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Plenty of Wolverines made the cut on Mel Kiper’s preseason big board

The ESPN draft expert has plenty of love for the Wolverines.

Michigan v Ohio State Photo by Ben Jackson/Getty Images

On Wednesday, one of the biggest names in the NFL Draft industry, Mel Kiper, released his preseason big board for the 2024 NFL Draft. His list included his top 25 prospects in the entire draft, regardless of position, as well as a listing of the top five players at each position.

Several Michigan players were featured on the positional rankings.

Defensive tackle Kris Jenkins came in as the No. 15 prospect (and No. 2 defensive tackle) on Kiper’s board.

Jenkins has been a popular name amongst draft experts this offseason, and even considered entering the draft after last season. Jenkins has been lauded for his rare combination of size (6-foot-3 and 305 pounds) and athleticism and would be an excellent fit as a run stuffer in the middle of any defensive line, regardless of scheme. He will be depended on to take another step forward for Michigan this year after the departure of first-round pick Mazi Smith last year.

Running backs Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards were featured in the positional rankings at No. 2 and 3, respectively.

Corum is coming off his most productive season yet (1,463 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns) and is widely considered to be the best running back in all of college football. Concerns about his age, durability, and workload could push him down draft boards, but the senior still has plenty of positive traits, such as his vision, agility, and strength.

Edwards enjoyed a breakout season last year with 991 rushing yards, as well as 200 receiving yards on 18 receptions. His hands and route running ability out of the backfield are his best assets that should intrigue NFL teams, but his agility and burst are also impressive.

Edwards and Corum were ranked only behind Ohio State running back TreyVeon Henderson.

Zak Zinter was ranked as the fourth best offensive guard on Kiper’s list.

Zinter seems to be the Michigan offensive lineman getting the most buzz at this point in the draft process. The experienced Zinter is entering his third season as a starter up front, and was a consensus first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2022.

A surprise name in Kiper’s board was edge Braiden McGregor, who was ranked as the No. 4 edge rusher.

McGregor hasn’t generated much draft buzz up to this point, as he hasn’t seen the field as much as other prospects, but he impressed down the stretch last season. He was also mentioned by head coach Jim Harbaugh on the “Inside Michigan Football” radio show this week as one of four players that should get significant playing time on the edge, along with Jaylen Harrell, Josaiah Stewart, and Derrick Moore.

Linebacker Junior Colson was listed as the No. 2 off-ball linebacker.

The Tennessee native broke out last year in his first full season as a starter, as he led the entire Michigan defense in tackles with 101. He was also a second-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and a third-team selection by the media. His athleticism and coverage ability have impressed scouts early in the process. His experience as a returning starter will be a valuable asset in the middle of this year’s Wolverine defense.

Safety Rod Moore was listed as Kiper’s No. 4 safety prospect.

A relatively unheralded three-star recruit, Moore has made a name for himself over the last two seasons. He started four games as a freshman in 2021, but would go on to start in 13 games as sophomore in 2022. He led all Michigan defensive backs in tackles with 71, and also recorded four interceptions. His play will be valued as part of what should be one of the nation’s best secondaries, and a solid season will surely vault him higher up draft boards.