Morgan Trent – CB
Morgan Trent came to Michigan as a wide receiver but moved to defensive back during bowl practices of his true freshman season. He played pretty well in 2007 but took a lot of blame for Michigan’s defensive woes in 2008. Scouts – and fans – think Trent lacks the fluid hips to be a corner in the NFL. Because of this, I think Trent projects as a free safety at the NFL level. He’s a decent tackler who has improved in that area over the last couple years; he doesn’t match up well against running backs at times, but he’s willing and able to hit receivers. And roaming centerfield doesn’t require the same fluidity as cornerback. He could also fit into a defense that plays a lot of zone coverages as a cornerback.
Projection: 4th round
Terrence Taylor – DT
At the end of Taylor’s junior season, there were some who thought Taylor could have been a first round pick. I disagreed. It’s not often that you see undersized DTs (he’s 6’0″ and 306 lbs.) go in the first round, so that was overly optimistic. A year later, Taylor looks likely to go in the fourth round or so. He rarely made big plays at Michigan and while he’s fairly adept at holding up against double teams, that job gets more difficult in the NFL. He reminds me of William Carr, who was an All-American (Taylor wasn’t) and a seventh round draft pick by the Bengals. Still…
Projection: 5th round
Tim Jamison – DE
Michigan fans (including me) kept expecting Jamison to break out in a Wolverine uniform, but he never really did. He mostly played right defensive end and suffered from weight issues early in his career. He measured in at 6’2 1/2″ and 256 lbs. before the draft, which is probably a good weight for him. Some suggest that he would make a good outside linebacker in a 3-4, but with his 5.09 time in the forty yard dash, I disagree. I think he’s purely a defensive end. He holds up decently against the run, but he’s not much of a pass rusher.
Projection: 7th round
Will Johnson – DT
Despite Johnson’s eye-popping 47 reps at 225 lbs. on the bench press, he never produced much in college. He’s a little stiiff and doesn’t do much more than holding his own against double teams. I have a very hard time believing that a team will spend a draft pick on Johnson. He reminds me of Baltimore Ravens nosetackle Kelly Gregg, but Gregg was All-Big 12 for two years. Johnson doesn’t hold equivalent accolades. Johnson could stick as a nosetackle, but I doubt it.
Brandon Harrison – CB/S
Harrison is 5’9″, 205 lbs., and fast. Unfortunately, he’s never been a great football player. He’s a solid tackler but not a big playmaker in the passing game. He played safety as a freshman, slot corner as a sophomore and junior, and strong safety as a senior. He never really found a position. Harrison’s best chance is to contribute on special teams and be a backup strong safety, but I doubt he’ll hang around in the league.
Carson Butler – TE
I’m not going to lie – Butler seems like an asshole. He participated in the St. Patrick’s Day Nerd Massacre, punched random people on the field, and pissed off the coaches non-stop. I wouldn’t want him on my team. But he’s 6’5″ and runs the forty in the 4.5-4.6 range, so some GM/coach will give him a shot. Once they see him false start/hold/whiff on a block on the same play, they’ll send him packing.
Sean Griffin – LS
Griffin is a very good long snapper and while he probably won’t get drafted (long snappers rarely do), I do expect that Griffin will hang around the NFL for a while.
John Thompson – LB
I don’t think anyone ever thought Thompson would be effective in pass coverage, but I didn’t expect him to be so bad at tackling, too. He wasn’t a horrible tackler, but for someone nicknamed “Machete” I expected a more solid tackler. If Thompson plays in the NFL, I would think it would be as an inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense; he’s too slow to run sideline to sideline like a 4-3 middle linebacker would have to do. However, regardless of the defensive scheme, Thompson very probably isn’t an NFLer.
Mike Massey – TE
Uh . . . no.