ESPN NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. isn’t typically one to comment on this kind of stuff, but he did it anyway. And I think Michigan fans may be happy with what he had to say.
Kiper and SEC Network anchor Dari Nowkhah host a radio show together simply entitled “Dari and Mel” and put together their individual lists of the top six teams in college football for next season.
Mel came out guns blazing with his No. 6 team — the Michigan Wolverines. But the reason he chose Michigan is because of one player.
“I’m gonna throw in a player that is critical to whether this team will be in the mix (as a top six team),” Kiper said. “Shea Patterson is on campus, he’s enrolled in Michigan, he’s been there since January. Will he be available to play at Michigan this year? That’s not decided yet, still an unknown. If not it’s Brandon Peters, Dylan McCaffrey kind of vying for that job. (Patterson) has a ton of talent, I think talent at Michigan that they can win with.”
Kiper also alluded to Michigan’s elite defense, specifically pointing at Rashan Gary, Chase Winovich, Devin Bush, David Long and Lavert Hill. Pair the elite defense up with Patterson and you’ve got a recipe for success, or at least that’s what Kiper makes it sound like.
“(Michigan’s) got a lot of players,” Kiper said.
“If Shea Patterson is under center, I think Michigan could catapult into the top 10, maybe into the top six.”
Patterson — along with several other Ole Miss players who opted to transfer after claiming to be misled by former head coach Hugh Freeze about the NCAA putting sanctions down on the school — are seeking immediate eligibility for the 2018 season. Most transfer players have to sit out one year before playing with their new team due to the NCAA’s transfer rules, but Patterson and his former teammates may be granted immediate eligibility due to Freeze misleading them at Ole Miss.
Those players, along with all of us, are currently in a “wait-and-see” phase, and a conclusion does not seem to be in sight so we may all have to sit tight for a little while, be patient and let this whole thing play out.
But if Patterson is able to immediately play in 2018, Michigan could be in for a much better offensive season than they had a year ago. And if/when that happens, we could all point to and thank Mel Kiper for predicting it to happen.
Where do you have Michigan slated next season if Shea Patterson is able to play right away?
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Top 4 team (in the playoffs)
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