Worst three years ever!
Is that headline sufficiently catchy?
Yesterday I decided to view the past three years -- and more -- through the NFL draft. CBS Sportsline has data back to 1967, so we can look at Elliot through Carr. (None of RichRod's guys have reached the draft stage.) I found that the number of picks for the most recent three-year stretch ('09 to '11, covering the '08 to '10 seasons), seven, is the lowest since the one ending in 1986, when there were six. Only one other interval (interestingly, the one concluding in 1985) is worse (five picks). The one ending in 1970 also had seven.
Considering only high (rounds one to three) draftees, the last three years look even worse. There were two high picks (Graham in 1st round, Mouton in 2nd round). This has never happened in the "modern" (Bo and beyond) era. The other low points, by that measure, were three straight (ones ending in the years '89, '90, and '91) series around the Bo-to-Mo transition and a couple in the '70s.
Here are the details: https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0AkEbjH02DNzxdG9LN2V...
Next to the first draftee for each year you'll see four columns: * Total number of picks for that year. * Total number of picks for that year and the two prior years. * Total number of "high" picks for that year. * Total number of "high" picks for that year and the two prior years.
Old-timers (and everyone else), be sure to look at the high-pick numbers for the three-year intervals ending from '72 to '74. By the measure of the NFL draft (which, as I'll note later, had fewer spots back then), those were some insanely talented teams. Recruiting was arguably never better. It's worth noting that Bump Elliot should get a good chunk of the credit, since his last class would have finished in '73. Let's hope that Brady can do something similar. He's off to a good start.
Feel free to blame Rodriguez (lousy player development and retention) / Carr (cupboard management) / both for the last three years, depending on your preference. I'll step aside for the moment. :)
Note: Since the draft is currently seven rounds, I ignored all picks past that round in old drafts. I did not account for expansion (Bucs and Seahawks in the mid-'70s, Panthers and Jags sometime after that), so the numbers from (say) the early '70s, which are already impressive, should be considered in that light. (Being drafted in the first round with fewer teams is a rarer achievement.)
In SI's preview of today's game, Junior Hemingway is Michigan's featured pro prospect:
Notably, none of the graduating seniors were chosen for that spot.
I'm a big fan of Hemingway and I think he's done a great job this year, but I see him as more Avant than Edwards, if that makes sense. I haven't seen the "speed to stretch the field" part and it's hard to imagine him being a #1 receiver. I won't be surprised if he has a pro career, though.
Happy DAC (day after Christmas), MGoBlog readers. Most of you are probably quite familiar with Ryan Mallet, who may or may not have been *run off* by Coach Rodriguez. Here's an interesting take by The Sporting News on his play this year:
Later in the article you'll see some material on Mississippi State's Derek Sherrod, whom we'll see in a few days.
There are a few Big Ten players in their "Fab 40." I noticed Adrian Clayborn is still well-regarded. Wasn't he neutralized by Taylor Lewan for most of that game? My memory might be spotty.
SI's Tony Pauline on Michigan's NFL prospects:
That sounds great for Mouton and is in line with earlier reports from this year.
I thought this was off-base: "Schilling made an immediate impact as a freshman when he started at right tackle for the Wolverines." He made an impact, I guess, but it wasn't necessarily a good one. I think he's benefitted a lot from the coaching change.
Oh, and here's a snippet from the Eric Gordon review that must warm the hearts of all the Dantonio-loving, Family Values types (some of whom are Michigan fans and RichRod haters): "... brings his lunch pail to every game ..." Man, I sure wish *we* had some guys like that (instead of dreadlocked hoodlums).
So, we all know how awesome Butch Davis was at Miami, pumping out 1st rounder after 1st rounder.
Well, he's doing it again at UNC.
Based on ESPN, here are some draft projections:
Robert Quinn - 4stars (5.8)
Deunta Williams - 4stars (5.8)
Bruce Carter - 3 stars (5.6)
Marvin Austin - 5stars (6.1)
Greg Little - 4stars (5.9)
Quan Sturdivant - 3stars (5.5)
Kenric Burney - 3stars (5.3)
3RD DAY OF DRAFT
Charles Brown - 2stars (5.4)
Ryan Houston - 3 stars (5.7)
Zach Pianalto - 3stars (5.6)
Brandon Tate - 2stars (5.3) - drafted 3rd round
Hakeem Nicks - 4stars (5.8) - drafted 1st round
The remarkable thing is that he's done it for the most part with lightly regarded HS prospects. If I remember correctly, it was a similar situation at Miami. Is there any other coach that seems to spot and develop talent better than Butch Davis?
I read an article about Graham today. I thought about the current roster, and realized it might be a while before we produce another high draft pick.
Who do you think is the next M player to crack the top three rounds?
My guess: "With the 43rd pick in the 2013 NFL draft, the Atlanta Falcons select Taylor Lewan, tackle, University of Michigan."