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

Tag: Vincent Gray


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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1Jan 2022
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2021 Orange Bowl: Georgia 34, Michigan 11

Georgia LB Nakobe Dean forces a fumble by Michigan RB Blake Corum (image via Zimbio)

Please use the Amazon links here to make your purchases to help out with your New Year’s resolutions (LINK):

Never underestimate recruiting rankings. I listen to Stewart Mandel and Bruce Feldman’s podcast pretty regularly, and Mandel made the point that usually in these playoffs, the more talented team wins. Winning as an underdog in the CFP is very, very tough to do. Georgia has one of the top few classes every single year, while Michigan seems to be anywhere from about #8 to #25 on a yearly basis. So when walk-on center Andrew Vastardis gets obliterated by the #22 player in the country (6’5″, 275 lb. Travon Walker) on a pull . . . yeah, that’s what happens. This isn’t Rutgers or Indiana or Northwestern with 250-260 lb. 3-star defensive ends. The bottom line is that Georgia is the more talented team, at almost every position.

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11Aug 2021
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2021 Season Countdown: #27 Vincent Gray

Vincent Gray (image via LSJ)

Name: Vincent Gray
Height:
6’2″
Weight:
192 lbs.
High school:
Rochester (MI) Adams
Position:
Cornerback
Class:
Junior
Jersey number:
#4
Last year:
I ranked Gray #17 and said he would be a starting cornerback (LINK). He made 25 tackles and 3 pass breakups.
TTB Rating:
71

Gray had a 2020 season to forget. We probably all wish we had one of those flashy thingies from Men in Black to forget about the Michigan State game, which largely consisted of Michigan State’s crappy quarterback (who has since transferred to Northern Illinois) blindly flinging balls to Michigan State’s no-name receivers. Ricky White’s 8 catches, 196 yards, and 1 touchdown were 6 more catches, 169 more yards, and 1 more touchdown than he compiled in all his other games. When Gray wasn’t getting torched by no-names, he was grabbing and tugging on jerseys to give up yards in 15-yard chunks at a time, courtesy of yellow flags.

Gray did supposedly recover toward the end of the year, but basically that seemed to include changing coverages and playing Gray way off to prevent other teams from running right past him.

From my commitment post:

What Gray lacks is great athleticism. His 4.76 forty isn’t inspiring, and he doesn’t play much faster than what one would assume from that forty time. He struggles to pull away from mediocre competition at Adams, and he doesn’t have great acceleration. He’s a bit of a glider and doesn’t seem to be going all out when he sprints, although I have no reason to believe he’s not going 100%. His tackling could use some work; he needs better technique, and he needs to get stronger.

Michigan is getting from Gray what I expected. The problem is that Gray shouldn’t have been starting. Ambry Thomas, Gemon Green, Andre Seldon, and others were all ranked higher, but with Thomas opting out, Seldon missing time, etc., Gray was almost forced into action. Gray was supposed to be a late-career spot starter or fill-in, not a guy starting full-time in his third year.

Most insiders think D.J. Turner II is going to take over Gray’s starting corner job, and I’m hopping on that bandwagon. Overall, I believe that athleticism usually wins out, and Gray is not a guy who should be a two- or three-year starter in a Michigan uniform. However, Gray has been a heavy contributor up to this point in his career, and I don’t think he’ll suddenly get mired on the bench. I expect him to be a rotation guy or perhaps a sub-package guy if the coaches want to go with a third cornerback.

Prediction: Backup cornerback

9Nov 2020
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Michigan vs. Indiana Awards

Remember this?

Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Jalen Mayfield. Naturally, because it’s 2020 and everything sucks, Michigan had one returning starter on the offensive line and that lone returning starter was the first lineman to get hurt. Mayfield missed the Indiana game, and so did left tackle Ryan Hayes. I said in the lead-up to the game that I thought Michigan would lose the game if Mayfield didn’t play. The Wolverines had 18 rushing attempts for 13 yards (0.7 yards/carry) and the Hoosiers had 3 sacks.

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7Nov 2020
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Indiana 38, Michigan 21

Ronnie Bell (image via MLive)

What’s Harbaugh’s worst loss at Michigan? Michigan State lost 49-7 to Iowa, so was that it last week? Or was it getting wiped off the field by a team you hadn’t lost to since 1987? The Hoosiers are a better program right now than the Spartans, so there’s less shame in a competitive sense. But still, even Rich Rodriguez (2-0) and Brady Hoke (2-0) managed not to lose to Indiana.

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