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Ex-Wolverine News

The NFL Draft has come and gone, which means I don’t have to worry about the NFL for another year. Only Terrance Taylor (4th round to the Colts) and Morgan Trent (6th round to Cincinnati) were drafted, but 7 other ex-Wolverines signed rookie free agent deals. Here’s where they ended up:

Carson Butler – Green Bay
Doug Dutch – Washington
Sean Griffin – Seattle
Brandon Harrison – Indianapolis
Will Johnson – Baltimore
Tim Jamison – Houston
Mike Massey – Cleveland

Best of luck to all of them in their NFL careers.

Another former Wolverine has found a destination: Steven Threet has announced his intentions to transfer to Arizona State, where he will sit out a year, then have 2 remaining seasons of eligibility. Good to see Threet has landed on his feet, and it sounds as though he’s parting with the program in a more… reasonable way than other defectors

Posted under Football, Personnel

Wolverines in the 2009 NFL Draft

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.

Posted under Football, Personnel

Mailbag!

Matt asks:

Though no BCS title game, if the Heisman comes down to a 2-man race (which it appears with Bradford and McCoy), do you think voters will vote the “I feel bad for Colt since his team got screwed” card?

I can’t really think of an instance where that sort of of logic has come into play. On the contrary, it seems like the Heisman winner typically comes from one of the teams playing for the national title. Of course, the BCS mess is as big as ever this year, and I also can’t think of a time where a team that got screwed to the degree that Texas is (in the eyes of some), all the while having a viable Heisman contender.

At this point, it appears that Sam Bradford’s performance in the Big 12 Championship Game will determine whether it is McCoy or Bradford who ends up with the stiff-arm trophy. Considering the quality of the defense the Sooners face (Missouri is 91st in total defense and 80th in pass efficiency D), I imagine Bradford will get the trophy.

An Anonymous commenter:

If Will Campbell does not enroll early at Michigan, can we take that as a non-commit?

He said he would enroll early and isn’t looking like he is going to… so we can assume he is not committing correct?

This question was actually answered pretty well by WLA-er chitownblue in the same comments thread:

Anon – it would likely mean that he hasn’t made his decision soon enough to enroll early. Nothing more. He never said “I’m going to enroll early, specifically at Michigan, and late if I go somewhere else”. The two (going to Michigan/enrolling early) are two unlinked decisions.

Campbell has stated his intention to enroll early at whichever school he picks. If there is no wind of his enrollment at Michigan by the time we would expect to know about this (and it would probably have to be fairly soon, as students are already registering for Winter semester classes), it shouldn’t be a big deal. The important question is whether it comes out that he is enrolling early at another school. If not, it just means that he won’t enroll early anywhere.

RJ says:

Looking at the video of Breaston in the NFL makes me think that we didn’t use his talents well enough at U of M. On offense Breaston, was never utilized the way that the Cardinals use him now. It seemed like most of the passes he caught were short.

The old staff tried to use Breaston as a deep threat, but they never managed to get him to catch the ball over his shoulder on the go route. He was used over the middle in his time at Michigan as well. Essentially (especially in 2006, where he was one of the most underappreciated members of the team), he played a slot role (with some combination of Edwards-Avant-Manningham-Arrington outside). He would be a great fit in the slot in the new offense as well, despite not being sub-6-foot. I shudder with excitement when I think how awesome it would have been to have him at QB in the current offense.

Griffin Fraley asks in the comments:

On your recruiting board for 2010, where did you come up with the projected star ratings for the players? I’m looking at this link: http://www.fvsports.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=372&ltemid=94

Just curious if you have any other top 2010 lists i can look at.

I started with that list, then added a bunch of other prospects from other sources, assuming most of them were going to end up in the 3-star range. As I’ve heard more about particular prospects, I’ve either promoted or downgraded their rankings. I have also used the Scout.com 2010 instate rankings and Florida 2010 rankings from SoFlaFootball and the Varsity Sports Media Magazine.

For the most part other than that, they’re wild-ass guesses from me.

Bob asks:

Does Michigan have an offer on the table for [Cameron] Gordon? On either side of the ball?

It’s been reported on the premium site that Gordon got offered sometime last week. Sam Webb confirmed it to the non-paying world on today’s WTKA recruiting roundup. This information will be included in the next recruiting update. Since Gordon has been insistent that he wants to play WR, I imagine they said he’d have a chance to contribute there, and switch positions if it didn’t work out.

Posted under Football

Negative Recruiting Debunk: Spread QBs

Listed below are statistics of Quarterbacks in the top 100 rushers in a given year. Immediately below each one, there is a snippet on where each one was drafted, or how they did in the NFL. As you can see, the number of times a quarterback rushes the ball has little bearing on where he will be drafted. Rather, it is a matter of which skills you have.

2007
Player Class Rushes Yds Passes Eff
Michael Desormeaux Jr 188 1141 - -
Pat White Jr 197 1335 216 151.4
Jake Locker Fr 172 986 - -
Dan LeFevour So 188 1122 543 133.5
K-N Kaheaku-Enhada Jr 180 834 - -
Stephen McGee Jr 181 899 364 117.8
Tim Tebow So 210 895 350 172.5
Matt Grothe So 198 872 392 121.0
Zac Robinson So 140 879 333 149.0

All of these players are back in college this year, but several of them are NFL-bound. Pat White will be a first day pick as a receiver, and Tim Tebow and Dan LeFevour are locks to be eventual NFL draft picks. Grothe will probably also make it to the NFL, along with Jake Locker, Matt Grothe, and maybe Zac Robinson.

>
2006
Player Class Rushes Yds Passes Eff
Julian Edelman Jr 169 658 232 124.4
Pat White So 165 1219 - -
James Starks Fr 175 704 - -
Chris Nickson So 146 694 292 122.8
Bernard Jackson Jr 155 677 219 103.3

None of these players made it to the NFL (yet, as several are still eligible).

2005
Player Class Rushes Yds Passes Eff
Brad Smith Sr 229 1301 399 114.1
Vince Young Jr 155 1050 325 163.9
Pat White Fr 151 932 - -
Lamar Owens Sr 213 880 - -
Michael Robinson Sr 163 806 311 127.2
Reggie McNeal Sr 96 664 265 128.6
Shaun Carney So 170 710 - -

I think we all know how Vince Young made out after leaving Texas (3rd overall in 2006). Reggie McNeal was picked as a receiver in the 6th round. Brad Smith went in the 4th round at receiver, and Michael Robinson was a fellow 4th-rounder as a running back.

2004
Player Class Rushes Yds Passes Eff
Vince Young So 167 1079 343 128.5
Josh Cribbs Sr 170 893 335 133.2
Aaron Polanco Sr 246 980 - -
Walter Washington Jr 222 889 332 118.5
Rasheed Marshall Sr 169 861 242 143.4
Drew Stanton Jr 96 687 220 131.8
Joel Armstrong Fr 114 608 - -

Rasheed Marshall (who played for Rich Rodriguez at WVU) was a 5th-round pick as a receiver. Josh Cribbs went undrafted, but is still playing in the NFL as a receiver/returner for the Cleveland Browns. Drew Stanton was the 2nd-round pick of the Detroit Lions in 2006, and is expected to challenge for their starting position this year.

Also, for the record, Michael Vick was a number 1 overall draft pick, despite only actually playing college football for 2 years, and being as far from a prototypical NFL quarterback as you can imagine. Offensive style doesn’t dictate where a “system quarterback” will be drafted. Instead, it is skill that is paramount. NFL GMs can tell if a guy has an NFL arm, regardless of whether he’s running the zone-read (Vince Young), a different type of running spread (Tim Tebow), or a passing-oriented offense (Dan LeFevour, among others).

Posted under Coaching, Recruiting

A Tradition of Numbers

After Braylon Edwards stated yesterday in an ESPN chat that Rich Rodriguez had decided to give the #1 jersey to an incoming freshman – who wasn’t a wide receiver (and later clarified on the Mike Tirico Show that it is in fact a defensive back – people are telling me it’s JT Floyd), Michigan fans seemed to be clearly split on the issue.

Jared Kent West Union IA: What are your thoughts on the new MICHIGAN regime.
Braylon Edwards: I am already mad that Rich Rod because he gave the No.1 jersey to someone other than a WR, which is breaking tradition. But I think he is a great coach and will lead Michigan to a turnaround.

It is important to note here that Braylon is throwing his support behind Rodriguez, and it is merely one issue that the two disagree on (no pun intended). Braylon even said on the Tirico show that he planned to call Rodriguez and voice his displeasure/suggestion.

Background on the #1
Who has worn the jersey before? Paul Goebel wore it waaay back in the day (when “wide receivers” didn’t exist – he was a “forward pass receiving end” on offense), and since then, fellow Wolverines Anthony Carter, Derrick Alexander, David Terrell, and Braylon Edwards have followed in Goebel’s footsteps and earned All-American honors.

Until his junior year, Edwards wore the #80 jersey. He believed that, as a very good receiver, he should be able to wear the #1. When Edwards approached Lloyd Carr with this request, he was told that he would have to earn the number. Braylon, who had previously had a reputation as a less-than-stellar effort player and far from a workout warrior, put in the time in the weight room, and became the player that Carr believed he could be. The motivational tactic paid off, and Lloyd gave Braylon the #1 jersey. Stellar junior and senior years showed that he had indeed learned his lesson, and made him into the #3 overall pick in the NFL draft. It is plain to see why the #1 holds a special place in Braylon’s heart.

Upon his graduation, Braylon began to establish what has become a fairly robust charity, known as the Braylon Edwards Foundation. Since Edwards was told by Lloyd he had to earn the right to wear the #1 jersey at Michigan, the number meant something special. As part of the BEF, Edwards endowed a scholarship for the wearer of the #1 jersey at Michigan:

The Scholarship Endowment for the University of Michigan’s No. 1 football jersey was announced in April 2006. The charitable gift provides support to a student/athlete wearing the No. 1 football jersey. The scholarship endowment will recognize future athletes who demonstrate character and commitment both on and off the field. Athletes wearing the No. 1 jersey are selected by U-M’s coaching staff.

When he gave the original endowment, Edwards undoubtedly believed that the tradition of #1 going to a wide receiver would be continued. Rich Rodriguez was either unaware of this, or didn’t care about it.

The #1 should go to whomever asks for it
This camp of fans believes that Michigan should not reserve the #1 jersey for anything special, and that any player who asks for it should receive the uno. Since nobody had to earn the jersey before Braylon, there was no real tradition before him, despite the illustrious gentlemen who preceded him.

Since Rodriguez and his staff are trying to turn around a program that has been slowly slipping from the forefront of American consciousness, they should reserve the right to do whatever they so choose with any number. They will be able to establish their own traditions.

The #1 should be reserved
This bloc wants the #1 to continue being something special, going to any transcendent Michigan receiver. While a defensive back may want the jersey, he should be told that he is out of luck, and to pick a different number. Tradition is one of the aspects that sets college football apart from almost every other sport, and even if one does not exist yet (as those other fans suggest), it should be established.

My Take
I believe, in this particular instance and overall, that the #1 jersey should be reserved for a wide receiver. Braylon has expressed displeasure with granting it to a different position, and what is the benefit of alienating one of the highest-profile Wolverines in the NFL (arguably 2nd behind Tom Brady)? Overall, I think that establishing traditions like reserving #1 for a great wide receiver, or #2 for a great defensive back (which has not been done, but I think should be in honor of Woodson) can only help the program. It can restore some mystique that has perhaps been lost from the Michigan program, and can be used as a major recruiting tool.

This also leads me to the topic of retiring numbers. I think it is appropriate for Michael Jordan’s number to be retired from the Chicago Bulls, and certainly for Jackie Robinson’s #42 to be retired throughout baseball. However, I think that college sports are not served by retiring numbers. Establishing tradition and continuing said traditions (as mentioned above) give personality to schools like Michigan (whose prestige is largely based upon tradition), and can help with recruiting, as players undoubtedly believe they can carry on the tradition (or at least want to try). While the Wistert Brothers did great things at the University of Michigan, it may be disrespectful to prevent anyone from trying to follow in their tradition. And what high-profile running back recruit wouldn’t want to follow in the footsteps of Old 98 (which would be an awesome number for a tailback to have in the modern game).

In the end, I guess I’m a traditionalist (whether that be continuing old ones, starting new ones, or supporting fledgling ones). Leave the #1 to a wide receiver. As someone said to me yesterday, “Keeping and establishing traditions cost nothing. Eliminating them can destroy your program.”

Posted under Analysis, Coaching

Braylon Edwards Media Blitzkrieg

Now serving Herd audio!

For those who live under a rock (or not near the sports blogosphere), Braylon Edwards was a guest on HBO’s Bob Costas Now last week, with the topic being media. Of course, most of the argument was between Deadspin’s Will Leitch and journalist Buzz Bissinger, with Edwards unable to get a word in edgewise. You can view the video in its entirety on Deadspin.

Of course, my opinion will side with the bloggers on this one. Costas clearly sides with Bissinger (and, as the purportedly unbiased moderator of the panel, shows a lot of unprofessional bias for a supposed mainstream media member), and believes that blogging is worthless. Bissinger thinks blogs are dedicated to cruelty and journalistic dishonesty (without exception), and mainstream media are teh awesomez. Of course, Bissinger has difficulty differentiating between the actual writers of a blog and the commenters (without realizing that newspaper websites also have room for comments at the end of comments, with the same material in the responses). Bissinger also hypocritically slams blogs for being (again, without exception) mean-spirited and vulgar, while calling Leitch “full of shit,” along with various other expletive-riddled (and juvenile) insults.

I think there are good and bad examples of blogs, just like there are good and bad examples of mainstream journalism. MGoBlog creates quality material on a consistent basis, better than most newspapers I have seen. On the other hand, take the Ann Arbor News series for example. What was merited about a four-day investigative series that unearthed exactly… nothing. What wasn’t mean-spirited or vindictive about that? You can’t cull from one sample of blogs, and one sample of mainstream media, and say that, because the blog example is worse than the MSM example, all blogs suk and all newspapers rool. Leitch also raises a good point, stating that blogs are a meritocracy. If a blog is crap, people will stop reading it. If a newspaper columnist published something that is crap, the institution of the paper will still deliver that crap message to the public.

Back to Braylon. He came off as stating that blogs and media each serve a role, and that athletes have a responsibility to behave if they don’t want to appear in the news. He was overshadowed by the other participants in the panel, but came off representing the University of Michigan well.

Next? Braylon was a guest today on The Herd on ESPN Radio. He mainly talked about the appearance on Costas Now, but managed to get a few words in about the glory of Michigan and Michigan football (though he didn’t take Colin’s bait and call OSU a truck driving school). Most importantly, he said nothing in the NFL is better than scoring a touchdown against an OSU guy. (Interesting side note: he mentions that he is friends with Cris Carter, whose son is a 2009 recruit considering UM). Audio is now available at the top of the post.

Don’t stop him now! Edwards then took the opportunity to participate in an ESPN chat. Only a couple things of note for Michigan fans:

Justin (Ohio): Whats up Braylon? How awkward was it on stage with Bissinger and Leitch on Costas Now last week?

SportsNation Braylon Edwards: It was very awkward. I am not used to be able to curse on live TV. So hearing those F bombs was pretty funny.

Jason (Indiana): Braylon, I was wondering do you still follow Michigan or watch any of their games?

SportsNation Braylon Edwards: Yes, all the time. Once Michigan, always Michigan.

Jared Kent West Union IA: As a Michigan Man I just wanted to thank you for being acting like a man and staying down to earth and being a “Pros Pro” What are your thoughts on the new MICHIGAN regime.

SportsNation Braylon Edwards: I am already mad that Rich Rod because he gave the No.1 jersey to someone other than a WR, which is breaking tradition. But I think he is a great coach and will lead Michigan to a turnaround.

StevenJ (CHI): do college rivalries carry over into the nfl? do you get a little more geeked up playing against former ohio state players?

SportsNation Braylon Edwards: Very much so. I am not sure how it is with other school rivalries, but the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry does carry over and I cannot wait to play Nate Clements, Dante Witten, and AJ Hawk.

Interesting to hear that the #1 jersey has apparently been offered to an incoming freshman. I hadn’t heard anything on the matter, and would be surprised if Braylon was just misinformed.

Keep up the good work representing the University of Michigan well, Braylon.

Posted under Blog News

Wolverines Drafted

Jake Long, #1 overall, Miami
Already knew he was going here, so there is no surprise. Well-deserving of the top spot. A future all-pro.

Chad Henne, #57 overall, Miami

Dropped a little further than I thought he would, especially after Matt Ryan went #3 overall (because the Falcons want to continue to suck). Henne was behind Joe Flacco and Brian Brohm, and he will probably end up the better pro than Brohm (and Ryan, for that matter) with Flacco being a little more of a mystery because of his lack of exposure while still having some pretty good skills. Henne will challenge to be a starter in Miami, especially with a new coach.

Shawn Crable, #78 overall

Good spot for Crable to go, and hopefully his freaky stud freak-ness can carry him to great success in the NFL. The Patriots are a perennial contender, and with their linebacking corps aging, Crable could be a contributor within a couple years (along with fellow former Wolverine Pierre Woods).

Mario Manningham, #95 overall
There is no way in hell that Manningham was the 14th best wideout in the draft, but he definitely earned his positioning with his actions since his junior season ended. He will end up being a better pro than half the guys drafted ahead of him. And what the hell is with the Rams picking some guy nobody has ever heard of as the first WR off the board?

Mike Hart, #202 overall
Hart fell way furhter than he should have. He is a very similar player to Ray Rice, except better in every single way (aside from perhaps being injury-prone). ESPN agreed for most of the day, as the “experts” were dumbfounded that he was still on the board time and again. However, he was able to go to a team that will be able to ease him into the rotation, and he will probably contribute down the road (even if it’s just to impeccably pass-block for Peyton Manning).

Adrian Arrington, #237 overall

Arrington was dangerously close to being Mr. Irrelevant, and he has probably realized that he made a huge mistake in coming out early. He probably would have been better served with one more year in maize and blue, proving that he could be “the guy.” He was very underrated for all of the past two years, and his performance in the florida game is closer to what I expect to see from him.

Undrafted
Jamar Adams, SS: I’m surprised he didn’t end up going in the later rounds.
Chris Graham, LB: His size and ability to play in space held him back. He might make a team as a free agent (primarily for special teams).
Adam Kraus, OG: Hopefully the era of underachieving linemen will come to an end.

Posted under Personnel

NFL Draft Prospects: Michigan

With 4 of the greatest Wolverines on the offensive side of the ball leaving Michigan to ply their trade in the NFL, and a couple decent defensive prospects, this should be a fairly good draft for Michigan. The Draft can be seen on the sports network of your choosing starting tomorrow at

Jake Long, OT
Long has already signed with the Miami Dolphins and will be the #1 overall pick in the draft. This makes him the 2nd Wolverine taken #1 overall (Tom Harmon in ’41), and the highest Michigan player picked since Braylon Edwards in 2004. He will anchor the Dolphins’ line from one of the tackle positions. Some experts have said his limited athleticism may make him a better fit at right tackle. His 1 sack allowed and 1 penalty committed in 2007 would be inclined to disagree with that.

Chad Henne, QB
Henne leaves Ann Arbor as one of the most productive QBs in Michigan history. He has been listed as a potential pick anywhere from the mid-to-late first round to the mid-second round. Most analysts peg him as the second or third QB in the draft, behind the massively overrated Matt Ryan. Henne’s injuries during the senior campaign may be troubling to some teams, but both were of a freak nature, and he was able to stay injury-free in the previous three years. Latest scuttlebutt is that the Ravens like him at pick #20, though there are also rumors of teams drafting earlier than that who would like to trade to take him with a first-round pick. Either way, it is seeming likely that Henne will end up being taken in the first.

Mike Hart, RB
Hart, for being the alltime leading rusher at a school with plenty of famous running backs (Harmon, Morris, Biakabutuka), is not looked at as a particularly enticing NFL prospect. This is mostly due to his small size and lack of breakaway speed, in addition to some injury trouble during his sophomore and senior years. However, with very good strength, vision, and moves, he will likely end up a contributor on an NFL team, if never a feature back. Who knows? the last guy whose college production wasn’t expected to carry into the NFL because of size and speed – Emmitt Smith – ended up as a Hall of Famer. Still, Hart would be a risky pick early, and will probably end up with a late second to early fourth round selection. The team that picks him will not count on Hart to be their feature back, so he would be a less risky pick for them.

Mario Manningham, WR
Manningham had one of the greatest two-year-stretches for a Michigan wideout, despite injury problems his sophomore year and Ryan Mallett his junior year. Manningham opted to try for his money now, before he has to spend another year with a first-time college QB tossing him the rock. In terms of strict talent, Manningham is the best receiver in the draft, though his size is a little on the smallish end. However, the intangibles may hold him back, as he was suspended from Michigan for a game, was seen fighting with quarterbacks on the sidelines, at times looked like he wasn’t giving a full effort, and has admitted that he lied to NFL GMs in his interviews, stating that he never tested positive for banned substances (marijuana). Still, Manningham hasn’t had as troubled a college career as someone like Chris Henry or Randy Moss. He still grades out very well, and will probably be taken in the second round, with a potential slip into the first if a team is willing to take a chance on a fine physical specimen.

Adrian Arrington, WR
The second half of the alliteratively-named Michigan WR duo didn’t leave college because he thought he’d be a great NFL pick, but rather for a few other reasons: 1) His friend Mario was leaving as well, 2) He didn’t want to risk habing a bad QB throw him the ball in a potentially WR-unfriendly offense, and 3) He was a fourth-year junior, and presumably had already gained his degree. Arrington’s draft stock has plummeted since his declaration, mostly due to poor combines (which he accounts for with injury). Still, Arrington will be an insanely good value pick for a team in the later rounds (6th-7th, most likely, if he doesn’t slip to free agency). I stil believe that had he stuck around for one more year, he could have become a Braylon-like receiver for Michigan (if not quite as physically gifted). His size, hands, and ups are absolutely unquestioned, it’s just a speed matter that has teams worried.

Adam Kraus, OC
Kraus wasn’t even invited to the combine after being all-Big Ten. He is an indication of how far Michigan’s Strength program and offensive line coaching had fallen (though a physical specimen like Jake Long was still able to succeed). He will probably be given a shot in fee agency, and try to make a team’s camp roster.

Shawn Crable, LB/DE
Crable is a fine physical specimen without a true position. He doesn’t have the bottom-end build to play defensive end in a 4-3, and he lacks the ability to play in space consistently, which will preclude him from playing SLB in the NFL. However, in the 3-4, he could be an outside linebacker, a la Lamarr Woodley (who was at a further disadvantage of having played almost exclusively DE in his final years at Michigan). This means teams like the Dolphins, Steelers (who drafted Woodley) and Patriots would be candidates to select Shawn. He will probably be a mid round pick.

Jamar Adams, SS
One of the most underrated players in the time I have been watching Michigan. He was rarely a liability in coverage, and can come up to fill the run very very well. With excellent size in the defensive backfield, his speed may be questionable, though he could bulkl up a bit and become a WLB in the NFL. Jamar is a safe pick with a decently high floor and a limited ceiling as a safety. He will be a mid-to-late round pick.

Chris Graham, LB
Graham was a speedy guy who could lay a hit in college, but he was often lost in coverage. This factor and his less-than-optimal speed could collaborate to drop him very low in the draft. He will be a late-round pick or free agent signing. He is the sort of player who could be a special teams phenom while learning to play linebacker more consistently. I hope he catches on with somebody though, as he could sure as hell use the money.

Brandent Englemon, FS
A guy who played the FS role admirably while at Michigan, but probably doesn’t have what it takes to get to the next level. He may be a free agent signing with someone. It would certainly be nice to see him succeed.

Posted under Personnel

Long Signs; Will be #1 Overall

Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long has been signed to a five-year deal with the Miami Dolphins, guaranteeing that he will be selected first overall in Saturday’s NFL draft. Long is the first Wolverine selected #1 overall since Tom Harmon in 1941(!). Current speculation is that Long’s prowess on Guitar Hero was the deciding factor for the Dolphins.

For analysis of the remaining Wolverines’ draft outlooks, check back here on Friday.

Posted under Personnel

A couple quick notes

Chris Graham’s sister tragically dies in a house fire. Jacqueline Love was a single mother, and donation information to support her daughter can be found in the article.

Rich Rod’s Morgantown digs up for sale.

By the way, since I hadn’t said this yet, the Yost series has been condensed to 5 parts, not 8.

Posted under Blog News, Personnel