Poll Results: Who will be Michigan’s top draft pick in 2012?

Poll Results: Who will be Michigan’s top draft pick in 2012?

August 19, 2011
Mike Martin eats Vincent Smith a midget

DT Mike Martin: 79%
C David Molk: 7%
QB Denard Robinson: 2%
WR Junior Hemingway: 2%
TE Kevin Koger/WR Roy Roundtree (tie): 1%
OG Patrick Omameh: 1%
LB Kenny Demens: 0%
CB Troy Woolfolk: 0%
WR Darryl Stonum: 0%
DE Ryan Van Bergen: 0%
Other: 0%

In a landslide victory for exactly whom I expected to win this poll, senior Mike Martin pulled in nearly 4 out of 5 votes.  Martin is a 6’2″, 304 lb. nose tackle with surprising quickness.  He might be undersized for playing nose tackle at the next level, which means he’ll likely have to be drafted by a 4-3 team with a need for a 3-tech defensive tackle.  In fact, Martin should probably be playing 3-tech in college, except Michigan has no other viable options at the nose tackle position.  For his career he has 108 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, and 6.5 sacks.

Fifth year senior David Molk took second place comfortably.  Molk is a 6’2″, 286 lb. center who will be entering his fourth season as a starter.  Despite being slightly undersized to be an extremely valuable commodity at the next level, he has consistently been mentioned as the strongest player on the team and was a first team All-Big Ten selection in 2010.  Molk has the quickness, leverage, and intelligence to do well at the college level, but he’ll likely have to add bulk in order to have a chance in the NFL.

Junior quarterback Denard Robinson barely beat out wide receiver Junior Hemingway for the third spot.  Robinson is a 6’0″, 195 lb. quarterback who set the NCAA record last year for the most rushing yards in a season by a QB.  He has struggled as a passer at times and with his lack of height, he could very well have to change positions to play at the next level.  I doubt he will leave early for the NFL when his future position is such a huge question mark.  Last season Robinson threw for 2,570 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 11 touchdowns.  He also had 1.702 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns on the ground.

Hemingway is a 6’1″, 222 lb. fifth year senior wide receiver.  Due to injuries and illness, he has never played a full season of football.  However, last year was his best statistical season when he grabbed 32 passes for 593 yards (18.5 yards per catch) and 4 touchdowns.  Hemingway has demonstrated good hands and leaping ability, and with his strength, he can often outmuscle cornerbacks for the ball.  He has only mediocre speed, though, and his production thus far has been mediocre.

Senior tight end Kevin Koger and redshirt junior wide receiver Roy Roundtree tied for the fifth spot.  Koger is a 6’4″, 258-pounder with excellent athleticism who has been underused for the past few seasons in Rich Rodriguez’s offense.  He has dropped some passes at times, but he has the speed, leaping ability, and size to be a huge mismatch for anyone willing and able to get him the ball.  The new coaching staff will almost certainly use him as a receiver more often than the old one.  In three years as a starter, he has averaged 12 receptions, 170.7 yards, and 1.7 touchdowns per season.

Roundtree stands 6’0″ and only 177 lbs.  Despite a lack of elite size and speed, he set a school record for receiving yards in one game with 246 against Illinois last season.  He also has four career receptions of 74+ yards.  No other player in Michigan history  has more than one reception of over 70 yards.  Still his lack of impressive measurables may cause him not to be a high draft pick, even if he plays out his eligibility and enters the 2013 NFL Draft.

Omameh is a 6’4″, 299 lb. offensive guard.  He has started the last 16 games Michigan has played and projects as the starting right guard in 2011, as well.  He moves well and gets to the second level with regularity, which suits the zone running game perfectly.  He’s also an above average pass blocker.  As just a redshirt junior, however, it would be somewhat of a surprise to see him enter the draft in 2012.  He’s more likely to be a 2013 entrant.

Demens is a 6’1″, 248 lb. middle linebacker who burst onto the scene in 2010.  Despite starting only seven games, he finished the season with 82 tackles and led the Wolverines in tackles per start.  Known as a thumping run stuffer, he needs to work on recognizing pass routes and getting to his pass drops.  He already has the size to play in the NFL and could play middle linebacker in a 4-3 or inside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.  He might wait to enter the NFL Draft until 2013, since he has one year of eligibility remaining beyond 2011.

Woolfolk is 6’0″ tall and 191 lbs.  He missed his true senior season in 2010 due to an ankle dislocation, but started all 12 games in 2009, half at safety and half at cornerback.  With a couple exceptions, he played well at safety and improved when he moved back to cornerback for the second half of the year.  He has not proven to be a huge playmaker in his career (61 tackles, 3 pass breakups in three years), but other teams all but completely avoided throwing in his direction when he started at corner opposite current Pittsburgh Steeler Donovan Warren.  Woolfolk ran indoor track during his first few seasons on campus and has blazing makeup speed to go along with good size for the position.  Teams usually don’t spend high draft picks on guys who have zero career interceptions, so turning out big plays this fall will be important if Woolfolk wants a shot at the next level.

Stonum is a 6’2″, 195 lb. wideout whose lack of impressive statistics and keen ability to break the law make him extremely unlikely to be selected in the 2012 NFL Draft.  For one thing, he was suspended for the 2011 season and will take a redshirt, hoping to return in 2012.  For another thing, his best statistical season came in 2010, when he had 49 receptions for 633 yards and 4 touchdowns.  Those aren’t bad numbers, but his performance wasn’t impressive enough to make a team ignore his person issues.  Stonum also brings some potential value as a kick returner, since he returned 39 kickoffs for 1,001 yards (25.7 yards/attempt), including a 94-yard TD against Notre Dame in 2009.

The player with the least amount of votes was defensive end Ryan Van Bergen, a 6’6″, 288 lb. defensive end.  Van Bergen has played both defensive end and defensive tackle in his career, totaling 90 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 9 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, and 6 pass breakups in his career.  This season he’s bigger than he has ever been before, but Van Bergen works hard and has squeezed out just about every ounce of effort he can with his limited physical skills.  Some players make it to the NFL with superior athleticism, and some make it with a combination of athleticism and talent.  Not many make it that far on sheer determination.  Van Bergen could play at the next level as a defensive end in a 3-4 scheme, but his chances are slim.

The “Other” category received just one vote, and I’d be interested to know which player that voter had in mind.


  1. Comments: 21383
    Aug 19, 2011 at 7:59 PM

    I have a friend who works in the Lions scouting department and he said they're scouting Molk more than any other central o-lineman. They think he could be a long term leader and replace Raiola by his second season. They're guessing he goes early 3rd unless he in injured again or his medical scan before the draft comes back with some red flags. As a Lion fan I'd love nothing more than to see Molk replace the ill-tempered unsportsmanlike Raiola.

    Couldn't Martin go to a 3-4 defense and play the DE position (isn't that the 3 technique also)? I could see a team like New England who likes their 3-4 DE's to pass rush go for Martin. He'd just need a massive NT next to him.

    If Morgan Trent can make it as a CB in this league, Woolfolk better make it. He has position flexibility plus he can actually read a play, unlike Trent. I hated him at Michigan. However, it will be cool having both starting CBs for the Bengals this year. Unless they suck.

    I'm pretty sure RVB is going to be a late round pick just because of his size. It's unusual to have 6'6 300+ DEs in college. A team like Pittsburgh is going to take him and let him grow and develop as a backup 3-4 years. It makes it even easier for a team to take a chance on him because his head is on straight. Late in the draft you either draft speed or size (or gamble on a player who's college career was destroyed because of injuries). Someone is going to take RVB. Sure it'll be late (6th or later) but he'll be taken.

  2. Comments: 21383
    Aug 19, 2011 at 10:26 PM

    You mention Martin as a 3 tech DT in the NFL, but I actually see him as a better fit as DE in a 3-4 system. He has the quickness and intelligence to make the move.

  3. Comments: 21383
    Aug 20, 2011 at 1:30 AM

    That's wild how no other Michigan receiver has more than one 70-yard reception given our history.

    Looking back, I guess Bo, Mo, and Carr weren't exactly known for slinging the ball until they got to midfield, so maybe that plays a part.

  4. Comments: 21383
    Aug 20, 2011 at 3:38 AM

    David, no other Michigan coach has been able to get a receiver past the entire secondary 2 seconds after the ball is snapped before either. Complain all you want about defense and special teams under Rodriguez, but in terms of offense he was pretty damn good.

  5. Comments: 21383
    Aug 20, 2011 at 3:56 AM

    Something else to think on is that Michigan under No ran a lot of option and didn't really start throwing the ball until Wangler and Harbaugh.

    As for the draft, I agree with the people upthread that Martin would work as a 3-4 DE also. As much as I like Molk he's going to need a heck of a combine/senior year to overcome the size issue as his listed weight is even smaller than Raiola's I believe.

  6. Comments: 21383
    Aug 20, 2011 at 10:22 AM

    @ KB 3:59 p.m.

    Martin might be a little too short to play DE, even in a 3-4 scheme. If he's lined up over the guard, that's one thing. But if he bumps out over the tackle, he's got a serious reach disadvantage at only 6'2".

  7. Comments: 21383
    Aug 20, 2011 at 10:25 AM

    Martin will not be 3-4 DE. 6'2" is very short for a 3-4 end, and it's obvious that Martin doesn't have the arm length teams look for at the position. I'd be surprised if you could find more than a couple 3-4 ends under 6-3/6-4, and I can't really think of a single successful one.

  8. Comments: 21383
    Apr 13, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    I'm a little late but, I disagree about Martin being too short. New England used wilfork as a 3-4 DE and they are the same size as 6'1ish. He is short, but being so strong he uses it to his advantage with being so damn strong. I think Martin is a great pick, with his non stop motor I see him being a great NFL player.

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