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Tyler McLaurin path to Michigan, outlook for 2023

After a year of development, Tyler McLaurin will look to enter the fold as a rotational piece on the edge.

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We are deep in our outlook discussions of the defensive end position this week at Maize n Brew, and next up is junior edge rusher Tyler McLaurin.

The former linebacker from Bolingbrook, Illinois is poised for an uptick in his role with the Wolverines following a developmental year at the position in 2022. Let’s dig into his path to Ann Arbor and some expectations for the 2023 season.

The story so far

In high school, McLaurin was a three-star linebacker prospect. At 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, he possessed all the right measurables, including a high IQ and in-game instincts.

Had his senior campaign not been canceled due to COVID-19, it’s reasonable to assume McLaurin could have seen his rank climb even higher. As a junior, he registered 92 tackles, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one interception. As a contributing member of the defense, he helped the Raiders hold their opponents to 14 points or less in eight games that year.

Upon his arrival in Ann Arbor, McLaurin’s first season was not unlike the experience of most true freshman — redshirting after seeing playing time in just one early season blowout against Northern Illinois.

In 2022, McLaurin’s hard work paid off. The newly-converted edge would appear in a handful of games early in the season at special teams and even notched some snaps at his new position against Hawaii.

Outlook for 2023

While it was a good season for the defensive end position at Michigan in 2022, it wasn’t one to write home about. On paper, the position group tallied just 1.5 sacks per game, including just four total in the final five games.

The edge position also happened to be one of the weaker components of Michigan’s run defense last season. According to PFF, the group’s run-stop rate of 5.85 percent was good for eighth among Big Ten teams.

The obvious takeaway from all this data is defensive end could potentially be one of the easier rotations to crack on this Michigan roster. This isn’t saying much, considering there’s still no shortage of talent, but McLaurin should feel as good as any about his chances at earning some meaningful snaps this season.

Since joining Mike Elston’s defensive line, McLaurin has added more than 20 pounds to his frame and should, at the very least, be seen in a slightly greater capacity compared to last year. Grinding it out against the likes of Derrick Moore, Jaylen Harrell, Josaiah Stewart and Braiden McGregor won’t be any easy ask, but now is as good a time as any for McLaurin to earn his spot in the rotation.