NFL Draft Stock For Michigan Wolverines Players

NFL Draft Stock For Michigan Wolverines Players

Football

NFL Draft Stock For Michigan Wolverines Players

The goal for every college football player around the country is to reach the NFL. Sometimes it takes players six years in college to reach it, others only need three. For impactful players that are draft eligible heading into their third season, a big question that is always asked is along the lines of “are you leaving after this season?” Some players are honest like Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver and say that it is. Others downplay it and say they don’t think about it.

They do think about it and it isn’t a bad thing to think about. It’s their future, their livelihood. You can’t blame a person for thinking about it, but some could take it to the extreme and be selfish and not think about the team anymore. Others can think about it but still put the team first.

There are multiple Michigan players that are either in the final year of their eligibility and the NFL is one of their two choices in life, or they are junior who could leave a year early and take a risk to see how they do in the NFL. Here is a list of players that could be headed to the NFL and where their draft stock currently sits.

DE – Rashan Gary (Jr.)

You can’t talk about Michigan players heading into the upcoming draft and not believe that defensive end Rashan Gary isn’t one of them. Gary said this back in June about the draft.

“I’m focused on going into the Big Ten (championship), winning it. Then going to the national championship and winning that. I’m just focused on the season. I’m not even thinking about the NFL, to be honest.”

It’s an easy decision for Gary. He is already a first round pick, even with missing the last few games with a shoulder injury. This season alone he has 18 tackles, three and a half tackles for loss and two sacks. Coming back a senior year wouldn’t do much to help his career unless he wants to get his degree but besides that. If Michigan wins it all in the end too, there isn’t really much to come back for and many will understand that decision.

Draft Grade: First round

DE – Chase Winovich (Sr.)

Nobody on this team has helped their draft stock more than defensive end Chase Winovich. Winovich could have left for the draft last year, and was a mid-round pick, but he pumped his stock after this season. Winovich has 37 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, three sacks and a pass deflection this season. When Gary returns we could see Winovich explode even more because with Gary on the field it leaves less pressure on him and Winovich wins those one-on-one battles a good amount of the time.

Draft Grade: Second/Third round

QB – Shea Patterson (Jr.)

Coming into this season, in some mock drafts, Shea Patterson was listed as the number one overall pick in the 2019 draft. That has changed a lot since then as Patterson isn’t even a first-round prospect anymore. Patterson has played well after the Notre Dame loss, but his play doesn’t scream first or even second round. This season Patterson is 123/184 for 1523 yards, 12 touchdowns, and three interceptions. He is a good quarterback don’t get me wrong, but what would honestly help him is another year in school to bump him up the draft board.

Draft Grade: Third round

RB – Karan Higdon (Sr.)

Another player that has raised their draft stock is running back Karan Higdon. Higdon was projected near the bottom two rounds of last years draft, and now that has jumped up to the middle tier rounds. His six straight 100-yard rushing games are impressive and have helped show scouts that Higdon can get you a good amount of yards when you need it. Higdon is on pace for his best season yet, with 153 carries for 831 yards and six touchdowns along with four catches for 31 yards.

Draft Grade: Third/Fourth round

LB – Devin Bush (Jr.)

Linebacker Devin Bush is the most explosive player on the Michigan defense. His coverage skills are average, but where he gets you is in his blitzing and tackling skills. His speed is unmatched as he is one of the fastest linebackers in college football. This season so far, Bush has 39 tackles, six tackles for loss, four sacks and one pass deflection. Bush will be judged based on his height as he is 5’11 as he is small for a linebacker in the NFL, but that hasn’t stopped people like that excelling at the next level, look at Drew Brees.

Draft Grade: Second round

CB – Lavert Hill (Jr.)

One of the two best cornerbacks on the team, Lavert Hill could leave early for the draft, but his shot is a long one. Hill this season has 10 tackles, four pass deflections, one tackle for loss and one interception, which would be returned for a touchdown. Hill doesn’t have eye-popping stats, but that is because he holds his assignment down for a majority of the time. Hill is a good player, but he isn’t at that next level to go to the NFL just yet.

Draft Grade: Fifth round

CB – David Long (Jr.)

The other shutdown cornerback on the team David Long is another player whose draft stock has moved up this season. He only has 12 tackles and five pass deflections this season, but the reason why his stats are so small and quiet is that he is a shutdown cornerback that the ball doesn’t go his way that often. This tweet enough should say how good Long is in coverage.

Draft Grade: Second round

TE – Zach Gentry (Sr.)

Michigan’s best tight end Zach Gentry could possibly see a future in the NFL. He is having his best year at tight end with 23 catches for 332 yards and one touchdown. Gentry isn’t a stud where he will be a playmaker at the next level, but he can come up big with a big catch on third down. His blocking is average and could improve. Gentry could land on a team, but it won’t be until near the end of the draft.

Draft Grade: Sixth round

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