.
Projected round: Undrafted
Twitter says: 6th round

Shea Patterson – QB
At 6’1″ and 212 lbs., Patterson has 30 1/2″ arms and 9 3/8″ hands. This is a guy who’s a good all-around athlete. He’s supposedly an excellent golfer, and people forget he was a 39th round draft pick to the Texas Rangers. He had a solid 4.71 forty, a 31″ vertical, and a 116″ broad jump. Those are solid numbers; not necessarily on par with the top athletic quarterbacks in the draft, but not far off. The problem with Patterson, in my opinion, is twofold: He occasionally makes bad decisions, and he throws a wobbly ball. I see people question his accuracy, and I don’t think that’s a big problem. The question marks are big enough to force him out of the draft, but I could see him landing on a team as a third QB.
Projected round: Undrafted
Twitter says: Undrafted

7 comments

  1. Avatar
    Comments: 1357
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Apr 22, 2020 at 2:56 PM

    One more time and then I quit, I swear it. If I ran a defense that ran slants at the line of scrimmage, which is to say, most of them … many of them for damn sure, I’d make Onwenu mine and line him up on your center and have him beat the snot out of that guy for as many snaps as he could while alternating which elbow he attacked through on the way to your guard’s hip. Because, I promise you he’s well on his way back to 377 as I type, if not all the way back.

    I might let him fail at guard for somebody else at the fifth round, then go get him with the career saving switch, but I’d be crabby if they went and made him a nose guy.

    And, I concede that you very well might have to go find a guy somewhat like him because of conditioning issues, but I think you could build a real nice scheme that works for today’s pro game behind him.

    I saw very little from the guy that made me think that he couldn’t have been replaced on our offensive line with very little in the way of consequences. I saw very little from our interior defensive line guys that made me think that Onwenu wouldn’t have helped out there in a big way. Especially against Wisconsin.

    I’ll never understand that one.

    It’s right behind putting Denard under center on my list of bonehead Michigan coaching decisions.

    Pierre Woods might be two, but Onwenu on offense is way up there.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3849
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Apr 22, 2020 at 4:33 PM

      You’re preaching to the most annoying member of the choir there. I agree with you 100% about the best spot for Onwenu, and I’ve been saying it for years. If he were playing NT at Michigan, I don’t think we would be wondering if he would get drafted in the 5th or 6th round. Looking at the DTs in the draft, I think he would be somewhere in the top 5 or 6, as long as he went to the right team.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1863
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Apr 22, 2020 at 5:15 PM

      Onwenu would have a heart attack after more than 3 snaps on D

  2. Avatar
    Comments: 134
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    AC1997
    Apr 22, 2020 at 8:25 PM

    Did Onwenu ever play NT in high school? I don’t remember him being a two way guy like Will Campbell.

    I think the issue was partially bad timing. We were still trying to build a coherent OL when Onwenu and Ruiz started playing and the depth didn’t really get addressed until a year ago.

  3. Avatar
    Comments: 134
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    AC1997
    Apr 22, 2020 at 8:26 PM

    I don’t know how many special teams experts teams keep, but I would think Hudson is the ideal guy for that. I think Glasgow is too and I am hoping that having two brothers in the league gets him at least a fair shot.

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