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2021 NFL Draft: Where every Michigan Wolverine was selected, how they fit

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Michigan sent eight players to the pro ranks in seven rounds.

2021 NFL Draft Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The 2021 NFL Draft has come to an end with the Michigan Wolverines sending eight players to the professional ranks with three more prospects still on the board as undrafted free agents.

Kwity Paye headlines the class of Wolverines as the lone first-round pick of the group. It was a fairly balanced weekend for Michigan prospects, so let’s quickly run through where they all went and where they fit.

Defensive end Kwity Paye (Indianapolis Colts — Round 1, Pick No. 21 overall)

Paye’s NFL dreams were realized as the first Wolverine to come off the board and he heads to a playoff team, so this is a good fit for him. He is going to need some time to put it all together but could be a quality defensive starter for the Colts moving forward.

Offensive lineman Jalen Mayfield (Atlanta Falcons — Round 3, Pick No, 68 overall)

Mayfield’s testing numbers dropped him two rounds and it sounds like the Falcons want to kick him inside to left guard, which may wind up being a big positive for him. Arthur Smith has to feel good about how his offense looks after this weekend after taking Kyle Pitts at No. 4 overall.

Wide receiver Nico Collins (Houston Texans — Round 3, Pick No. 89 overall)

One day Collins will wind up with a team that has a quality quarterback situation, but he certainly will not start his career with one given Deshaun Watson’s legal troubles. Despite this, he might have a shot to emerge as WR1 pretty early for the Texans.

Cornerback Ambry Thomas (San Francisco 49ers — Round 3, Pick No. 102 overall)

Thomas came in a little bit higher than he was projected to go, but nobody can deny the fit. He brings a perfect blend of size and athleticism to a defense that needs corner prospects. I might be most excited for his fit above everyone else before him, as he’s going to have a shot to play a role for a team that should have Super Bowl aspirations if Trey Lance pans out.

Linebacker Cameron McGrone (New England Patriots — Round 5, Pick No. 177 overall)

McGrone really could have used another year in school, but nobody can deny the fit here. He is coming off of a torn ACL, but he won’t be forced into quick action and joins former teammates in Chase Winovich, Michael Onwenu and Josh Uche. He has potential as a steady starting MIKE in the NFL.

Fullback Ben Mason (Baltimore Ravens — Round 5, Pick No. 184 overall)

Of course. OF COURSE, this is where Mason wound up. I’m not sure where he fits given they have Patrick Ricard, but Jack Harbaugh’s favorite Wolverine was never going to not wind up with Baltimore, it seems. It is a perfect cultural and roster fit.

Running back Chris Evans (Cincinnati Bengals — Round 6, Pick No. 202 overall)

It is hard not to be fired up about Evans’ story given all that he has been through and now he goes to an ascending team with questionable running back depth. He has a shot to battle for No. 2 running back reps behind Joe Mixon and his pass-catching ability is going to have him play a role.

Long snapper Camaron Cheeseman (Washington Football Team — Round 6, Pick No. 225 overall)

This is great for Cheeseman and he was considered the best long snapper in the draft. You can question the idea of throwing draft capital at specialists, but do not let it take away from a cool moment for the former Wolverine.

Undrafted — TE Nick Eubanks, DL Carlo Kemp, K Quinn Nordin

Eubanks will be joining former Michigan teammate Sean McKeon in the tight end room with the Dallas Cowboys, while Carlo Kemp has earned a shot with the Green Bay Packers. Nordin is still waiting for a phone call.