The Michigan Wolverines now have a clear picture of who will be back next year and who will not with the expected decisions made on NFL Draft entries in 2020. Now that we know the players that have declared early, it’s time to project where they may end up and the situations that may suit them best.
With that in mind, we simulated all 7-rounds via The Draft Network’s Mock Draft Simulator to see where the board currently has Michigan prospects set to go. It is worth noting that they are constantly updating their boards to reflect trends in the pre-draft process, their own scouting and more leading up to April.
This can be taken with a grain of salt for now given how much time there is until draft weekend in Vegas, but still provides a look into how the nation views Michigan prospects.
Here’s how our first simulation of the offseason went. (Note: * = early entries)
Cleveland Browns - Round 3, No. 74 overall: EDGE Joshua Uche*
The Browns were 20th in the league in sacks this year and could use a boost with the pass rush. Uche is a versatile prospect that can provide them some production in a rotation there.
New York Jets - Round 3, No. 79 overall: WR Donovan Peoples-Jones*
There would be good value here for the Jets, as DPJ is someone that some believe could go as high as the second round. Sam Darnold needs weapons and Peoples-Jones has the potential to be an explosive playmaker and someone who can give the Jets a boost in the return game.
Minnesota Vikings - Round 3, No. 90 overall: G Ben Bredeson
Bredenson is as rock solid as it gets as a guard prospect and a guy who does a lot of things well and was a two-time captain in college. The Vikings offensive line has been a problem for them in recent years, but Bredeson could potentially come in and be a starter early on at either guard spot.
New England Patriots - Round 6, No. 186 overall: G Michael Onwenu
This feels a little bit low for him (you’ll notice a trend here these next two picks), but Onwenu feels like a safe bet to come off the board on day three. There still might be some more to unlock in his game, but the way he moves at 350 pounds was impressive through college and will no doubt draw the eye of NFL scouts.
Indianapolis Colts - Round 6, No. 188 overall: C Cesar Ruiz*
If I had to place a wager on where Ruiz would go in this draft, it would be much higher than this. He has the look of a day two pick and all he did was up his stock throughout the season, including the bowl game that solidified his decision to go pro. Him being on the board past the third round, let alone in the sixth, would make him a candidate to be one of the steals of this draft class.
Buffalo Bills - Round 7, No. 191 overall: TE Sean McKeon
There’s three-down ability to his game and he does a lot of things well, including his willingness to block. He has soft hands and drops were never an issue at Michigan, but his athleticism will be questioned by NFL scouts.
Green Bay Packers - Round 7, No. 201 overall: T Jon Runyan Jr.
This is another player from Michigan that I could see rising up boards during the pre-draft process. Everyone is going to flip on the film to watch OSU edge rusher Chase Young and when they get to the Michigan game, they’re going to see that Runyan more than held his own and pretty much won that battle throughout the afternoon. There could be good value there starting somewhere in the fourth or fifth rounds. He’d be a steal here.
New England Patriots - Round 7, No. 212 overall: CB Lavert Hill
Hill is going to have a shot to make a roster, but is not quite as highly regarded a prospect as Jourdan Lewis and David Long before him were. Him coming off the board in the seventh round is eye-opening, but I’ve seen mock drafts with similar feedback.
Not drafted: QB Shea Patterson, LB/S Khaleke Hudson
Patterson at one point was seen as a potential first round pick, but never quite fulfilled that potential at Michigan. He is going to need a strong Senior Bowl and pre-draft showing to warrant consideration of being picked at all, but seems like a relatively safe bet to be a late-round pick or at least wind up in a training camp somewhere.
Hudson was a little more surprising to see, but perhaps that has to due with the fact he is a bit of a tweener. There’s a role for him at the next level and he should at the very least stick on special teams. It’s just a matter of finding a team that has a plan for him.