With the East-West Shrine Bowl last night and the Reese’s Senior Bowl on Saturday, the road to the 2023 NFL Draft has officially begun. This year, the Senior Bowl will feature three former Michigan Wolverines — wide receiver Ronnie Bell, left tackle Ryan Hayes, and center Olu Oluwatimi.
Of the three, Oluwatimi is currently projected the highest as a fourth round selection. Measuring in at 6-foot-2 and 308 pounds, Oluwatimi is the reigning Rimington Award and Outland Trophy winner and was a consensus first-team All-American and first-team All-Big Ten selection for his work as the leading man of this year’s Joe Moore Award winning unit. Per the NFL Mock Draft Database, Oluwatimi is just outside the top-100 prospects, sitting at 118th overall.
Both Hayes and Bell are currently projected as fifth round selections, with the NFL Mock Draft Database ranking them at 140th and 163rd, respectively. Bell was the Wolverines’ leading receiver in three of his four healthy seasons, and caught 62 of 97 targets in 2022, recording 892 yards and four touchdowns. Hayes was the cemented starting left tackle for Michigan in 2022, missing just two games due to injury.
While Oluwatimi, Hayes, and Bell are the only three in Mobile this year, there are several other Wolverines likely to be drafted in Kansas City. Kicker Jake Moody and tight end Luke Schoonmaker both played in the aforementioned East-West Shrine Game, with Moody nailing a pair of 51-yard field goals.
Automatic @jmoods13 ☑️— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) February 3, 2023
@ShrineBowl on @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/aep7XAmbzp
Other likely prospects include top-100 ranked D.J Turner and Mazi Smith, fourth-round projection Mike Morris and punter Brad Robbins.
The Senior Bowl airs on NFL Network at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.