Way Too Early 2019 Depth Chart: April 2019

Way Too Early 2019 Depth Chart: April 2019


April 23, 2019
Mike Sainristil (image via Wolverines Wire)

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Lots of things will change between now and the 2019 season opener against Middle Tennessee State, but it’s fun to think about the future, nevertheless.

Hit the jump for a look at 2019.

QB: Shea Patterson (Sr.), Dylan McCaffrey (RS So.), Joe Milton (RS Fr.), Cade McNamara (Fr.), Brandon Peters (RS Jr.)
RB: Tru Wilson (Sr.), Zach Charbonnet (Fr.), Christian Turner (RS Fr.), Ben VanSumeren (RS Fr.), Hassan Haskins (RS Fr.)
FB: Ben Mason (Jr.), Peter Bush (RS Jr.)
WR1: Nico Collins (Jr.), Tarik Black (RS So.), Cornelius Johnson (Fr.), Quintel Kent (Fr.)
WR2: Donovan Peoples-Jones (Jr.), Oliver Martin (RS So.), Nate Schoenle (Sr.)
WR3: Mike Sainristil (Fr.), Ronnie Bell (So.), Giles Jackson (Fr.), George Johnson III (Fr.)
TE: Sean McKeon (Sr.), Nick Eubanks (RS Jr.), Mustapha Muhammad (RS Fr.), Luke Schoonmaker (RS Fr.), Erick All (Fr.)
LT: Jon Runyan, Jr. (RS Sr.), Ryan Hayes (RS Fr.), Greg Robinson (RS Jr.), Trente Jones (Fr.)
LG: Ben Bredeson (Sr.), Chuck Filiaga (RS So.), Andrew Vastardis (RS Jr.)
C: Cesar Ruiz (Jr.), Stephen Spanellis (RS Jr.), Nolan Rumler (Fr.), Jess Speight (RS So.)
RG: Michael Onwenu (Sr.), Joel Honigford (RS So.), Zach Carpenter (Fr.)
RT: Andrew Stueber (RS So.), Jalen Mayfield (RS Fr.), Trevor Keegan (Fr.), Jack Stewart (Fr.), Karsen Barnhart (Fr.)

SDE: Aidan Hutchinson (So.), Julius Welschof (RS Fr.), Ron Johnson (RS Jr.), Michael Morris (Fr.), David Ojabo (Fr.)
DT: Donovan Jeter (RS So.), Michael Dwumfour (RS Jr.), Ben Mason (Jr.), Chris Hinton (Fr.), Carl Myers (Sr.)
NT: Carlo Kemp (RS Jr.), Mazi Smith (Fr.), Phillip Paea (RS So.)
WDE: Kwity Paye (Jr.), Mike Danna (RS Sr.), Luiji Vilain (RS So.), Gabe Newburg (Fr.)
Viper/SAM: Khaleke Hudson (Sr.), Jordan Glasgow (RS Sr.), Michael Barrett (RS Fr.), Joshua Uche (Sr.), Joey Velazquez (Fr.), Quinten Johnson (Fr.)
MIKE: Josh Ross (Jr.), Jordan Anthony (RS So.), Charles Thomas (Fr.)
WILL: Devin Gil (Sr.), Cameron McGrone (So.)
CB: Lavert Hill (Sr.), Vincent Gray (RS Fr.), Jalen Perry (Fr.)
CB: Ambry Thomas (Jr.), Jaylen Kelly-Powell (Jr.), Gemon Green (RS Fr.), D.J. Turner II (Fr.)
FS: J’Marick Woods (Jr.), Brad Hawkins (Jr.), German Green (RS Fr.)
SS: Joshua Metellus (Sr.), Daxton Hill (Fr.), Sammy Faustin (RS Fr.)

K: Jake Moody (So.), Quinn Nordin (RS Jr.)
P: Will Hart (RS Jr.), Brad Robbins (Jr.)

54 comments

  1. 17years
    Comments: 180
    Joined: 2/6/2018
    17years
    Apr 23, 2019 at 7:44 AM

    Christian Turner all the way down at #3 RB?

    Will Quinn Nordin transfer if he is #2?

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3030
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Apr 23, 2019 at 7:56 AM

      Yeah, a couple things about that:

      a) I don’t think anyone has any idea how the RB situation is going to play out. Last year we figured Higdon would probably be #1 and Evans would be #2. De’Veon Smith was the clear, entrenched starter a few years ago. This year it’s anyone’s guess.

      b) So far in his career, Christian Turner has been totally unable to stay healthy. Between his broken wrist, his hamstring injury, and some other nagging things, he just can’t stay on the field. It’s a small sample size, but I think it’s noteworthy. Turner could very well be the #1 back at some point, but can he stay on the field to make that distinction matter?

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 4774
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Apr 23, 2019 at 11:10 AM

        I think the Peach Bowl is telling. My guess in order of carries on the season:

        1. Turner
        2. Wilson
        3. Charbonnet
        4. Mason

        If Evans is back he’d cut to #1.

        • Thunder
          Comments: 3030
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Apr 23, 2019 at 2:37 PM

          It sounds like Evans is for sure not returning for the 2019 season.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 4774
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Apr 23, 2019 at 11:11 AM

        Charbonnet is already hurt also.

        • Thunder
          Comments: 3030
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Apr 23, 2019 at 2:37 PM

          Yep. And he’s also more talented.

          • 17years
            Comments: 180
            Joined: 2/6/2018
            17years
            Apr 23, 2019 at 6:48 PM

            The one thing that’s kinda nagging at me about Charbonnet is that in many of his highlight plays he wasn’t touched, or even had to mach much of a move, until he got to the 2nd level. Yards after fist contact means a lot to me when I look at a RB. I am not sure Charbonnet scores high in that. What an offensive line will be able to do at the college level in the BIG10 won’t be as much as his high line was able to do. So that idea nags at me about him. We won’t know for sure until we see him play.

            To be honest, I don’t know when Michigan has had a RB the caliber of someone like Zachary Evans. I guess he’s going to Texas.
            His highlights. What a runner!
            http://www.hudl.com/profile/8693277/Zachary-Evans

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 4774
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Apr 23, 2019 at 9:51 PM

            I’m 80% skeptical and 100% hopeful.

  2. UM_1973
    Comments: 86
    Joined: 10/14/2015
    UM_1973
    Apr 23, 2019 at 10:41 AM

    Mike Sainristil? Why him over a more experienced WR like Black or Martin? Has there been a whole lot of buzz about him in Spring Training?

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 4774
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Apr 23, 2019 at 11:11 AM

      I agree that Tarik Black should be in the top 3.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1085
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Apr 23, 2019 at 11:21 AM

      Because everyone is ga-ga over the concept of a “slot” receiver. But it’s very doubtful that a true freshman will be the third best receiver on the roster, no matter what special role they try to slide him into.

      • Thunder
        Comments: 3030
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Apr 23, 2019 at 2:43 PM

        The coaching staff sure seems to think a lot of Sainristil, even if message board people don’t.

        • Avatar
          Comments: 1085
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Apr 23, 2019 at 3:41 PM

          The coaching staff thought a lot of Evans after his first round of practice, too. Harbaugh said he was going to be a really special player, and that he’d be great catching the ball out of the backfield. He didn’t come close to that once real world competition against real opponents started. And do I need to bring up the gushing hype over Freddy Canteen?

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 4774
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Apr 23, 2019 at 9:55 PM

          I’m excited about Sainstril. I love that the coaches are recruiting more short and quick receivers in general.

          • Avatar
            Comments: 1085
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            WindyCityBlue
            Apr 24, 2019 at 6:46 AM

            Yes, and everyone was excited when we were recruiting lots of big, tall receivers. So far, it has not improved our prospects. Until the coaching staff starts running a well-conceived passing game, height of receivers is irrelevant.

            • Thunder
              Comments: 3030
              Joined: 7/13/2015
              Apr 24, 2019 at 10:16 AM

              Are you sure it hasn’t improved our prospects? Nico Collins had a pretty dang good season last year, and he’s getting some buzz for being a potential early NFL draft entrant in 2020. Also, our passing offense improved, and our receiving corps should be better in 2019 than it has been in years.

              • Avatar
                Comments: 1085
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                WindyCityBlue
                Apr 24, 2019 at 12:40 PM

                Last year was not particularly better than 2016, before we had Collins, Black, Martin or Peoples-Jones. So no, so far they have not improved our prospects. All we have for this season’s passing game so far is hype. I’ve seen nothing to convince me that our passing game is going to get us to 12-0 this year.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 4774
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Apr 24, 2019 at 12:59 PM

                  More to it than passing game.

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 4774
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Apr 24, 2019 at 12:03 PM

              Height is certainly overrated. I’ve been bitching about jump ball receivers back through the Hoke era.

              The reason that short receivers are exciting is that they are getting highly rated for other things — the ones that matter.

              • Thunder
                Comments: 3030
                Joined: 7/13/2015
                Apr 24, 2019 at 12:10 PM

                Height matters sometimes, and it doesn’t matter at other times. There were plays made last year by Nico Collins that smaller receivers likely would not have made. On the flip side, there have plays been made by Grant Perry and Jeremy Gallon that taller players probably wouldn’t have made.

                It doesn’t have to be all one or the other.

                If I were putting together a team, I would try to have some tall guys and some short guys, provided they all have at least respectable speed. I don’t want a team of 6’4″ receivers, and I don’t want a team of 5’9″ receivers.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 4774
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Apr 24, 2019 at 12:56 PM

                  Skills are what matters.

                  Height is helpful on deep passes but so is speed, timing, hands. I’d rather throw it deep to Jeremy Gallon, Mario Manningham, or Desmond Howard than Gentry, Devin Gardner or Marquise Walker.

                • Thunder
                  Comments: 3030
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Apr 24, 2019 at 1:00 PM

                  Yeah…I mean, you chose a bunch of short, good guys and ignored a bunch of tall, good guys (David Terrell, Derrick Alexander, Jake Butt). I think your argument is a little disingenuous.

                  I, for example, would rather throw the ball to Nico Collins than Terrence Robinson. It looks like I win now.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 4774
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Apr 25, 2019 at 12:37 PM

                  It’s science.

              • Avatar
                Comments: 1085
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                WindyCityBlue
                Apr 24, 2019 at 12:42 PM

                Yes, it is. Ask Ian Bunting, the latest in a long line of “matchup nightmares”.

                You can either get open and catch the ball, or you can’t.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 4774
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Apr 24, 2019 at 12:58 PM

                  The fantasy of the jump ball offense is hard to break. Even as evidence mounts that these end zone fades are ineffective. Analysis by highlight.

            • Thunder
              Comments: 3030
              Joined: 7/13/2015
              Apr 30, 2019 at 8:21 AM

              FYI: A recent Bleacher Report article has Donovan Peoples-Jones going in the 1st round of the 2020 draft (I’ll put the link below), and I saw another article where Nico Collins was considered one of the top 25 prospects overall for 2020 (I forget where I saw that, so no link). I’m just sayin’…

              https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2833601-2020-nfl-mock-draft-matt-millers-way-too-early-predictions#slide22

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3030
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Apr 23, 2019 at 2:39 PM

      I think this offense wants a slot guy, not just the third-best outside receiver. Sainristil can do things that Black can’t. In fact, I would say that the only outside guy who can approach Sainristil is Peoples-Jones. Martin is fine…but he’s not a game-changer.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 1085
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        WindyCityBlue
        Apr 23, 2019 at 3:48 PM

        I want the three guys who are best at getting open and catching the ball in stride out there, size and slot-ness notwithstanding. Anything else is secondary.

        • Thunder
          Comments: 3030
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Apr 23, 2019 at 5:00 PM

          Yeah, I mean, Tarik Black has 15 catches for 184 yards (12.3 YPC) and 1 touchdown in his career, coming off a year when he had 4 catches for 35 yards. And he has significant foot injuries in those two years. TBH, I don’t really care which one wins the job. Black can’t stay on the field and hasn’t been a star when he’s played. Sainristil hasn’t played at all, but he’s been the buzz of the spring.

          I shrug my shoulders at this argument. We’ll see how it plays out on the field.

          • Avatar
            Comments: 1085
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            WindyCityBlue
            Apr 23, 2019 at 8:03 PM

            Well, here’s the thing..it’s not “AND he has significant foot injuries in those two years”, as if the two had nothing to do with each other. It’s BECAUSE.

            And Black, in case you forget to mention, also had huge buzz, and was a starter in his first game as a true freshman.

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 4774
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Apr 23, 2019 at 9:59 PM

              Black was ahead of Collins and DPJ when he was healthy.

              I think those are your top 3 receivers.

              DPJ can work out of the slot. Collins can play inside and run Gentry’s routes.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 4774
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Apr 23, 2019 at 10:07 PM

            This is a big change from ranking Black in single digits in last years countdown.

            • Thunder
              Comments: 3030
              Joined: 7/13/2015
              Apr 23, 2019 at 10:13 PM

              That was before Nico Collins broke out as a big-time downfield threat and sure-handed receiver. He was unproven going into 2018, but he hasn’t been as injury-prone as Black.

              Another coach on our staff likes to say this: “Your best ability is your availability.” Black might be very talented, but he’s not contributing – and he’s not getting reps to improve – if he’s breaking his foot every year.

              Like I said…the season will sort everything out.

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 4774
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Apr 24, 2019 at 12:09 PM

              Does Collins break out if Black got hurt or is he the 3rd best WR in that class? Hopefully everyone is healthy and we find out.

              Gentry left, the RBs are gone, and Gattis is here. There’s plenty of ball to go around.

              Nobody should be assuming Black will be hurt again.

  3. Lanknows
    Comments: 4774
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Apr 23, 2019 at 11:13 AM

    I expect Uche to play way more downs than Glasgow or Barrett.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3030
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Apr 23, 2019 at 2:41 PM

      Agreed. They don’t exactly play the same position, though. It’s just the limitations of the depth chart format. I don’t really want to put a bunch of extra positions up there.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 4774
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Apr 23, 2019 at 10:01 PM

        Maybe cut fullback since the offense did.

  4. Lanknows
    Comments: 4774
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Apr 23, 2019 at 11:15 AM

    Have you thought about adding a CB3 or Nickel spot? Harbaugh seems pretty confident that Dax Hill is going to play and I’m guessing he won’t be pushing Metellus off the field. Right now that spot was supposedly going to Hawkins but Hill may bump him…

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1085
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Apr 23, 2019 at 11:24 AM

      Our depth at CB is a bit worrisome. Very good starters, but after that, we have a junior who failed to make an impact at safety and a bunch of guys who have yet to play a down in college. If Hill can make a reasonable showing as a nickel corner, turn him loose.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 4774
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Apr 23, 2019 at 12:08 PM

        I think the extra DB can be a nominal safety, as long as he can cover. Doesn’t have to be a pure corner – Michigan’s done it that way in part because of great talent and depth at CB, while safety personnel gets spread between viper and the other spots.

        Hawkins or Hill would seem to fit the safety-that-can-cover mold. Nickel might be a great way to play your best players and get Hill on the field early without overwhelming him.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3030
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Apr 23, 2019 at 2:42 PM

      I think Hill will play, but I don’t think he will be a day one, every-down player. Safety is not an easy position to play. Jabrill Peppers and Dymonte Thomas were both big-time recruits who weren’t stars from the first minute they stepped on the field.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 4774
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Apr 23, 2019 at 10:02 PM

        100% agree. That’s why I think Hill might end up at nickel.

  5. Lanknows
    Comments: 4774
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Apr 23, 2019 at 12:08 PM

    I’m more worried about CB next year than this…

    1. Hill – gone to NFL – X
    2. Thomas – possible early entry – X?
    3. Gray – promising but unproven
    4. JKP – questionable fit
    5. Can haz recruits?

    • UM_1973
      Comments: 86
      Joined: 10/14/2015
      UM_1973
      Apr 23, 2019 at 1:08 PM

      I am more worried about this year’s recruiting. It seems to me that we are not in the hunt for any of the top recruits. If we can get a 5* recruit like Hill, it can help a whole lot.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 4774
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Apr 23, 2019 at 2:10 PM

        CB recruiting hasn’t been at that level under Harbaugh. No 5-stars yet. Gotten some top 20 kids in-state (Hill, Thomas) and out (Long, Sims) but there seems to be a bit of focus on finding the long/lean types that fit the system compared to trying to win the battle royale for 5-stars. Probably the right call though.

        It’s a bit of a shame since Michigan has done extraordinarily well in performance under Zordich. PFF is paying attention but that only goes so far. Either way a lot of the elite CBs are not itching to go to the midwest and everybody wants them including the schools that pay.

        Seldon may be the highest ranked CB they get in 2020. The opportunity will be there in 2020 but that’s rarely translated to landing elite recruits. Probably more compelling if David Long can get up into Round 2 and do well in the NFL and guys like Stribling and Clark can make rosters too so that we’re not just pointing to Jourdan Lewis and people who are retired.

        I’ll be hoping to hear good things about Turner and Perry after they arrive but it usually takes some time.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3030
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Apr 23, 2019 at 2:44 PM

      I agree. Cornerback is not looking good. I think that’s one reason Michigan has offered another handful of 2020 guys in recent weeks. The loss of St-Juste and Sims isn’t good when you’re looking at who’s going to be available next year.

  6. 17years
    Comments: 180
    Joined: 2/6/2018
    17years
    Apr 24, 2019 at 12:59 AM

    I haven’t seen the coaching staff talk about a player the way they are talking about Sainristil since Jim Harbaugh has been at Michigan. Jim Harbaugh named him a starter after 5 practices.
    It’s going to be great to see Nico Collins and DPJ get attention from a secondary and leave things soft on Sainristil. 🙂

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1085
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Apr 24, 2019 at 6:50 AM

      I put that in the already thick file labeled “I’ll believe it when I see it on the field”. I’ve seen lots of coaching hype fizzle out when it comes to real competition.

      • 17years
        Comments: 180
        Joined: 2/6/2018
        17years
        Apr 25, 2019 at 1:24 AM

        You’re just negative. And you’re equating your negativity with some kind of wise foresight.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 4774
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Apr 24, 2019 at 12:52 PM

      The top 2 WRs were out. Ben Mason was on the 2 deep at DT. Vincent Gray was a starter. The backup RB behind the walk-on was…somebody.

      It was a great start for Sinristil but spring hype needs to be taken within context.

      • 17years
        Comments: 180
        Joined: 2/6/2018
        17years
        Apr 24, 2019 at 8:02 PM

        I did know the context. It sound like you’re talking about Ronnie Bell.

        Have you ever heard Jim Harbaugh talk so highly of anyone, ever, in his 4 years here as he talks about Sainristill?

        • Avatar
          Comments: 1085
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Apr 24, 2019 at 8:22 PM

          Yes..Chris Evans and Michael Onwenu

          • 17years
            Comments: 180
            Joined: 2/6/2018
            17years
            Apr 25, 2019 at 1:26 AM

            You are simply wrong.

            I have watched Jim Harbaugh in his 4 years here. He did not talk about those 2 players like hen has Mike Sainristil. He has never talked about anyone they he talks about Mike Sainristil.

            You certainly do uphold your end of being negative. Your negativity is clouding your judgment.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 4774
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Apr 25, 2019 at 12:39 PM

          I’m talking about Collins and DPJ. With the top 2 guys out there’s going to be room for other to stand up. Wyatt Shallman led the spring game in rushing that one year — that meant zilch.

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