Until Jim Harbaugh took over as the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines, the program had not produced double-digit draft picks since 1974. And even that draft featured 17 rounds of selections between 26 teams compared to the modern era’s seven-round, 32-team format.
Before Harbaugh, under the misguidance of Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke, the Wolverines never produced more than three NFL Draft picks in a single draft from 2009-15. Harbaugh has not only recruited top-end talent to Ann Arbor, but he has turned the program into an NFL factory.
Michigan draft picks by year under Harbaugh:
2017: 11 (Program record)
The 2024 Michigan draft class could be the most iconic in the history of the program. With a handful of seniors guaranteed to enter and several juniors who will heavily weigh their options, the Wolverines could feature a draft class with as many as 15 selections.
Before a possible 15-game season and the endless months of speculation and analysis leading up to the actual draft, let’s take a peek at where several Wolverines could be drafted next spring.
*Denotes remaining eligibility
DL Kris Jenkins,* QB J.J. McCarthy*
30,000-foot analysis: Jenkins is one of the top three players at his position and is a top-20 NFL prospect entering the season. McCarthy plays at a premium position and even in a loaded quarterback class, he is one solid season away from being a lock first-round selection.
RB Donovan Edwards,* LB Junior Colson,* LT LaDarius Henderson, RG Zak Zinter,* S Rod Moore*
30,000-foot analysis: Edwards is likely to be drafted higher than Corum due to his age, size, versatility as a pass catcher and lower number of college carries. Edwards, Colson, Henderson (who projects as a guard at the next level) and Zinter are all near the top of their position group, but play at a position that has been devalued in the NFL. Hence the slide into the second round.
Moore is slightly undersized, but has no flaws in his game and plays with one of the highest football IQs in the sport. Any one of these five players could rise into the first round or slip into the middle rounds.
RB Blake Corum,* DB Mikey Sainristil
30,000-foot analysis: Corum is the best pure running back in the class, but his size, high volume of carries and injury history will scare off teams in the first two rounds. Sainristil is the hardest to place for now, but an All-American season could see him in the mix in the second round.
RT Myles Hinton*
30,000-foot analysis: At 6-foot-6, 320 pounds, Hinton is ready to play right tackle in the NFL today. With one year under Sherrone Moore on the best offensive line in the country, round four feels like his floor. But until we see it translate in the Big House, this is a safe place to slot him in.
LG Trevor Keegan,* WR Cornelius Johnson, C Drake Nugent,*
30,000-foot analysis: Keegan and Johnson both possess the ideal size at the next level and could be viewed as high-upside players in the mid-late rounds. Nugent is one of the best run-blocking centers in the draft, but will need to improve his pass-blocking abilities if he is going to be drafted higher than Olu Oluwatimi was last season.
Players on the fringes who could rise
S Makarai Paige,* edge Jaylen Harrell,* RT Trente Jones,* RT Karsen Barnhart,* WR Roman Wilson,* K James Turner