NFL Draft Preview: Michigan

NFL Draft Preview: Michigan


May 6, 2014
Taylor Lewan could be the most talented tackle in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Here’s a 2014 NFL Draft preview from Michigan’s perspective. There should be a few Wolverines selected by NFL teams, and a few guys may latch on as undrafted free agents. If you want a look back, I did a similar post for the 2013 NFL Draft. I whiffed on Denard Robinson (I had him pegged as a 2nd rounder but he fell to the 5th), got pretty close on William Campbell (I had him in the 6th round at #188 overall and he went at #178), and did okay on Jordan Kovacs (I had him going in the 7th round; he went undrafted but caught on with the Dolphins).

The first round will begin at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 8th. The second and third rounds will be on Friday, May 9th, starting at 7:00 p.m. The fourth through seventh rounds will be on Saturday, May 10th, beginning at 12:00 noon.

Players are listed in order of projected likelihood of being drafted.

Taylor Lewan, OT
Lewan measured in at 6’7″ and 309 lbs. at the NFL Combine. He ran a 4.87 forty, which was the top time for his position group. He also did 29 reps on the bench press, vertical jumped 30.5″, broad jumped 9’9″, had a 4.49 shuttle, and did a three-cone drill in 7.39 seconds. Lewan became a starter during his redshirt freshman year and surprised a lot of people when he returned for his fifth year in 2013 when he could have been a top ten draft pick last year. His stock essentially had nowhere to go but down, and he probably hurt his chances a little bit with some off-the-field issues that were revealed or occurred during the 2013-2014 school year. Lewan is a very consistent pass blocker and a powerful run blocker with a nasty disposition. He has taken some bad penalties at times, and he has a pending assault and battery charge stemming from late in the 2013 season during an altercation outside an Ann Arbor bar. If he pleas or is found guilty, the punishment will likely be light, but that’s still a bit of a red flag. He’s in the discussion for the top offensive tackle in the draft along with Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews and Auburn’s Greg Robinson.
Best guess: 1st round to Buffalo Bills (#9 overall)

Jeremy Gallon, WR
Michigan’s all-time record holder in season receiving yardage, Gallon measured in at the NFL Combine at just 5’7″ and 184 lbs. He ran a 4.45 forty, which surprised those of us who watched him for five years at Michigan, showing good acceleration and short speed but getting caught from behind on multiple occasions. However, he does have excellent leaping ability, can outmuscle corners for jump balls, has strong hands, and can break some tackles. He will almost certainly get drafted, but it will have to be by a team with an open mind toward working with small-ish receivers.
Best guess: 5th round to Denver Broncos (#171 overall)


Michael Schofield, OT
Schofield measured in at 6’6″, 301 lbs. at the NFL Combine. His arms are 34″ in length and a hand width of 9 5/8″. He ran a 5.01 forty, which was good for #6 among offensive linemen. He also put in a 4.57 shuttle, a 7.62 three-cone drill, a 24″ vertical, and a 93″ broad jump. Analysts have pretty consistently pegged as going in the middle rounds, perhaps in the 4th or 5th. Schofield was consistent but not dominant at the college level.
Best guess: 6th round to New York Giants (#187 overall)


Thomas Gordon, S
Gordon, a fifth year senior, played at 5’10” and 210 lbs. last year. He was not invited to the Combine, but he ran a 4.49 at Michigan’s pro day, ran a 4.10 shuttle, had a 40.5″ vertical, and broad jumped 10’5.5″. Gordon was productive in 2011 but has had two mediocre years in 2012 and 2013 – not many busts, but not many big plays, either. He was a box safety under Rich Rodriguez in 2010 and appears to be better playing closer to the line of scrimmage, so some teams may look at him if they play their safeties near the line.
Best guess: Undrafted


Fitzgerald Toussaint, RB
Toussaint is a 5’10”, 205 lb. runner who was not invited to the NFL Combine. He had underwhelming redshirt junior and fifth year senior years, suffering a nasty broken leg in the midst of the 2012 season. However, he turned in a solid pro day with a 4.49 forty, 24 reps on the bench, a 4.10 shuttle, and a 6.59 three-cone drill. Tousssaint’s lack of production in 2012 and 2013 will hold him back, but he showed flashes of excellence as a redshirt sophomore in 2011. He will almost certainly not get drafted, but I do think he has the potential to be one of those guys who hangs on as a sub for guys who get injured as the season goes along.
Best guess: Undrafted


Cameron Gordon, LB
Gordon stands 6’3″, 237 lbs. and has good speed for his size. After starting his career at wide receiver and then moving to free safety, he eventually found a home as an outside linebacker. Unfortunately for him, he was stuck behind someone who appears to be a future NFLer in Jake Ryan. Gordon gained a lot of experience as a redshirt freshman and was mostly a backup for the remainder of his career. He reminds me a lot of some former Michigan players who had fringe NFL careers (Roy Manning, Shantee Orr), so while he likely won’t get drafted, I do expect him to get picked up by a team and given a shot to make the roster as a special teams player or backup.
Best guess: Undrafted


Jibreel Black, DT
Black is a 6’2″, 278 lb. player who did 29 reps on the bench press at Michigan’s pro day, which was tops on the team that day. He did not produce heavily at Michigan, but he did start a fair share of games and played every position on the defensive line at one point or another. Black used his quickness at defensive tackle because he never put on the bulk to become a great run-stopper. He’s somewhat of a tweener who lacks the ideal speed and height for defensive end and lacks the ideal size to play inside at the next level.
Best guess: Undrafted


Quinton Washington, DT
Washington measured in at 6’2″, 292 lbs. at Michigan’s pro day, where he was nursing an ankle injury and could not participate in every phase. He ran a 5.55 forty and did 26 reps on the bench press. He looked larger than 292 during the season, so perhaps he slimmed down in an effort to lower his forty times. Either way, Washington had a mildly productive 2012 season followed by an oddly ineffective 2013 season that saw his playing time reduced. His measurables are not particularly impressive, and when combined with his on-the-field production, he will surely not have his name called in the draft. Washington played offensive guard early in his college career, but he’s not physically imposing enough to warrant a William Campbell-like position change in the NFL, in my opinion. If Washington makes it at the next level, it will have to be as a free agent nose tackle.
Best guess: Undrafted


Courtney Avery, CB
Avery is a 5’11”, 175 lb. player who played cornerback and some safety in college. After a rough freshman season, he had a solid sophomore year followed by diminishing returns as a junior and senior. Despite being named a captain, he was used only sporadically throughout his senior year. Avery has decent size to play corner in the NFL, but he lacks the speed, hips, and anticipation to play it capably at the next level. If he continues his football career, it will likely be at a lower level. I do not even see him as a practice squad player.
Best guess: Undrafted

Drew Dileo, WR
Dileo is a 5’10”, 180 lb. receiver who did a lot of things at Michigan. He played receiver, returned punts, returned kickoffs, and was the holder for extra points and field goals. Dileo did a fine job as a role player at Michigan, but he doesn’t have the size to play receiver in the NFL, nor does he have the speed to make up for it.


Jareth Glanda, LS
Glanda measured in at 6’3″, 256 lbs. as a senior. He was nearly perfect as a long snapper in college, but the job gets even tougher at the next level. Snappers often double as backup linebackers or tight ends in the NFL who can contribute elsewhere in an emergency, but Glanda has no such experience, so that may make it tougher for him to cut it at the next level.
Best guess: Undrafted

OTHER SENIORS WHO WILL LIKELY GO UNDRAFTED

Joe Reynolds, WR
Jeremy Jackson, WR

6 comments

  1. Comments: 21381
    May 06, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    Does anybody else think that Cam Gordon will make for a real good Patriot?

  2. Comments: 21381
    Anonymous
    May 06, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    It's amazing and somewhat painful to contemplate, but this could easily turn out to be Michigan's best draft since 2008 (Long, Henne, et al.).

  3. Comments: 21381
    Anonymous
    May 06, 2014 at 6:11 PM

    Not even a description of Jeremy Jackson? You REALLY dislike that kid!

    • Comments: 21381
      May 06, 2014 at 6:25 PM

      You know, I was running out of time and I know Jeremy Jackson's not going to play in the NFL, so what's the point? The guys I described might at least end up on a practice squad for a millisecond or two.

  4. Comments: 21381
    May 07, 2014 at 1:01 AM

    It's funny how recent trends can help a guy coming just down the pipe. Should Gallon cross paths with Wes Welker, he should get down and kiss his feet. Because of Welker (and the fact that Gallon looks like a carbon copy of him) there will be a lot more interest in Gallon than there would have been just a few years ago. Totally agree he will get drafted and of the lot I see him catching on with the best organization of all Michigan players. Just a hunch.

    At the same time, the recency effect I think will harm Lewan. His behavior and off the field issues bring to mind Richie Incognito 2.0. Wild talent but a wild card and possible train wreck waiting to happen. It won't hurt him much but just enough to cost him some big boy dollar dollar bills.

    • Comments: 21381
      May 08, 2014 at 9:57 PM

      Maybe it's wishful thinking, but I don't think Lewan will be a huge troublemaker. He seems too intelligent to turn into "that guy." There are some qualities in Lewan that I don't like, but it is possible to be tough in the NFL without being a total dick. He's not a "screw everyone" type of guy. He's someone who wants to be a leader and wants to be well liked. He just hasn't quite learned how yet.

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