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

Tag: Joshua Ross


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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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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30Sep 2021
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2021 Michigan vs. Rutgers Awards

Brad Hawkins

Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . A.J. Henning. Henning has been a decent receiver (3 catches, 36 yards) and an outstanding runner (2 rushes, 100 yards, 1 TD) early in the season, but when push came to shove against Rutgers, the coaching staff almost completely ignored him. His only overall touch was on a punt return, and the only attempt to get him the ball on offense was an early fade route on the outside. Michigan needs to make more of a concerted effort to get guys like Henning the ball on the edge.

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2Sep 2021
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2021 Season Predictions

Aidan Hutchinson

Look below for my bold, sure-to-be-100%-correct predictions for 2021.

LEADING RUSHER
It doesn’t get any bolder than picking the guy who has finished #1 or #2 in rushing the past two seasons (and the #1 guy from 2019 is playing for UCLA now). Yes, you guessed it. I’m picking Hassan Haskins. Haskins was a ho-hum recruit who has become a very dependable runner, if lacking great breakaway speed. Last season he took a stranglehold on the job, running 61 times for 375 yards (6.2 yards/carry) and 6 touchdowns. Sophomore Blake Corum should also get a good chunk of carries, but in crunch time, I expect Haskins to be the primary back.
Prediction: Hassan Haskins, 900 yards

Hit the jump for the rest of the prognostications.

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