Off to the NFL: Hutchinson, Ojabo, Hill, Hinton, Ross, Gray, Haskins, Baldwin

Tag: David Ojabo


8Jan 2022
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Off to the NFL: Hutchinson, Ojabo, Hill, Hinton, Ross, Gray, Haskins, Baldwin

Chris Hinton (image via Wolverines Wire)

Michigan football news was overwhelmed this week with guys announcing they were either transferring or leaving for the NFL – oh, and the Jim Harbaugh-to-the-NFL drama – so yours truly just had no chance of keeping up with all those developments.

Posts on each one of these guys will be coming down the road to summarize their careers, but I wanted to address each one here and now.

DE Aidan Hutchinson: Hutchinson played four years at Michigan and could have returned for a fifth. He was the Heisman runner-up and set the school record for sacks with 14. He has nothing else to prove and will likely be a top-5 pick in the draft, so this was the right decision for him.
Draft projection: 1st round

OLB David Ojabo: Ojabo had 11 sacks rushing the quarterback opposite Hutchinson one year after making 1 total tackle. As a redshirt sophomore, he could have come back for a couple more seasons, but he’s striking while the iron is hot. Hutchinson and Ojabo surely helped each other out, and there would be a risk in returning for 2022, considering there’s no proven pass rusher on the opposite side. He could very well have returned and put up mediocre sack numbers, hindering his draft stock. Even though Ojabo is not a good run defender, he does have outstanding athleticism and could be a year one pass rusher for an NFL team.
Draft projection: 1st round

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4Jan 2022
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Review of 2021 Season Predictions

Aidan Hutchinson

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Now’s your chance to lambaste me for my idiocy, so you can go check out my season predictions if you want (LINK).

LEADING RUSHER
Season prediction: Hassan Haskins, 900 yards
Actual: Hassan Haskins, 1327 yards
Scoop: I thought Michigan might spread the ball around a little more – and I did not expect Haskins to get 270 carries – but Haskins got a big boost in production when Blake Corum injured his ankle. Haskins notched 27, 31, 20, and 28 carries in the wake of Corum’s injury before the latter returned healthy. The last time any running back topped 270 carries in a season was Mike Hart, who had 318 attempts in 2006.

LEADING RECEIVER
Season prediction: Ronnie Bell, 800 yards
Actual: Cornelius Johnson, 620 yards
Scoop: Bell got hurt in the first game of 2021, tearing his ACL on a punt return. He had 1 catch for a 76-yard touchdown at that point. After a two-year run as Michigan’s leading receiver, it was time for a new king, and that new king was 6’3″, 210 lb. Cornelius Johnson. Johnson made 39 catches for 620 yards and 3 touchdowns.

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28Dec 2021
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2021 Orange Bowl Preview: Pass Defense vs. Georgia Pass Offense

Stetson Bennett (image via AJC)

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MICHIGAN
Michigan is #22 in pass defense (194.7 yards allowed/game) and #11 in passer rating defense. They have allowed just 6.0 yards per attempt, which ties them for #6 nationally. Only four teams have topped even 200 yards passing against them.

The primary reason for Michigan’s good pass defense is the edge rushers. Defensive end Aidan Hutchinson set a school record with 14 sacks, and outside linebacker David Ojabo wasn’t far behind with 11. They often line up wide and come tearing off the edge with reckless abandon, but they’re athletic and disruptive enough to make quarterbacks do things they don’t want to do, such as step up in the pocket and make quick decisions.

On the back end, cornerback Vincent Gray has had a bounce-back season after an abysmal 2020, and counterpart Christian Turner has turned into Michigan’s best cover guy with 2 interceptions and 7 pass breakups. Safety/nickel corner Daxton Hill (2 INT, 8 PBUs) has been taken advantage of by some slot fades against quick slot guys, but overall, he has also been very good.

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26Dec 2021
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2021 Orange Bowl Preview: Rush Defense vs. Georgia Rush Offense

Zamir White (image via The Athletic)

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MICHIGAN
Michigan is #20 overall for giving up 121.5 yards per game this season. They’re tied with Ohio State (and CMU and PSU) at #23 for giving up 3.52 yards per carry, and they’re tied at #15 for giving up 11 rushing touchdowns this season. They are a good rushing defense bordering on elite; the only team that had sustained success was Michigan State with Kenneth Walker III almost exclusively doing the damage.

Michigan’s leading tackler is middle linebacker Josh Ross with 95. Safety Daxton Hill (65) and defensive end Aidan Hutchinson are the closest, and they’re not close. Michigan does a good job of containing the edge and funneling things back inside by playing Hutchinson and outside linebacker David Ojabo wide, letting Ross, Hill, and safety Brad Hawkins (54 tackles) clean things up inside.

The Wolverines have not produced a ton of tackles for loss this season with 69, which is tied for #74 in the nation. That’s despite getting a ton of sacks from Hutchinson (14) and Ojabo (11); in other words, sacks from those two have accounted for 36% of the team’s tackles for loss. I mentioned above that they’re tied at #74; what I didn’t mention is that they’re tied with Arizona State, Ball State, and Illinois, which is not exactly a murderer’s row of defenses.

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14Nov 2021
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Michigan 21, Penn State 17

David Ojabo (image via ClickOnDetroit)

That was a win. It wasn’t always pretty – especially on offense – but a win in Happy Valley is always nice. It’s not an easy place to play, and the Nittany Lions are usually pretty good, so you take an ugly win if you can get it. I decided to watch the game sans social media and just enjoy the back-and-forth, because I knew there would be a ton of griping. And nobody’s allowed to gripe but me. So I grumbled at times to myself, but for the most part, I thought Michigan played pretty well.

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