|Craig Roh (#88)|
Weight: 281 lbs.
High school: Scottsdale (AZ) Chaparral
Position: Defensive end
Jersey number: #88
Last year: I ranked Roh #17 and said he would have 50 tackles and 6 sacks. He had 32 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, and 1 forced fumble.
It's a little hard to believe for a kid like Roh, but indications last year seemed to be that he struggled to buy in to what the new coaching staff was teaching him. He was reverting back to old (a.k.a. bad) habits, which is somewhat understandable for a guy who had played outside linebacker in a 4-3 and then outside linebacker in a 3-3-5 stack and then defensive end in a 3-3-5 stack and then weakside defensive end in a 4-3. In his first three seasons at Michigan, he played four positions. He had an up-and-down season last year, disappearing for stretches and playing solidly at times. He was never the elite talent that he appeared to be coming out of high school, but he wasn't bad, either. He looked like just an average Big Ten starter. Michigan fans keep waiting for these elite high school weakside ends to turn into elite college players, and it just doesn't seem to happen.
Now make it five positions in four years. Roh has moved to strongside end to replace the departed Ryan Van Bergen. He has apparently reached the 280 lb. mark, which is a step in the right direction. For the most part, Roh has been known as a technique guy - despite his early struggles last season - and should be able to hold his own with even adequate weight. As a high effort player, he shouldn't be a liability. Strongside ends often have to take on double-teams from tight ends and tackles, and they're the guys opposing teams will run at most often. Roh will be solid again in 2012 and pick up where Van Bergen left off, but the lack of a Mike Martin in the middle will hurt his production.
Prediction: Starting strongside end; 40 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks
Poll results: Roh won 61% of the vote for the #6 spot on the countdown.