What NFL teams like drafting Michigan players?

Tag: Jeff Backus

5Mar 2020
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What NFL teams like drafting Michigan players?

Jeff Backus (image via Pride of Detroit)

Based on the complete list of NFL draftees from the Michigan Wolverines over the years (LINK), I wanted to take a look at which franchises go after Wolverines most often. Naturally, some teams are limited by shorter lifespans than others, but I’m going to stick to raw data because I don’t think this is important enough or worthwhile enough to break it down further. It’s just an interesting little exercise.

Hit the jump for the list. In parentheses is the most recent pick and year.

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12May 2017
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A Look Back: The 2001 Michigan NFL Draft Class

Mo Williams (Getty images), pick #43 of the NFL draft in 2001, started 100 games as a pro after starting for Michigan in 2000.

 Michigan had a school record 11 players drafted in 2017.  It was, for sure, a great day to be a Michigan Wolverine.  In fact, as many Wolverines were drafted in 2017 as were drafted in the four previous years combined.  In light of this, I decided to look back this week at another one of Michigan’s most successful draft classes: 2001.


The 2001 draft wasn’t as deep for the Wolverines, as only five players were picked, but it was an insanely talented and relatively unique group.  All five players were taken in the first 43 picks of the draft, and they were all from the offensive side of the ball.  

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30Dec 2011
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Former Michigan Athlete of the Week: Jeff Backus

Jeff Backus [illegally] kicks some Jared Allen ass
Left tackle Jeff Backus has started every Detroit Lions’ game since the team drafted him with the 18th overall pick in 2001. That’s eleven straight years and 175 consecutive games without missing a start, good for the longest streak in franchise history. All has not been sunny for Backus, however, as the Lions have been the laughing stock of the NFL over that time, with fans repeatedly calling for him to be replaced. I’m uncertain as to why Backus developed into everyone’s favorite scapegoat for the Lions’ woes, but it’s nice to see this former Michigan athlete finally get a reprieve from ugly losses and fan criticisms.
Against the Chargers on Christmas Eve, the Lions clinched their first playoff birth since 1999 and Backus played well: he didn’t give up a single sack and paved the way for two third down conversions on third and short. “Detroit Lions offensive tackle Jeff Backus dominant against the San Diego Chargers,” read an Mlive headline after the game while Pro Football Focus wrote,”Jeff Backus has really put together some nice performances as of late. In the last five games, he has graded out as an 8.7 while only allowing one quarterback sack and one quarterback hit.” After a challenging eleven year start to his NFL career, hopefully this is the sign of better things to come for Backus and his Lions.
Honorable Mention: Brady again threw for 300 + yards last week as he lead the Patriots to their 12th victory of the season by overcoming a 17 point first half deficit to defeat the Dolphins, 27-24. Although on pace for much of the year, Tom Brady won’t beak Dan Marino’s 1984 single-season passing record of 5,084 yards because Drew Brees beat him to it, breaking the record on Monday Night Football. But with only 190 yards separating Brady and Brees, it’s still possible for Brady to end this season with the record. Saints coach Sean Payton has a history of resting his starters in the second half of the final regular season game and may do so again with the Division already sewn up and nothing to gain if the 49ers take care of the lowly Rams as is expected.
Miscellaneous: Braylon Edwards caught a nine yard pass on Sunday but was cut by the 49ers after the game. Morgan Trent, now with Jacksonville, recorded his second career interception last week to go along with four tackles. Jake Long returned from his biceps injury against the Patriots but left the game after re-aggravating it. Martell Webb was cut from Tampa Bay’s practice squad. Jake Long, Tom Brady and Charles Woodson were named starters for the 2012 Pro Bowl.