2022 NFL Draft Preview: Michigan

2022 NFL Draft Preview: Michigan

April 27, 2022
Will we see Aidan Hutchinson in a Lions uniform? (image via Revived Graphics)

It’s NFL Draft time! The draft starts tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. EST. Here is a look at the various Michigan players eligible for the draft.

Aidan Hutchinson, DE
Captain and all-time season sacks leader Aidan Hutchinson will be the first Wolverine off the board. At 6’7″ and 260 pounds, Hutchinson showed off good (not great) speed with a 4.75 forty at the Combine and also has elite quickness with a 4.15-second 20-yard shuttle. His arms are considered to be a little short (32 1/8″), but that doesn’t seem to be limiting his draft stock. In general, he’s considered to be nearly a lock to go in the top two to the Jaguars or Lions.
Projected round: 1st

Daxton Hill, S
At 6’0″ and 191 pounds, Hill is a little bit small for a traditional safety role. However, his speed (4.38 in the forty) and athleticism (10’1″ broad jump) are tantalizing and he’s a willing and able tackler in the open field. He could be a starter from day one, especially as a nickel corner. Scouts seem to like his man coverage abilities, and he could also be a major asset on special teams. Most projections seem to have in the bottom half of the first round, and he’s battling with Notre Dame’s Kyle Hamilton to be the first safety off the board.
Projected round: 1st

Hit the jump for more.

David Ojabo, OLB
Ojabo is a 6’4″, 250 pound terror off the edge because of his speed (4.55 in the forty). Unfortunately, he tore his Achilles tendon during Michigan’s pro day. He was likely to be a first round pick until that point, and now he will likely drop a round or two. St. Louis Rams running back Cam Akers came back from an Achilles tear in just a handful of months, but that’s the exception, not the rule. Before that it was probably considered likely that an Achilles tear during draft prep would remove a guy from the equation for his entire rookie year. I think he will probably drop a round and go near the bottom of the second.
Projected round: 2nd

Hassan Haskins, RB
Haskins is a bigger back at 6’2″ and 228 pounds. He did not run a forty – probably because it wouldn’t be a great time – but his game is more built on power, instincts, and breaking tackles. He did 27 reps on the bench press in the only physical testing he did at the Combine. People underestimated Haskins in high school and at Michigan, and I think he’s being underestimated by some regarding the NFL, too. I don’t think he’s going to be a star in the NFL, but he’s a durable player who could have a long career (for a running back) as a #2 or #3 back who will block and play some special teams and grind out some yards.
Projected round: 5th

Andrew Stueber, OG
Stueber is a huge human being at 6’7″ and 325 pounds with 34 1/8″ arms. Though he was exclusively a tackle at Michigan, his lack of lateral quickness probably makes him a guard in the NFL. I don’t love tall guards unless they’re super athletic, so I think he will probably be mostly a backup at the next level. I don’t see any team going into a season comfortable with him as a starter, but he could be a backup at either guard spot or right tackle.
Projected round: 6th


  • Daylen Baldwin, WR: Baldwin probably should have spent an extra year in college, because he was never a prime target at Michigan and is rough around the edges when it comes to refinement, blocking, route running, etc. His 40 time at Michigan’s pro day was reportedly a 4.65, even though he seemed to play faster than that at times. At 6’2″ and 218 pounds, he made 17 catches for 256 yards and 2 touchdowns in his final college season. I would be shocked if he gets drafted.
  • Vincent Gray, CB: Smith is 6’2″ and 192 pounds, and at the Combine, he ran a 4.61 and a 4.57 in the forty. Both are subpar times for a cornerback. While his size is intriguing, I have long been a critic of Gray, who got beat in college with some regularity, seemed to lack confidence, and did not necessarily make up for it with physicality. I have seen him projected to go in the late rounds – and he did earn an invitation to the Combine, which is something – but he is not a draft-worthy player to me.
  • Brad Hawkins, S: I have a hard time pegging Hawkins to get drafted since he was not invited to the NFL Combine. A long-time starter at a major program like Michigan, and no invite to the Combine? I am surprised, but the teams have spoken, and they don’t seem to be interested. I could see him getting drafted late (perhaps teams feel like they saw enough on film that they didn’t need to see him in person?) but I’m not counting on it.
  • Donovan Jeter, DT: Another head-scratcher, Jeter could have returned in 2022 for a final season of eligibility but chose to declare for the draft. At 6’3″ and 310 pounds, he performed at Michigan’s pro day and ran a 5.13 forty, did 26 reps on the bench press, and had a 7.8 three-cone drill. Jeter was not invited to the Combine, and after going through the draft process, he reportedly tried to return to Michigan but was not given permission (presumably from the NCAA).
  • Chris Hinton, Jr., DT: Hinton declared early for the draft, and I’m not sure why. He had some good plays and was a solid player at Michigan, but he rarely flashed high-level plays and his athleticism was just so-so. Sure enough, he measured in as one of the least athletic defensive tackles at the Combine.
  • Josh Ross, LB: Ross was one of the least athletic linebackers at the Combine, and his struggles in coverage were pretty obvious at Michigan. Since it’s such a pass-heavy league, I don’t see front offices having faith in him enough to draft him. He’s certainly worth an undrafted free agent contract, though.

The above is how I project guys. Not having complete knowledge of the entire draft pool, of course some of these players can get picked up toward the bottom of the draft. I would not be surprised to see Gray, Hawkins, or Hinton get drafted. Ross has an outside shot, but I would be shocked if Baldwin and/or Jeter get drafted.

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