Thursday, April 26, 2012

2012 NFL Draft Preview: Michigan-style

Mike Martin will probably be the first Wolverine drafted, but not until Friday night
Last year saw only linebacker Jonas Mouton and offensive tackle Steve Schilling get drafted, both by the San Diego Chargers.  It's no sure thing that Michigan will beat that number this year, especially now that tight end Kevin Koger suffered an Achilles injury.  Here's a look at the Wolverines who are eligible for the draft:

Mike Martin, DT
Martin is the likely top choice out of Michigan.  He's 6'1 3/8", 306 lbs. and ran a 4.86 forty yard dash at the NFL Combine.  He also put up 36 repetitions on the 225 lb. bench press.  Martin is too undersized to play nose tackle in the NFL, but I think he can play as a defensive end in a 3-4 look or as a 3-tech defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense.  Martin is pretty quick and uses leverage very well, and best of all, he's a hard worker with a good motor.  I don't know if Martin will be a Pro Bowler, but he could have a ten-year career.
Projection: 3rd round to Chargers

David Molk, C
Molk is 6'0 7/8", 298 lbs. and ran a 5.2 forty.  The general knock on Molk is that he's not very big, which is true.  He is very quick, though, and excelled in the zone blocking system run by Rich Rodriguez from 2008-2010.  Molk looks like an NFL backup, but one of the problems with him will be that he doesn't offer any position flexibility - he's a center and that's it.  Lots of teams like their backup centers to be able to be plugged in at guard, too.  I doubt anyone's going to hand Molk a starting center job, but he could be brought in as the heir apparent to a veteran center or to work in for a zone running team.
Projection: 5th round to Texans

Junior Hemingway, WR
Hemingway is 6'0 7/8", 225 lbs., and ran a 4.51 forty yard dash at the NFL Combine, which is much faster than I expected him to run.  Hemingway doesn't play that fast, and his real strength seems to be the timing on his jump balls and his ability to outmuscle opposing receivers.  For a receiver with just average height, 225 lbs. is a lot.  Hemingway struggled with staying healthy early in his career, and his inability to get separation consistently limit him to being a possession receiver at the next level.
Projection: 6th round to Bears

Ryan Van Bergen, DE
Van Bergen is a 6'4 1/2", 290 lb. defensive end with a 4.99 forty.  He's a high character guy who has a little bit of surprising athleticism.  He lacks the pass rush abilities to make a star-level impact at the next level, but he could be an Aaron Smith-like defensive end for a 3-4 team or a left/strongside end for a 4-3 team.  I think he might be able to play for five or six years, but his ceiling is probably a journeyman type of career.
Projection: Undrafted

Kevin Koger, TE
Koger measured in at 6'3 3/4" and 253 lbs. with a 4.8 forty.  He was borderline draftable before hurting his Achilles, so I sincerely doubt whether he'll get picked.  Koger has decent size and speed, but he's not a particularly good runner after the catch and his hands are a bit shaky.  He might be able to be a second or third tight end for someone, but I don't think he'll ever be a starter.
Projection: Undrafted

Other undrafted players: WR Kelvin Grady, OT Mark Huyge, WR Martavious Odoms, RB Michael Shaw, CB Troy Woolfolk


  1. Jerel Worthy is listed as 1 inch taller, 3 lbs heavier, and his arms are 0.8 inches longer than Martin's. Yet no one says Worthy is undersized, and he's projected to be a first or early second round pick. Can you help me understand what the difference between the two is?

    1. I don't know that there is a difference. Worthy made some nice plays this year, but his numbers weren't overwhelming (30 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks). I will say that Mike Martin's size is a very negative factor. He's under 6'1" and that's got to be a red flag. He's also not particularly heavy. If you gave me the choice between Martin and Worthy, I'd pick Martin...but I wouldn't pick either in the 1st round or early 2nd.

    2. I'm not sure I believe that Worthy is only 3 pounds heavier than Martin. Guy looks like he's toting around a little more than that.

  2. @ Magnus and David:

    Martin is not under 6'1". He came in a just over 6'1" at the senior bowl and combine. And he weighed in at 306 to Worthy's 308, so yes, whether you believe it or not, that's the actual figure.

    1. You're right. I meant "about" 6'1", as is mentioned in the above piece.

  3. Bold predictions there. Recent history suggests that only the San Diego Chargers draft Michigan players.

    My predictions:
    Martin to Chargers in 3rd Round
    Molk to Chargers in 5th Round
    Hemingway to Chargers in 7th Round
    Koger to Chargers in 7th Round
    RVB undrafted, but receives a free agent offer to try out with the Chargers

    1. Ha ha, Go Chargers! BTW, Schilling mentioned on twitter awhile back that he was/is practicing at center and may be moving there next year.