It was a very successful NFL Draft for the Michigan Wolverines as nine players were selected over the weekend, the third-most by any individual school. Some went a little earlier than expected (we see you top-100 pick, Jake Moody), and others waited much longer than they wanted to (how did Olu Oluwatimi fall to the fifth round?).
Nevertheless, all these former Wolverines now have homes at the next level. Let’s take a gander at how each of them fits with their new team.
Mazi Smith - Dallas Cowboys
I absolutely love this landing spot for both sides. The Cowboys finished 22nd in run defense last season and they need to improve that to compete. They are in a division with Saquon Barkley and Jalen Hurts, after all.
Smith is going to help shore up the middle of that defense while giving avenues for Micah Parsons and others to break through. He could also help the pass rush by collapsing the middle of the offensive line and pushing opposing quarterbacks toward the Cowboys’ dominant edge rushers.
This appears to be a match made in heaven.
DJ Turner - Cincinnati Bengals
It will be intriguing to see where the Bengals line Turner up. The notorious Eli Apple is a free agent after leaving Cincinnati this off-season, but Chidobe Awuzie should be back after a torn ACL as the Bengals' top corner. There are some vets in the room, but Turner has a great shot at starting Week 1 either on the outside or in the nickel role.
Luke Schoonmaker - Dallas Cowboys
Dalton Schultz is no longer in Dallas, leaving a hole at the position. But the Cowboys certainly have a slew of young options even after the Schoonmaker selection in the third round. Former Indiana Hoosiers standout Peyton Hendershot and Wisconsin Badgers star Jake Ferguson have already been in that offense for a year.
All three of these Big Ten tight ends have a great history of building a rapport with their quarterback, and Schoonmaker won’t have as easy of a path to a starting job as others who were selected in this draft.
Jake Moody - San Francisco 49ers
I gotta admit, I really wanted to see Moody kick in a dome at least eight times per season. Thankfully, he’ll kick most of his field goals in the temperate California air, which shouldn’t cause too many problems. But to be drafted in the third round, the 49ers obviously love what his booming leg has to offer. Hopefully he will be their kicker for many years to come, unlike the last kicker who was drafted this high.
Mike Morris - Seattle Seahawks
This was a great landing spot for Morris because the Seahawks' defense has such low expectations as it is. They allowed the third-most rushing yards per game last season and I think Morris can help with that, whether he lines up on the outside or inside. They run a 3-4 defense, and if I had to guess I would say they will plug Morris into a three-point stance with a linebacker outside of him. We’ll see where they wind up lining him up.
Olu Oluwatimi - Seattle Seahawks
Imagine a college football world where Oluwatimi was lead blocking for Kenneth Walker III and Zach Charbonnet. Pete Carroll wants to see how that will translate to the next level, and I think it will be a smashing success. I absolutely love this pick, as the Seahawks continue to build up their running game with an absolute stud like Oluwatimi anchoring in the middle.
Brad Robbins - Cincinnati Bengals
A Michigan man will have the chance to beat out a former Ohio State punter at the next level with Robbins potentially swiping a roster spot from 23-year-old Drue Chrisman. The Bengals had a difficult experience with their punting game, and Robbins offers a great role as a holder for superstar kicker Evan McPherson. Here’s to hoping they have one of the best special teams units in the league because of this selection.
Ryan Hayes - Miami Dolphins
Despite being a seventh-round pick, Hayes could play a meaningful role down the line, The Dolphins' offensive line has had trouble keeping Tua Tugavailoa upright, and head coach Mike McDaniel would love to bolster the running game as well. Hayes is a project, likely moving to guard, but give him a year or two and maybe he will be a starter in Miami.
Ronnie Bell - San Francisco 49ers
This is a good spot for Bell, but it’s a massive bummer he slid to the seventh round. The positive is Bell is a willing run-blocker, and we all know how much the 49ers love to run the football. What I don't like is how many receivers are on San Fran’s roster. Bell is very likely to be buried and could be an easy cut if things don’t go as well as they hope.