If you’re anything like me, you’ve tried to create a Madden team using entirely Michigan football alumni at least once in your life. Under Jim Harbaugh, that has gotten easier thanks to the pipeline he has created.
Each week we’ll be highlighting some of the top performances by former Michigan football players. As a primer, here’s who recently made their respective 53 man rosters:
Quarterbacks: Chad Henne (KC), Tom Brady (TB)
The ageless wonders continue to collect NFL paychecks. Henne backing up Mahomes for all of these years continues to amaze and astound me.
Running Backs: Chris Evans (CIN), Hassan Haskins (TEN)
Evans has carved out a nice role in Cincinnati. Haskins, meanwhile, has been a hype machine in Titans camp. I would not be surprised to see him get a handful of meaningful snaps his rookie year.
Wide Receivers: Donovan Peoples-Jones (CLE), Nico Collins (HOU)
Both DPJ and Collins have gone through quite the quarterback controversies in their careers. They both will look to take another step forward this season.
Tight Ends: Zach Gentry (PIT)
Gentry sticking in the NFL for this long comes as a bit of a surprise to me. However, he does have the prototypical frame for an NFL tight end.
Offensive Linemen: Graham Glasgow (DEN), Jon Runyan (GB), Michael Onwenu (NE), Cesar Ruiz (NO), Ben Bredeson (NYG), Mason Cole (PIT), Taylor Lewan (TEN)
Lewan continues to highlight the group as an All-Pro caliber tackle. Look for Ruiz to break through this year for New Orleans.
Defensive Linemen: Chase Winovich (CLE), Aidan Hutchinson (DET), Kwity Paye (IND), Frank Clark (KC), Mike Danna (KC), Brandon Graham (PHI), Chris Wormley (PIT), Bryan Mone (SEA)
Hutchinson and Paye have injected new life into this group in the last two years. Hutch will look to resurrect a mostly dormant Detroit defense. No pressure.
Linebackers: Josh Ross (BAL), Rashan Gary (GB), Josh Uche (NE), Devin Bush (PIT)
Ross making the roster was a nice surprise. It’s telling to me two of the four players here were not true linebackers at Michigan, as Don Brown preferred hybrids across the board.
Secondary: Dax Hill (CIN), Jourdan Lewis (DAL), David Long Jr. (LAR), Josh Metellus (MIN), Jabrill Peppers (NE), Ambry Thomas (SF)
Specialists: Camaron Cheeseman (WAS)
You can’t forget the long snapper!
Injured: Jalen Mayfield (ATL), David Ojabo (BAL), Lavert Hill (CLE), Quinn Nordin (NE), Andrew Stueber (NE), Maurice Hurst (SF)
Ojabo will be a part of the Raven’s future once he’s healthy. Hurst was full of potential but has been rocked by injuries time and again.
Practice Squads: Ben Mason (BAL), Daylen Baldwin (CLE), Sean McKeon (DAL), Carlo Kemp (LAC), Brad Hawkins (NE), Cameron McGrone (NE), Taco Charlton (NO), Vincent Gray (NO), Khaleke Hudson (WAS)
McGrone and Gray’s decisions to leave early haven’t paid off in retrospect. However, McKeon and Hudson could be signed to an active roster before the season starts. Practice squads are ever-changing, so let us know if we missed one in the comments.
It’s pretty clear from looking at this list Harbaugh has prioritized defense and the trenches while not producing as much skill position talent. With that being said, this is still a gargantuan list compared to most other colleges. Michigan is in an elite tier.