This post has been delayed for a bit. It probably would have been done sooner if not for the fact that Michigan got commitments from 29 players in the class of 2016, so there was a lot of film to review. Also, life got in the way a couple weekends ago when I planned to spend some time putting together this post.
Anyway, these ratings are designed to project how I see their careers developing at Michigan. For example, a running back who might get a chance to shine early at Indiana could be in a tooth-and-nail battle for playing time at Michigan. So these ratings are specific to Michigan, and do not necessarily reflect a prospect’s overall ability.
Ranked from highest final rating to lowest final rating, here are Michigan’s members of the 2016 class:
Rashan Gary: 100
He’s the consensus #1 prospect in the country, and his game translates well to a lot of places, including the NFL.
TE Devin Asiasi: 92
With his prodigious talent and Jim Harbaugh’s usage of the tight end, I see no reason why Asiasi – who is big, can block, can catch, and can run – can’t be a high draft pick in three to five years. Sometimes other things get in the way, but he’s the most well rounded TE prospect to come to Michigan in a long time.
CB David Long: 92
I still think Long is an excellent prospect who brings a good combination of physicality and athleticism, along with a good head on his shoulders.
Hit the jump for the rest of the 2016 recruiting class.
QB Brandon Peters:
Peters has grown on me – no pun intended – to the point where I really like him as a prospect. The more I’ve seen of him, the more I think he’s a guy who’s going to really rely on timing and chemistry with his teammates. He has a strong arm, but he throws with nice touch. It’s tough to throw with touch, though, when you don’t have a great grasp on your receivers’ speed and the defense’s speed. He’s a guy who needs a couple years to percolate.
WR Eddie McDoom:
Golly gee, I like this kid. One thing that I’ve come to appreciate even more when watching his film again is his vision and field awareness. He just seems to have a great sense of where his blocks are developing, the proper angles to avoid defenders, etc. Add in decent size and pretty good speed, and he could be an outstanding wideout.
K Quinn Nordin: 89
I’m no kicking expert, and highlight videos of kickers are very unreliable. This is entirely based on other services’ rankings.
OL Ben Bredeson: 88
Watching Bredeson’s film is frustrating because I don’t like a lot of the things Bredeson is doing from a technique standpoint. However, he’s doing some of those things consistently, so he seems to be coached that way. Bredeson can play several positions on the offensive line, he can bend, and he’s tough.
RB Kareem Walker:
I’ve said this before, but Walker is that running back who seems to be pretty solid in a lot of areas but doesn’t leap out in any one particular way. He should be good behind what I assume will be a solid offensive line, but he could also lose playing time to a more dynamic runner.
LB Devin Bush, Jr.: 85
I didn’t see anything this past fall (or spring) to change my opinion on Bush. He has some size limitations, but otherwise, he’s solidly built enough to play linebacker in the Big Ten, and he’s a pretty good athlete.
CB Lavert Hill:
Hill is a step behind Long physically and technique-wise, in my opinion, but he has good long-term upside with his speed and hips.
DE Carlo Kemp:
He was supposedly playing some linebacker upon arrival at Michigan a few months ago, but he was playing defensive end by the conclusion of the spring. That’s his best fit, in my opinion. Solidly built and a good athlete, I like his instincts and his offensive experience as he transitions full-time to defense.
DE Ron Johnson, Jr.: 83
Johnson is a little bit inconsistent to me. Sometimes he uses good technique, and sometimes he doesn’t. Sometimes he’s very physical, and sometimes not so much. I think it’s an effort/concentration thing, and I think those things usually get ironed out after some time playing with and competing against other very good athletes.
DE Joshua Uche:
I really like Uche’s speed and quickness coming off the edge. A lack of size might be an issue, but I’m exciting about his pass-rushing capabilities.
WR Kekoa Crawford:
I’m having a hard time pinning Crawford down when it comes to a Michigan comparison. He’s a wide receiver with a running back’s game. He’s a bigger, more athletic Drew Dileo, I guess. I’m not so sure he’s All-Big Ten material, so I’m dropping him a couple points.
LB Khaleke Hudson:
I think Hudson is an excellent prospect for Don Brown’s SAM position, although I think his size might be a limitation if he’s looking at a potential NFL career.
WR Ahmir Mitchell:
Mitchell is one of those perplexing athletes who looks really good with the ball in his hands, but you’re not sure how you’ll get it to him. He’s big and fairly fast, but he fights the ball sometimes. Does he turn into Braylon Edwards or LaTerryal Savoy?
LB Elysee Mbem-Bosse: 78
Mike McCray II seems to on this path, and I think that’s a pretty good approximation.
OL Michael Onwenu:
I’m stubborn, so maybe I just refuse to change my stance. But I just don’t see Onwenu as an offensive lineman. He takes a lot of plays off, and sometimes he just seems disinterested in using the technique that I’m sure he was coached. I’d rank him higher as a nose tackle. I’m moving him up because I think he’ll have to play in a couple years due to the depth chart, but his ceiling is higher on defense.
TE Sean McKeon:
I think McKeon might get outshined by other guys (such as Asiasi), but it’s hard to pick against a Jim Harbaugh-recruited tight end. He might be one of those players who emerges in year four or five after Asiasi leaves, or maybe he’ll just be a very solid second option to go along with Asiasi or others. He’s a good prospect, but not as smooth of an athlete as Asiasi or even Nick Eubanks.
S Josh Metellus: 71
I don’t think Metellus is anything special athletically, but that’s sometimes overrated for a strong safety. He’s a decent enough athlete, and it’s important to be heady at that position. I think he could be a starter a few years down the road if he improves his field awareness.
FB Kingston Davis:
I’m ranking Davis as a fullback, even though he and his dad have insisted that he’s a tailback. That was the case with Wyatt Shallman, too, and look where he is after three years. Davis reportedly checked in at a camp last summer at 242 lbs., and he looked too big for the running back role last fall. I believe he has trimmed some weight and he’s supposedly down to around 225 lbs. now, but he could be a dynamic combo fullback, whereas I think he’s limited as a tailback.
WR Nate Johnson:
Despite the fact that his senior film is, ahem, enhanced at a couple points, I like Johnson. I’m not sure sure how well he fits with Michigan’s offense, though, and I’m a bit turned off by some of the showboating, waffling on his commitment, etc. I’m not sure that he’ll reach his athletic potential.
DT Michael Dwumfour: 69
I like Dwumfour and I think he could tear it up at some programs.
RB Chris Evans:
Evans is a tricky tweener of a player. Is he a running back, a slot receiver, or something else? Considering the makeup of the team and the recruiting class, I think he deserves a shot at running back, but he’s not a guy I see as a full-time player there. Evans looks like a player you might toy with as a receiver out of the backfield, running draws, etc.
OL Stephen Spanellis:
I’m upgrading Spanellis a little bit because I like his mentality, and I think that will mesh well with this coaching staff. He’s still not an athlete that looks destined for the NFL.
WR Brad Hawkins, Jr.:
Part of this drop is due to the other guys Michigan is bringing in at wide receiver, and part of it is due to Hawkins himself. I don’t see a great athlete at wide receiver (or as a defensive back, as some have suggested), and I don’t see the same kind of fire with the ball in his hands like I see in someone like Crawford.
LB Devin Gil:
I’m glad the charade of Gil being a safety is over. He mentioned around National Signing Day that he was coming to Michigan as a linebacker and had already bulked up to about 225 lbs. Gil might be more of a middle linebacker than Bush, because Gil’s decent when you’re running at him, but he’s a little slow and stiff in pursuit.
LB Dytarious Johnson:
I like Johnson’s abilities more than this final rating indicates, but he didn’t qualify in time to sign a National Letter of Intent and his senior year didn’t necessitate keeping him in the 70’s. There are some questions, in fact, about whether he’ll ever suit up for Michigan due to some lingering academic snags.
TE Nick Eubanks: 44
A boom-or-bust prospect, Michigan has a lot of a good tight ends and Eubanks has a lot to work on. I don’t see him panning out, but if he learns the game and adds some weight, he could be a big-play threat from the TE position.
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