|Jonas Mouton (#8) should be one of just two Michigan players drafted this weekend|
The NFL Draft has always been a fun time for me, because I would always sit around and wait for the next Michigan player's name to get called. Between watching for a Michigan player to get drafted and waiting for the Lions to pick, one Saturday in April was perhaps the most exciting day of the football off-season. But Michigan's production of NFL players has waned in recent years.
Ever since six players were taken in the 2008 draft - four in the first three rounds - the Wolverines have only been able to muster five total draft picks in 2009 (4th round: Terrance Taylor; 6th: Morgan Trent) and 2010 (1st: Brandon Graham; 5th: Zoltan Mesko; 7th: Steve Brown). That's an average draft position of the 4.6th round.
By contrast, 60 players were taken from 1995-2007, an average of 4.62 per year. On average, those players were drafted in the 3.68th round. Not only has the number of Michigan draftees been lower in the past couple seasons, but they're getting picked lower, too.
That average draft position might rise slightly this year, but there will probably only be two Wolverines chosen this coming weekend:
Jonas Mouton - Linebacker
Mouton measured in at the NFL Combine at 6'1" and 239 lbs. I think he could play a couple positions, either as a weak inside linebacker in a 3-4 or as a weakside outside linebacker in a 4-3. He's pretty solid in coverage and changes direction well (video here, senior profile here).
Projection: 5th round to the Patriots
Steve Schilling - Offensive guard
Schilling measured in at the NFL Combine at 6'5", 304 lbs. He had a pretty good Combine performance, but nothing stellar. He played a lot of offensive tackle at Michigan, but I think he's strictly a guard at the next level. Four years of starting experience should help him (senior profile here).
Projection: 4th round to the Browns
Undrafted: DT Greg Banks, OT Perry Dorrestein, LB Obi Ezeh, OG John Ferrara, LB Kevin Leach, FB/LB Mark Moundros, DE/DT Adam Patterson, CB James Rogers, DT Renaldo Sagesse, TE Martell Webb
I do think there is a remote chance that two other players get drafted late - Obi Ezeh and Martell Webb. Ezeh was, for all intents and purposes, a four-year starter at middle linebacker. That might be worth something to a team late in the draft. And Webb turned into a very good blocker. If a team is looking for a cheap blocking tight end in the 7th round, they could do worse than picking a 6'4", 268-pounder with decent athleticism.