Eleven former Michigan Wolverines are suited up in new uniforms at the next level. Voluntary practices and rookie camps have started up across the country in the NFL, and first impressions are starting to be made among the media and coaching staffs.
Let’s go around the league and see what some folks are saying about them:
Mazi Smith - Dallas Cowboys
“The word is clearly out on Mazi Smith who, on more than one occasion, drew double teams in Thursday’s practice. The rookie first-round pick held his own and then some, and I suspect it won’t be long before he’s being asked to do it more often against the first team offense; and that includes reps as a pass rusher and not simply the definitive nose tackle in combination with Johnathan Hankins.” - Dallas Cowboys Staff Writer Patrik Walker
“First-round pick Mazi Smith worked at nose guard with the first team during the final 2 minute drill.” - Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Clarence E. Hill Jr.
Luke Schoonmaker - Dallas Cowboys
“We’re pretty loaded with guys that can do so many different things. I’ll just be in there to do whatever is asked of me,” Schoonmaker said. “It’s like a Four Horsemen group. All of them being put in different spots and everyone is playing a lot. It’s going be fun going in there to be another Horseman and bring what I can to that room.” - Sports Illustrated’s Adam Schultz
DJ Turner - Cincinnati Bengals
#Bengals cornerback DJ Turner II really is best friends with Dax Hill.— Mohammad Ahmad (@MohammadAhmadTV) May 12, 2023
They knew each other even right before they committed to Michigan together. Now, he says they’re ready to make more noise together in the NFL.
“We were always with each other.” pic.twitter.com/mdmJNDkXjw
Dax Hill talks fellow Wolverine DJ Turner joining Bengals pic.twitter.com/hJel8q6gdp— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) May 1, 2023
Jake Moody - San Francisco 49ers
“Made all four of his kicks, including a 53-yarder from the right hash. He had the wind at his back, and his kicks all seemed like they traveled at least 70 yards. I felt like I was watching a homerun derby. - Sports Illustrated’s Grant Cohn
“Jake Moody and Zane Gonzalez each made four attempts for the second practice.
“Moody hit all of four of his attempts including one from 53. The rookie nearly kicked the ball out of the facility on his first two attempts, with the ball traveling close to 70 yards on each.
“Gonzalez connected from 33, 38, and 48 yards out, but missed wide right from 43.” - Santa Rosa Press Democrat’s Jack Hammer
#49ers ST coach Brian Schneider on his assessment of rookie K Jake Moody:— Sterling Bennett (@49ers_Access) May 31, 2023
“Everything we thought he was. Everything we hoped he’d be. Consistent and even keeled.”
Also added the team worked out 27 kickers pre-draft and landed on Moody
Mike Morris - Seattle Seahawks
Rookie fifth-round pick Mike Morris at Seahawks’ third OTA practice today. He seems to be priming for a large role on the defensive line this summer and fall. @thenewstribune pic.twitter.com/BTKkK3RTUl— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) May 25, 2023
The Athletic also reported it looks like Morris will be playing at the interior defensive line spot this fall.
Olu Oluwatimi - Seattle Seahawks
“The first week of Seattle’s voluntary organized team activities ended Thursday with the third of nine OTA practices at team headquarters. Rookie Olu Oluwatimi was the starting center for many of Thursday’s drills...
‘You can’t move him. He’s just super stout. Really good person, and (a) top-level competitor.’
‘He showed up as a pro,’ (Seahawks OC Shane) Waldron said.
‘A good understanding. A good confidence. A good command of an offensive system, even though he is learning it on the fly here as he gets the installs.’
‘He has a great grasp of the game and where guys are, so he’s able to pick things up really quick and command that line of scrimmage.’
‘A true pro feel right away.’” - The News Tribune’s Gregg Bell
Brad Robbins - Cincinnati Bengals
2. When the #Bengals drafted punter Brad Robbins we heard about his hang time and directional kicking ability…well, here you go. Nearly 5 seconds of hang time on my stopwatch with the ball coming down in bounds close to the sideline pic.twitter.com/pxaW9irkYv— Dan Hoard (@Dan_Hoard) May 23, 2023
Ryan Hayes - Miami Dolphins
“What was intriguing was watching how impactful Mitchell Agude was attacking the Dolphins’ offensive tackles as an outside linebacker. It was as if the undrafted rookie from the University of Miami spent most of practice Wednesday in the offense’s backfield. He beat up Ryan Hayes, the former Michigan standout the Dolphins drafted in the seventh round, so badly one time it looked like a pass rusher pancake.” - Sports Illustrated’s Omar Kelly
Ronnie Bell - San Francisco 49ers
“Instantly became everyone’s favorite target. Caught a team-high six catches, and a few of them were heavily contested. Bell has zero fear and is extremely quick and tough.” - Sports Illustrated’s Grant Cohn
“Bell had been a standout through rookie minicamp and week one of OTAs. He had a rough practice on Wednesday, dropping both of his targets.” - Santa Rosa Press Democrat’s Jack Hammer