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Daily Brews: Wolverines poised to make an impact in the NFL in 2023

Tom Brady isn’t in the NFL anymore, so who are Michigan’s best remaining players in the league?

Buffalo Bills v Detroit Lions Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

2022 marked the final season for legendary NFL quarterback and former Michigan Wolverine Tom Brady. For more than two decades, Brady had been the one face in the league that many associate with the maize and blue.

So who will that be in 2023 and beyond? With the start of NFL training camps and the preseason upon us, here are five former Wolverines poised to make a big impact in the league this year.

Josh Uche - Linebacker, New England Patriots

Uche broke out last year for the Patriots in his third season in the league. After recording only four sacks in his first two seasons, he had 11.5 in 2022. The former second-rounder works mostly as a pass-rush specialist and will look to build on his first dominant campaign. Once again, he will be lined up across from one of the game’s best edge rushers in Matt Judon.

Uche played with Michigan from 2016-19 and broke out as a junior in 2018, recording seven sacks in nine games. He added 10.5 more in his senior season in 2019 and was named Michigan’s Defensive Player of the Year as well.

Mike Onwenu - Guard, New England Patriots

Onwenu is entering his fourth season in the league and will once again start at right guard for the Patriots. Despite being only a sixth-round draft pick, Onwenu has started 41-of-49 career games. Last year marked the best season of Onwenu’s career, and he finished last year with a 79.3 PFF grade on 1,044 snaps.

The Detroit native was one of the crown jewels of Michigan’s 2016 recruiting class out of Cass Tech. He started at right guard for the Wolverines in 2018-19 and even played some defensive line early in his tenure. He would take home third-team All-Big Ten honors in his junior and senior seasons.

Brandon Graham - Defensive End, Philadelphia Eagles

The 35-year-old might be approaching the end of his career, but he’s still a productive player and also happens to be a part of one of the league’s best defenses. After missing most of the 2021 season with an Achilles tear, Graham registered a career-high 11 sacks in 2022 and finished in fourth place for the AP Comeback Player of the Year Award. He returns the Philly on a one-year deal and will look to help the Eagles continue their winning ways.

Graham played at Michigan from 2006-09 and finished his college career with a total of 29.5 sacks and 56 tackles for loss. He received second-team All-Big Ten honors in 2008 and AP second-team All-American honors in 2009 before being selected 13th overall in the 2010 draft.

Aidan Hutchinson - Defensive End, Detroit Lions

Hutchinson is back with the Lions for his second season after being selected second overall in the 2022 NFL Draft. He impressed as a rookie, recording 9.5 sacks and 52 total tackles. He also registered three interceptions and recovered two fumbles on his way to a second-place finish for Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Hutchinson played at Michigan for Michigan from 2018-21, with his final year being one of the best we’ve seen from a Michigan player in the Harbaugh era. He finished that year with 14 sacks and was a unanimous First-Team All-American. He also finished as the runner-up for the 2021 Heisman Trophy.

Rashan Gary - Linebacker, Green Bay Packers

Gary has made a name for himself as an edge rusher for the Packers. He broke out in 2021, his first year as a starter, starting in all 16 games and compiling 9.5 sacks. Unfortunately, his 2022 season was cut short by a torn ACL. Despite the injury, Gary should continue to improve once healthy, and looks like he could develop into one of the league’s best edge rushers.

Gary was rated as a five-star recruit and was a member of Michigan’s 2016 recruiting class. He played with the Wolverines for three seasons and took home first-team All-Big Ten honors in 2017 and 2018. Despite only recording 9.5 sacks in his college career, he was selected 12th overall by the Packers in 2019.