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NFL Draft Recap: Best fits for Michigan Wolverines vs where they actually ended up

Nine Wolverines are now playing at the next level

2022 NFL Draft - Round 1 Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

During the NFL Draft process, Maize N’ Brew decided to write individual articles about who were the three best fits for each prospect coming out of Ann Arbor. Today, we will recap what we wrote in those pieces and re-evaluate now that the Draft has come and gone. Let’s dive into where we projected the best Michigan Wolverines prospects to go and their fits in their new homes.

Aidan Hutchinson to Detroit at No. 2 overall

What we wrote: Jacksonville, Detroit, New York Jets

“Hutchinson is a native of Plymouth, Michigan and he’s on record saying that being drafted by Detroit would help his transition to the NFL.

“It would definitely be cool,” Hutchinson said. “I’d be living close to home. It would definitely make the transition a bit easier to the NFL just being so close to home and close to my parents.”

The Lions have an immediate need at edge-rusher and Hutchinson being drafted by Detroit is something Lions fans would be excited about. While the Lions may not have the most talented of rosters, they’re trending in the right direction under head coach Dan Campbell. The NFC North is a division that’s getting increasingly weaker, and Hutchinson could very easily get over ten sacks during his rookie campaign.

Hutchinson being drafted by the Lions would be a much better landing spot than Jacksonville, and he’d bring leadership with him to Detroit, the kind that will mesh well with the mind of Dan Campbell.”

Analysis of the pick:

Perfection. There could not have been a better landing spot for Aidan Hutchinson and reports are that Detroit thought the same. Rumor has it that the NFL was actually upset with the Lions at how quickly they got their pick in for Hutch after Jacksonville took Travon Walker at No. 1 overall.

Everything our Editor Trevor Woods wrote above hit the nail on the head. But, this was a relatively easy one with projections of Hutchinson going Top-2. Let’s keep chugging on.

Daxton Hill to Cincinnati at No. 31 overall

What we wrote: Detroit, Dallas, Seattle

Thoughts were at the time that Detroit wouldn't trade up to draft Jameson Williams at No. 12 overall. They no longer had their pick at the end of the first round.

The Cowboys did keep pick No. 24, but they decided to go offensive line in hopes of protecting Dak Prescott a little better. Jerry Jones was so confident in his pick he showed the whole press room his draft board. Apparently, Daxton Hill wasn’t at the top.

Seattle was a bit of a long shot and was considered so in the piece as Hill’s lowest possible draft selection spot. Instead, Seattle went with Michigan State product Kenneth Walker as Hill was off the board.

Analysis of the pick:

Andrew Bailey was pretty close with his analysis as Hill was selected late in the first round of the draft at pick No. 31 to Cincinnati. He should fit in very nicely and have a similar role to what he had at Michigan. The Bengals have already confirmed they plan on blitzing the quarterback with him, a role where he thrived last season. Hill should have a lot of fun in Cincy.

David Ojabo to Baltimore at No. 45 overall

What we wrote: New York Jets, New York Giants, Baltimore

Both New York teams went edge rusher in the first round, but Kellen Voss correctly assumed that the Baltimore Ravens would be a great fit for Ojabo:

“With the Ravens addressing their two biggest needs in signing offensive tackle Morgan Moses and cornerback Marcus Williams, they could use a flexible edge rusher like Ojabo on defense.

As Ryan Mink pointed out recently for the team’s website, they have very little depth at the position and could use a guy like Ojabo who could grow into a key role for them. Ojabo has very similar measureables to Matt Judon, who developed into a Pro Bowl pass rusher in five seasons with Baltimore.

Having a career like Judon’s is probably the ceiling for Ojabo, and getting drafted to a solid organization like the Ravens gives him the best chance to reach his full potential.”

Analysis of the pick:

Harbaugh to Harbaugh, rejoining Mike Macdonald, and playing alongside friend Odafe Oweh made this music to the ears of Michigan fans. After he gets healthy, he will already know the defense, and he should be ready to terrorize the quarterback at the next level. I absolutely love this for Ojabo.

Hassan Haskins to Tennesee at No. 131 overall

What we wrote: New Orleans, Los Angeles Chargers, Buffalo

Haskins would have made sense with any of the teams here to provide a little thunder in New Orleans or LA to Alvin Kamara and Austin Ekeler’s lightning. Or, he could have fought for a starting gig in Buffalo. But, the Bills selected Georgia’s James Cook in Round 2, the Chargers selected Texas A&M’s Isaiah Spiller instead, and New Orleans decided to look elsewhere.

Analysis of the pick:

Haskins learning behind Derrick Henry should be fun. I don’t see him getting a lot of opportunities unless Henry goes down with an injury, but Haskins will be an adequate fill-in if that would happen.

Andrew Stueber to New England at No. 245

What we wrote: Green Bay, Dallas, New England

The Packers and Dallas both picked multiple offensive linemen in the draft, as did the Patriots who did wind up with the Patriots:

“There is not a single organization that loves prospects out of Ann Arbor more than Bill Belichick and the Pats. They have used four selections in the last three drafts on a Wolverine including Mike Onwenu, Josh Uche, Cam McGrone and Chase Winovich.

It would not surprise me if they would go back to the barrel this season by selecting Stueber. With a pick in the fifth round and two picks in the sixth round, they will have a few chances to take him later in the draft.

Like the other two teams on the list, it’s not a huge area of need for the Patriots, as they had a top-10 unit in 2021. But this is a team that loves to run the football and has some veteran lineman at the top of their depth chart. It really wouldn’t be a surprise to see them pick Stueber here and get some quality depth behind their current starters.”

Analysis of the pick:

I’ll toot my own horn on this one. Stueber wound up in Foxborough, near his hometown in Connecticut. He’s part of a winning organization and continues the pipeline of Michigan-to-New England.

Chris Hinton as a UDFA to New York Giants

What we wrote: Baltimore, Indianapolis, Los Angeles Chargers

Analysis of the position:

I’ll untoot my horn as I expected Hinton to be drafted in the middle rounds over the weekend. Instead, he heads to the Giants as a UDFA. He’ll add some depth to a pretty weak defensive line from a season ago, maybe have a chance to contribute at some point.

Josh Ross as a UDFA to Baltimore

What we wrote: Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Baltimore

“This almost feels like cheating and has nothing to do with the Jim and John Harbaugh connection. There is no scheme Ross would understand faster than Baltimore’s because it is the exact scheme he just thrived in at Michigan.

Former Michigan defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald has returned to the Ravens, where he was an assistant coach for several years prior to his time in Ann Arbor. Macdonald is familiar with Ross’s strengths and weaknesses and the Ravens could benefit from added positional depth and another strong locker room presence.”

Analysis of the position:

Andrew Bailey pretty much sums it up. Ross won’t have to learn much new in terms if the scheme. The question will be if his size and speed will translate well to the next level.

Brad Hawkins as a UDFA to Atlanta

What we wrote: Indianapolis, Baltimore, New Orleans

Analysis of the position:

Atlanta's entire defense needs to be revamped after allowing 27 points per game a season ago, tied for third-worst in the NFL. Hawkins will at least provide some depth to help change that in 2022.

Daylen Baldwin as a UDFA to the New York Giants

What we wrote: New England, Atlanta, Houston

Analysis of the position:

The theme was opportunity in the article, and Baldwin may get some in New York. Although, the Giants have put a lot of money and draft picks into this position as of late. We will have to see how this one shakes out.

Andrew Vastardis to Med School

What we wrote: Baltimore, San Francisco, Houston

Analysis of the position:

Vastardis had to choose between med school and the next level in his football career. He chose the former and I’m not sure anyone can blame him.