Sunday, April 29, 2012

2013 NFL Draft Preview

The Stock of Future Wolverine Prospects

First and foremost, we all want to personally congratulate DT Mike Martin (Rd. 3, No. 83 OVR), C David Molk (Rd. 7, No. 226 OVR), & WR Junior Hemingway (Rd. 7, No. 238 OVR) for being selected in the 2012 NFL Draft! 

Additionally, as the weekend concludes, news has been trickling in about undrafted free agents. Of note, several Michigan players have indeed reached contractual agreements to sign with numerous NFL franchises. Congratulations DE Ryan Van Bergen (Carolina), DB Troy Woolfolk (Dallas), RB Michael Shaw (Washington), and LB Brandon Herron (Tampa Bay) for receiving the opportunity! Also, we wish TE Kevin Koger a speedy recovery after suffering an Achilles tendon injury.  Most analysts pegged Koger as a late-round pick, and we’re hopeful that he will be added to this list shortly as an undrafted signee.

Through 2011, the University of Michigan has produced 43 first round draft picks, tied for fifth best all time (behind USC, O$U, Miami, and ND). Needless to say, we’ve seen a plethora of talented young men suit up for the maize and blue. Michigan football is traditionally renowned as a pro factory, manufacturing quality professional football players year after year. 

Brandon Graham, Michigan's Last First Round Pick (13th selection overall, 2010)

When examining the trend of more recent seasons though, the batch of Wolverines departing to the NFL—by historical Michigan standards—has amounted to generally weak draft classes overall. It is evident that the post Lloyd Carr era has failed mightily to pump out premier NFL prospects. However, as we saw with Team 132, that doesn’t necessarily translate to success, or lack there of, on the field. Merely three drafted players on a Sugar Bowl champion team… not too shabby.

Pour Some Sugar On Me For God's Sake

The recent recruiting efforts by Brady Hoke & Co. have been nothing short of sensational. On the contrary, the coaching that is taking place at Schembechler Hall is second to none. All Michigan fans alike have marveled at how effective this current staff is at teaching. In the upcoming years, it’s clear that Michigan will inevitably produce more NFL caliber targets thanks to the infusion of talent already building and eventually heading to Ann Arbor.

With that being said, the 2012 draft is officially in the books. We now shift our focus to the next crop of Michigan football prospects. I’ll do my best Mel Kiper Jr./Todd McShay impression. Here is a look at the Michigan players (seniors) that have the best shot on draft day next April:

1. QB Denard Robinson (6’0’’, 195 lbs)

Athleticism at its finest folks: arguably the most electrifying player in college football (and dare I say in Michigan history?!?). Despite his desire to play quarterback, I think Denard will eventually come to the realization that his future, at least as an NFL player, is quite frankly at a position elsewhere from under center. Players such as Devin Hester (Chicago Bears) and Brad Smith (Buffalo Bills) come to mind when I think of a role for Denard. Offensive coordinating gurus are creative and innovative enough to get the ball to playmakers; they will be chomping at the bit for a magician like Denard. Robinson will undoubtedly be used in some capacity at the next level. The NFL Combine and Michigan Pro Day can really solidify his draft status though, considering his numbers are anticipated to be off the charts and scouts will be eager to see his pass catching/route running abilities.

Current Draft Projection: 3rd Round, ATH
Draft Stock Potential: 2nd Round Lock, ATH

2. DT Will Campbell (6’5’’, 322 lbs)

Potential. A word that is synonymous with Big Will during his entire Michigan tenure. BWC certainly passes the eye test. On paper, he has everything you covet in a DT. Campbell has the size and physical attributes to be a high profile prospect, withstanding double team blocks, plugging holes, and wreaking havoc in the backfield. Unfortunately for Will, football isn’t played on paper. If he could ever put it all together, he would be an absolute beast. That’s a big “if” though. In fact, a very big “if”. The time is now or never for the senior to be. Will he finally live up to that infamous five star ranking?

Current Draft Projection: Undrafted
Draft Stock Potential: Middle-Round Pick (4th round)

3. LB Kenny Demens (6’1’’, 248 lbs)

Kenny has good size for a backer. He was (quietly) the team’s leading tackler (94), and I expect more of the same this season. He lacks consistency at times, especially in pass coverage, but he will have another year in the system, building even more comfort and confidence with the defensive schemes. In Greg Mattison we trust. LB Jonas Mouton (San Diego Chargers) was drafted in the second round in 2011, while LB Stevie Brown (New York Giants) was taken in the seventh round in 2010. Barring a meltdown, I think Kenny projects to land somewhere in between those two.

Current Draft Projection: Undrafted/Seventh Round
Draft Stock Potential: Middle/Late-Round Pick (5th round)

4. CB J.T. Floyd (6’0’’, 185 lbs)

For me personally, Floyd is remarkably similar to CB Morgan Trent (Jacksonville Jaguars). I always felt indifferent about Trent as a player at Michigan. My evaluation of Trent coming out of college… “ehhh”. In other words, he was far from my favorite Wolverine. Much to my surprise, Morgan ended up getting drafted in the sixth round in 2009 by Cincinnati. With a good senior campaign, considering the style of play and almost identical physical build compared to Morgan Trent, I see J.T. following a similar path.

Current Draft Projection: Undrafted/Seventh Round
Draft Stock Potential: Late-Round Pick (6th round)

Notable Mentions (more than likely undrafted free agents):

- Craig Roh (6’5’’, 269 lbs)

Death Roh? Well, not exactly. Craig hasn’t quite lived up to that billing yet. It’s been a long and tough road for him, considering he has constantly switched positions. Roh began his career as stand up hybrid backer/rush end, put his hand down to play WDE, and is now bulking up to play SDE for Team 133. We’ll see if he can follow in RVB’s footsteps at that spot…

- O-lineman

            - C Ricky Barnum (6’3’’, 292 lbs)

A highly touted prospect coming out of high school whose college career has been plagued by injuries. He has a golden opportunity to make a mark for himself with Molk’s departure.

            - G Patrick Omameh (6’4’’, 299 lbs)

Has started in 29 straight contests… a lot of experience. The aspect I like most about Patrick is the fact that he has had to work for his opportunity. He was a no name recruit coming into Michigan. He’s had to bust his tail for all the success he’s achieved.  Nothing was ever handed to him; rather, he’s had to earn it. That work ethic trait and competitive drive stand out to me as something that is naturally ingrained in a player like Omameh.

- Jordan Kovacs (6’0’’, 197 lbs)           

Call me crazy, but this isn’t just a feel good story anymore about a student body walk-on. This kid is a football player. Period. Jordan, a probable team captain next season, is the quarterback of the defense and has the intangibles to be successful in the Big Ten. Wishful thinking for the NFL, I know, I know. But don’t ever write this kid off. Just saying.

**Keep in mind… this entire list of prospects does not take into account underclassmen, nor players that may forgo their remaining eligibility (i.e. OT Taylor Lewan (RS. JR.) or RB Fitz Toussaint (RS JR.))**

Go Blue!



  1. i like the analysis guys but do you think will campbell can move way up draft boards with a big year? should he have a higher draft potential?

  2. IMO, BWC has tremendous potential because he is a physical specimen. With his size and raw strength, he is a monster on the interior of a defensive line. Can his stock blow up to the point where he projects as a second or third round draft pick? Sure...

    All reports from spring practice are as positive as ever with him. He is embracing the role as "the guy" on the DL now, and has shown leadership and more consistency/constant effort. IF he figures it out and FINALLY puts everything together, he has a tremendously high ceiling because you cant teach that size and raw strength. Again, the keyword being "if".

    However, with his limited flexibility (which causes his pad level to rise at times), technical issues (i.e. hand placement, footwork), and a lack of a consistent motor, his physical prowess no longer matters. We've seen time and time again that he is simply inefficient without proper technique (as are most players). You can't undervalue being a technically and fundamentally sound player, especially in the trenches. Fortunately for him, and the rest of the D-line for that matter, we have three excellent defensive coaches in Hoke, Montgomery, and Mattison that really hold lineman to a certain standard.

    Big Will is working harder than ever to get to that elite level status. He has a ways to go though, and he'd tell you that too. He is the epitome of a boom or bust type prospect from my perspective. I hope that better explains why I predicted a middle/late round selection...

    What do you think?!