Tuesday Happy Hour is getting ahead of itself

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 10: Taylor Lewan #77 of the Michigan Wolverines reacts after beating the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 35-31 at Michigan Stadium on September 10, 2010 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The draft has come and gone which only means one thing: it is time to talk about the 2013 NFL Draft. Of course one of the questions the media loves to ask is who is set to be the next big draft prospect, and for the first time in a couple years Michigan figures prominently on that list. Junior LT Taylor Lewan is currently being talked about as a potential first round draft pick, and it is clear he has the size and athleticism to further develop into one of the top picks in the draft.

If Lewan were to go in the first round next year (or hopefully the year after) he would be the first Michigan player selected in the first round since Brandon Graham in 2010, and if Lewan was a top-ten pick it would be the first time since Jake Long was selected with the number one overall pick that a Michigan player was taken in the top-ten.

The last few years have seen Michigan's draft output drop precipitously and turned the Wolverines from one of the two top producers of NFL talent into a middle of the pack team. Michigan currently sits behind Iowa, Nebraska, and Wisconsin in terms of total draft picks in the last ten years. Michigan had two players drafted in 2009 and 2011, and three players drafted in 2010. To put that in perspective, Alabama had eight players selected in the 2012 draft alone.

The prospect of losing Taylor Lewan a year early to the NFL is troubling --- especially considering depth at tackle in 2013 --- but there would be one bright side to it: that Michigan would have in some way worked itself back into the position to produce first round talent. Michigan hasn't had the talent on hand, nor done the dirty work developing those players in a long time.

Who are the other players that could hear their names called on Draft Day 2013:

- Denard Robinson, obviously, but will it be at quarterback or WR. Don't kid yourself, this question has a lot more to do with perception than reality. If people decide they see you as a quarterback then you're in as one. Robinson is going to have to do a lot to change minds.

- Fitzgerald Toussaint could turn a strong year into an early entry, but let's hope that doesn't happen (the early entry, not the strong year).

- Ricky Barnum won't have the opportunity to go high, but he could easily be a solid middle rounder at either center or guard.

- Craig Roh has a chance to make a big leap up draft boards with a strong senior season, and his added size should help his NFL potential if he can keep his athleticism.

- Kenny Demens is the solid if a bit unexciting MLB prospect that NFL teams like to grab in the middle to late rounds.

- Jordan Kovacs will probably get devalued in the 2013 draft because of his measurables, but if an NFL team is looking for a Football Player of the highest order, it is hard to look past Kovacs.

On to some links:

Austin Hatch tells incredible journey since tragedy, vows to play for Michigan

After the crash, Hatch was put in a medically induced coma to control his brain's swelling. He was uncertain what shape he would be in on the side. When he started to emerge from the coma -- he constantly explains there wasn't a flashpoint moment, where suddenly his eyes popped open -- adjusting to life took time.

"At first I couldn't remember, if you asked me then who are you talking to, I'd say I really don't know," Hatch recalled. "A reporter from the Detroit Free Press? I'd say that's odd, why am I talking to him? I couldn't put two and two together.

Austin Hatch's long, harrowing journey back from the plane crash is going well, but is far from over.

A Playoffs Cocktail Party Preview - Off Tackle Empire is taking some time to talk about the playoffs, and just what we are talking about when we use that word.

Joe Paterno, His Biographer, and the Last Chapter - Joe Posnanski never could have known the firestorm he was stepping into when he decided to write a biography on Joe Paterno. Now, months after the scandal broke and Paterno passed away, it is time for Joe to put it all into context.

See You Again, WAC, But Only in Reruns

That leaves Idaho and New Mexico State facing an uncertain future, though these two programs have one thing over the WAC: Come 2013, each will still exist, albeit in a different fashion. As a football league, the WAC is dead.

The lights are about to go out on the Western Athletic Conference.

Sun Devils ad eases coaching transition - Tip for schools hiring Todd Graham: be prepared in all aspects of your program for someone else to take over. Even advertising materials.

NBA Soul

Indeed, a tendency toward the soulful is part of the game’s fundamental structure. Like all team sports, professional basketball requires meticulous group coordination and the attunement of individual players to the needs and prerogatives of the team. But in elite basketball, each action of the group requires individual acts of astounding skill. These acts—turning the corner on the pick-and-roll, challenging a shot at the rim, driving and kicking—provide an opportunity for players to burst out of that communal context and create moments of transcendent individuality. More than any other professional sport, basketball is a playing field for the productive tension between the demands of the group and the urge for individual expression. That expressiveness is always visible. Basketball players’ bodies are exposed and vulnerable, their facial expressions on perpetual view. Their identities are laid bare, effaced neither by equipment nor by bloated rosters and mass substitutions. Like most sports, basketball provides myriad opportunities for pain, fatigue and failure. But in basketball that pain is on full display. As Allen Iverson and Kevin Garnett demonstrated in the last decade, each battle for rebounding position, each one-on-one showdown, each collision at the rim makes manifest the sheer grueling struggle of being a person. And in the NBA, that struggle is performed with unparalleled style and skill. This style and skill, the players’ deep expressiveness as they face the fatigue and the failure: that’s where the joy is; that’s the transcendence. Soulfulness is woven into the game.

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