I generally try to stay away from NFL-related stuff, because quite frankly, I really don’t care.
HOWEVA, boring offseason is boring offseason, so let’s take a look at the draft prospects for Michigan’s relevant players. The draft is sometime this weekend, I guess. I think it starts tomorrow.
Terrance Taylor, DT
Going into 2008, Taylor had what was probably the rosiest-looking draft resume on the Michigan team. His production sagged somewhat during the course of the season, as Michigan’s defense imploded (this will be a common theme). He also had something of a reputation as a lazy player going into 2008, and though Barwis probably worked that out of him, the season certainly didn’t help him out. He will always be limited somewhat by his height, but he has very good strength, and is pretty effective against the run. Taylor projects as a late first-day or early second-day pick.
Tim Jamison, DE
Jamison tantalized Michigan fans for four years by looking nigh-unblockable each spring, then failing to produce when the season rolled around. His reputation as a gameday no-show over the years (fair or not, he never produced to his potential) might haunt him. Jamison, like Taylor, has gotten in much better shape since the Barwis train rolled into Ann Arbor, and he might be a late-round pick that surprises people down the road with his production. Jamison looks like a late-round pick or perhaps a free agent.
Morgan Trent, CB
Trent went from fairly serious liability in 2006 to steady performer in 2007 (and a hero of sorts in the Capital One Bowl, as he famously ran Percy Harvin down from across the field and 15 yards back), and back to a liability of sorts in 2008. How much of his return to non-greatness was due to a lack of cohesion among the defensive coaching staff, and an inability to teach players the necessary techniques? Trent has blazing sped, but doesn’t really have great flexibility in his hips. As a big hitter, he’ll probably fit well in a cover-2 scheme. It seems that Trent will be a late-rounder or free agent.
Sean Griffin, LS
NFL teams need long-snap specialists, and Sean Griffin was one of the few who was invited to the NFL combine (let’s disregard that he was one of the few Wovlerines there, as well). I would be shocked to see a long-snapper be drafted, but a team will likely pick him up as a free agent, where he’ll hopefully man the position for yeasrs to come.
Carson Butler, TE
Incapable of blocking without committing a hold (contrary to Mel Kiper’s assertion), Butler is still a physical specimen who, unfortunately, could never get a grasp on the mental aspects of the game. He struggled so much at tight end as a redshirt junior that he was moved to defensive line halfway through the year. And let’s not forget about the disciplinary issues. He might get picked up as a free agent by some team hoping they can teach him how to behave and block. His physical tools certainly warrant giving him a second look.
Will Johnson, DT
I think Johnson will be the surprise of this sparse draft class for Michigan. He was a steady performer as a senior, though he didn’t do anything exceptionally well. He’s slightly undersized for the DT position, but too big to play the DE position. With his record-setting strength, he might be able to stick somewhere as a backup DT or a DE in the 3-4 scheme. Still, I thin kthat if he makes a team’s roster at all, it will be the first step to a productive, if never flashy, NFL career.
Brandon Harrison, S
Harrison has good speed and loves to lay big hits on guys. He is also 5-9 and not Bob Sanders, which will make NFL teams wary of him. He is yet another victim of the 3 coordinators in 4 years issue, meaning he’s never really learned any one scheme very well. If he can make it onto a training camp roster, he’ll have to impress in order to stick in the NFL.