Many pundits expect the Michigan Wolverines to have a breakout season in year two under Jim Harbaugh, and Pro Football Focus eyes two players in particular to break out along with the team.
PFF’s latest list, "Top 25 Breakout Players of 2016," includes UM defensive tackle Ryan Glasgow at No. 3 and defensive end Taco Charlton at No. 7. Last season’s breakout list included players like Derrick Henry, Deshaun Watson and Leonard Fournette, so it definitely has some credibility.
Here’s what the site says about Glasgow, a 6-4, 300-pound senior who was on the field for 332 snaps in 2015:
The argument could be made that Glasgow has already broken out as he boasted the nation’s No. 19 run-stopping grade before going down to injury last season, but since he only played 332 snaps, he still qualifies as a breakout candidate. He’s seen the field for 753 snaps the last two seasons, posting a strong +32.7 grade against the run, and last year he improved his pass rush grade to +9.0 on the strength of a sack, four QB hits, and 12 hurries on 179 rushes. Glasgow is part of a loaded defensive line at Michigan that is often difficult to single out the best of the bunch, but he’ll have plenty of moments as the anchor at nose tackle.
And on Charlton, a 6-6, 285-pound senior who saw 389 snaps last year:
Yet another Michigan defensive linemen to highlight, Charlton was extremely productive on his 389 snaps last year. He was solid against the run with a 79.2 mark, while his pass rushing took a huge step forward at 82.6. After compiling only 11 pressures on 120 rushes in 2014, Charlton notched six sacks, nine QB hits, and 26 hurries (41 total pressures) on 229 rushes last season. The Wolverines’ defensive line is top heavy with most of their returning talent at defensive tackle, and while Charlton is certainly not slight at 6-6 and 275 pounds, he brings the best edge rushing dynamic on the team. Look for Charlton to play at least 600 snaps this season while continuing to develop into one of the nation’s best edge rushers.
With both playing on the defensive line, opposing offenses could be in for a rough time at the line of scrimmage this fall.