Poll results: Which Michigan player(s) will get drafted in the 2015 NFL Draft?

Tag: Raymon Taylor

3May 2015
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Poll results: Which Michigan player(s) will get drafted in the 2015 NFL Draft?

Frank Clark

Several days ago, I asked which Michigan players would get drafted. Here are the results of the poll:

Devin Funchess: 95%
Funchess went in the 2nd round (#41 overall) to the Carolina Panthers.

Jake Ryan: 93%
Ryan went in the 4th round (#129 overall) to the Green Bay Packers.

Frank Clark: 67%
Clark went in the 2nd round (#63 overall) to the Seattle Seahawks.

Devin Gardner: 11%
Gardner signed an undrafted free agent deal as a wide receiver with the New England Patriots.

Raymon Taylor: 1%
Taylor went undrafted and has not signed with an NFL team.

Other: 1%

Notes on a few other guys:

– Defensive end Brennen Beyer signed an undrafted free agent deal with the Baltimore Ravens.

– Outside linebacker Josh Furman, who played safety at Michigan before transferring to Oklahoma State for his fifth year, was drafted in the 7th round (#252 overall) by the Denver Broncos.

– Cornerback Delonte Hollowell signed an undrafted free agent deal with the Detroit Lions.

– Running back Thomas Rawls, who played his senior season at Central Michigan, signed an undrafted free agent deal with the Seattle Seahawks.

29Apr 2015
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2015 NFL Draft Preview: Michigan

Devin Funchess will likely be the first Michigan player selected in this year’s NFL Draft

As the NFL Draft approaches on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, we are bound to see a couple Michigan players’ names called. From 2009-2014, Michigan has been going back and forth between having two and three players drafted (LINK). If that trend continues, just two of these players will be selected. Linked to each player’s name is their senior profile, in which I detail some of their workout numbers and a projection.

Devin Funchess, WR: Funchess is the one guy who might sniff the first round, but it would take a leap of faith by a daring team. A wide receiver with a tight end body, he has never been a plus blocker despite being much taller and heavier than the corners and safeties he has faced. When Michigan actually played him at tight end during his freshman and sophomore seasons, he was downright terrible as a blocker. However, he is large and fairly fast and has a 38.5″ vertical. I would not advise a team to take him as a tight end because he doesn’t have the blocking chops, but he’s a guy who can be a mismatch problem for a team that likes to be creative and use multiple tight ends.
My wild guess: 2nd round (#44 overall) to the New Orleans Saints.
Other good fits: Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, New England Patriots

Hit the jump for a rundown of Michigan’s other draft-eligible players.

Jake Ryan, LB: Ryan is a guy who could play SAM linebacker in a 4-3, inside linebacker in a 3-4, or outside linebacker in a 3-4. Personally, I like him on the edge in a 3-4 system, where he can use his playmaking skills to keep contain, rush the passer, and make things happen. He does not have great measurables and doesn’t have a ton of experience on the inside, but if a team is willing to spend some time developing him, I think he could be one of those guys who develops into a starting-caliber inside linebacker, too. Ryan also holds some value as a guy who could be an asset on special teams.
My wild guess: 3rd round (#74 overall) to the New York Giants
Other good fits: Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans

Frank Clark, DE: I did not do a senior profile for Clark, whose domestic abuse issues got him kicked off the team late in his senior year. Clark is a big character risk, as he has had multiple run-ins with the law during his college career. As much as you hope guys overcome these issues, my view is that if it costs Clark a job, there is quite possibly someone more deserving who can take the hundreds of thousands of dollars (or millions of dollars) that he would potentially earn. He was a fairly consistent player during the second half of his junior season in 2013 and then most of 2014, but he was never consistently great and the production didn’t match up to the practice hype. I think he has probably maxed out his frame at a little over 270 lbs. and he’s only 6’2″, so he might be somewhat limited. A team might want to trim off a little weight and make him a 3-4 rush linebacker, or a 4-3 team could use him as a weakside end. I think his inconsistency and lack of elite athleticism will hinder him, if not his off-the-field issues.
My wild guess: 6th round (#205 overall) to the Indianapolis Colts
Other good fits: Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Oakland Raiders

Devin Gardner, WR/QB: Gardner has resigned himself to the fact that he will almost surely have to play wide receiver if he wants to have an NFL career. At Michigan’s pro day in March, he measured in a little over 6’3″ and 218 lbs. He ran a 4.65 forty, did 15 reps on the 225 lb. bench press, showed off a 35.5″ vertical, broad jumped 9’9″, and ran the 20-yard shuttle in 4.42 seconds. Those numbers are solid but not amazing. Considering the fact that he is changing positions and does not have blazing speed, his options may be limited. However, there are other quarterbacks who have made the transition from quarterback to wide receiver in the NFL quite well – Josh Cribbs, Julian Edelman, Bert Emanuel, etc. Those guys generally seem to be smaller, quicker guys who can get open in the middle of the field, not big guys who can go against NFL corners – arguably the best athletes on the field – and win one-on-one battles. I think Gardner is going to struggle with the move to receiver, but he has size, leadership, toughness, and character on his side. I do not expect him to get drafted, but some team will pick him up as an undrafted free agent

Raymon Taylor, CB: Taylor ran a reported 4.42 forty at Michigan’s pro day, which is too fast to be believable. He’s probably more of a 4.55 or 4.6 guy. Measuring in at a hair under 5’10” and 182 lbs., he’s a little on the small side, too. Taylor made some highlight-reel plays in 2013, but he also got burned at times and did not create a ton of turnovers. He will almost surely not get drafted, so his best bet is to latch on as an undrafted free agent and hope he can make an NFL squad.

Brennen Beyer, DE: Beyer was not extremely productive at Michigan despite being a two-year starter, and he did not help himself out much during a pro day in which he ran a 4.87 forty (keep in mind that those times are typically faster than Combine times, so he’s probably more of a 5-flat guy) and did 20 reps on the bench press. At 6’4″ and 256 lbs., he already seemed to have hit his limit since he struggled to even maintain that weight. His size indicates an NFL outside linebacker, but he lacks the speed to play that position in the NFL and doesn’t offer much as a special teams player. He won’t get drafted, and even if he gets a shot as a free agent, I doubt he will stick with a team.

Will Hagerup, P: Hagerup had an up and down career as Michigan’s punter. At times he would look great, and at other times, he would look mediocre. Suspended frequently for off-the-field behavior, he averaged just 36.0 yards/punt as a sophomore in 2011 and had an uninspiring 42.9-yard average as a fifth year senior this past year. He’s another one who will not get drafted, but he might get invited to a camp. Punters are very transient in the NFL, and guys go from starting NFL punter to standing in the unemployment line on a weekly basis.

Delonte Hollowell, CB: I really only mention Hollowell here because he was the “star” of Michigan’s pro day with a reported 4.34 forty, a 37″ vertical, 20 reps on the bench press, and a 10’1″ broad jump. None of that will get him drafted, because he was ineffective on the field and never became a starter at Michigan. I doubt whether he’ll even get an invitation to a training camp.

Other seniors include:
Joey Burzynski, OG 
Jack Miller, C
Matt Wile, K

12Mar 2015
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2015 Pro Day Results

Michigan’s pro day took place today. Pro day times, measurements, etc. will be sparse with limited media coverage and information coming out of tweets and such. However, I’ll try to post some updates as they trickle in:

DE Brennen Beyer: 4.9 forty, 4.12 shuttle, 20 bench reps @ 225 lbs., 33.5″ vertical, 9’2″ broad jump

DE Frank Clark: 4.6 forty

WR/TE Devin Funchess: 4.48 forty, 4.57 shuttle

QB/WR Devin Gardner: 4.62 forty, 35.5″ vertical, 15 bench reps @ 225 lbs., 9’9″ broad jump

CB Delonte Hollowell: 4.34 forty, 37″ vertical, 20 bench reps @ 225 lbs., 10’1″ broad jump

LB Jake Ryan: 6’2″, 240 lbs., 4.65 forty

CB Raymon Taylor: 4.42 forty, 15 bench reps @ 225 lbs., 4.06 shuttle, 33.5″ vertical, 9’8″ broad jump

3Mar 2015
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Raymon Taylor, #6

Raymon Taylor

Taylor attended Highland Park High School in Detroit and was a Rivals 4-star, the #14 athlete in the 2011 class. Here’s my commitment post for him from January 2011 (LINK), when the one-time Indiana commit flipped to Michigan after the Wolverines hired Brady Hoke. I gave him a TTB Rating of 67.

When Taylor arrived in 2011, Michigan was in a tenuous situation at the cornerback positions. Injuries, attrition, and some downright poor play had thinned the ranks of viable cornerbacks. Four different players (J.T. Floyd, Troy Woolfolk, Blake Countess, and Courtney Avery) started games that season, and Taylor played as a backup in three of those games, making 2 total tackles. In the 2012 season opener, Countess tore his ACL, and Taylor stepped in to start for the remainder of the year. He tallied an interception in consecutive weeks against Notre Dame and then Purdue, returning the latter for a 63-yard touchdown; he also made 45 tackles, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 pass breakup that year. As a junior in 2013, Taylor remained a starter and had his best career performance, notching 86 tackles (1st on the team), 1.5 tackles for loss, .5 sacks, 4 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery, and 9 pass breakups. Based on his junior year, expectations were fairly high for him as a senior; his career ended with a disappointing 38 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and 6 pass breakups as he suffered some nagging injuries and started just eight games.

171 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, .5 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, 16 pass breakups
6 interceptions returned for 145 yards (24.2 yards/return) and 1 touchdown


In the long term, Taylor will probably be a rather forgettable, solid cornerback. He was a three-year starter who did not get taken advantage of consistently, but he was not consistently good, either. Playing at about 5’10” and a little over 180 lbs., he did not show great speed but was physical enough and athletic enough to hang with the guys he was guarding. His two most memorable plays were probably those two picks as a sophomore when he jumped a pass against the Fighting Irish and then sort of lucked into that touchdown against the Boilermakers. Michigan fans thought they might have found a hidden gem at that point, and that feeling continued through his junior season. The somewhat inexplicable drop-off as a senior coincided with a drop-off by the whole team; otherwise, Taylor himself might have been under more scrutiny.

. . . that touchdown against Purdue. It was a little bit of luck that the ball dropped into his hands, but it’s a beautiful thing when a defender scores a touchdown of any kind. Especially when it comes at the expense of Danny Hope and Caleb TerBush.


Taylor was not invited to the NFL Combine. He will likely participate in Michigan’s pro day, which typically happens in mid-March. I’m inclined to believe that some of Taylor’s struggles as a senior can be attributed to his health, and his solid play from 2012-2013 might warrant a second look by some NFL teams. However, he will have an uphill battle to latch on with an NFL squad. He does not have good size, and his speed is pretty average for a corner. He probably will not get drafted, he might get signed as a rookie free agent, and then he might bounce around some practice squads before finding a short career in the CFL or AFL.

2Dec 2014
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2014 All-Big Ten teams announced

Jake Ryan

A few All-Big Ten teams have been announced. As you might expect from a 5-7 team with several players who underperformed, Michigan doesn’t have many representatives.

1st team: Jake Ryan, LB
2nd team: Devin Funchess, WR

1st team: Jake Ryan, LB

Jake Ryan, LB

Honorable Mention
Brennen Beyer, DE
Blake Countess, CB
Will Hagerup, P
Raymon Taylor, CB

I am completely behind the selection of #47. During the regular season, Jake Ryan was #2 in the conference in tackles (112) and tackles per game (9.33); he was also #4 in tackles for loss (14.0) and #5 in tackles for loss per game (1.17). He also had 2 sacks, 1 interception, 3 pass breakups, 2 forced fumbles, and 5 quarterback hurries.

I am less convinced by the selection of Devin Funchess. He was #3 in receptions (62), #5 in yardage (733), #24 in yards/catch (11.82), and tied for #12 in touchdowns (4). Congratulations to him, but here’s a list of players I would rank above him:

Tony Lippett, Michigan State: 60 catches, 1124 yards, 11 touchdowns
Leonte Carroo, Rutgers: 53 catches, 1043 yards, 10 touchdowns
Kenny Allen, Nebraska: 40 catches, 717 yards, 5 touchdowns
Devin Smith, Ohio State: 26 catches, 662 yards, 8 touchdowns
Michael Thomas, Ohio State: 40 catches, 639 yards, 8 touchdowns
Stefon Diggs, Maryland: 52 catches, 654 yards, 5 touchdowns

As for the guys named Honorable Mention, Blake Countess has no business being on that team. He had a very rough season, made 24 tackles, and broke up 3 passes. No interceptions, no big plays, and he got picked on rather often. Beyer had a decent year (35 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks), but the best defensive lineman on the team was Frank Clark, who may not have been included since he was kicked off the team. Taylor had 0 interceptions and 6 pass breakups; not a terrible season, but nothing special, either. Hagerup averaged 42.9 yards/kick (#3 in the conference) and pinned teams deep fairly often.

The biggest exclusion I see is sophomore cornerback Jourdan Lewis (39 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions, 6 pass breakups), who was the best player in the secondary for Michigan. I wouldn’t have minded seeing junior linebacker Joe Bolden selected for Honorable Mention, either; he ended the year with 102 tackles (#11 in the conference), 4 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, and 1 pass breakup.