"I love it that Ivy League coaches are coming to our camp and Big Ten coaches are coming to our camp. South Florida is coming. We've got about 70 schools that are coming to our camp."
Ryan Van Bergen
Since it's a bye week, I had some time to post a summary of Michigan's attempts to reel in defensive ends in the 2007 class. Michigan scored with Ryan Van Bergen, who turned into a pretty solid player. They missed out on some other high-quality players who ended up hurting us on the field a little bit. I see some people crediting Rich Rodriguez recruits for Brady Hoke's 11-2 season in 2011, but it's important to remember (in that argument) that guys like Van Bergen were Lloyd Carr recruits. This was Carr's last full class before the Carr/Rodriguez combination that signed in February 2008.
Per his twitter
Draft Day! Woo-hoo! Time to make your predictions for where our beloved recently departed Wolverine heroes will be selected (round and team). Very unlikely any of our guys get selected in the first round tonight, but I figured might as well get the thread up now.
Here are my best guesses:
I will be shocked if Hulk Smash lasts beyond the 3rd round -- there must be at least a handful of teams who've fallen in love with his motor and measurables (and a Greg Mattison thumbs-up) and who will be willing to spend a third-rounder on him. A lot of mocks have him going to the Bears at #79, which sounds plausible. I could also see Cincinnati taking him at 83 -- he'd be a good fit in Mike Zimmer's 4-3. Saints at #89 is also a possibility. Denver at 87 or 108 (mid-4th round) could also use a 4-3 DT.
Someone's going to get a steal with Molk, because he'll drop due to his size -- he'll only fit a zone-based running scheme, and he's not big enough to backup at guard in a pinch.
Tennessee runs a zone-blocking scheme and needs a center -- Molk's a good fit for them at #155 in the 5th round. Green Bay is also a great fit at #163 -- they signed Jeff Saturday to replace Scott Wells, but Saturday's 36 and he could groom Molk as his eventual replacement. The Colts could also pick him up at the end of the round (#170) to replace Saturday.
His combine performance probably boosted him from a fringe late-round pick or UDFA into a mid-rounder. Still, this is a deep draft at WR, so I think Junior goes in the 5th at best, more likely the 6th -- New Orleans at #179 or Carolina at #180.
Ryan Van Bergen
RVB's probably a borderline 7th round/UDFA-type, but I can see a 3-4 team looking for depth at the 5-tech DE spot taking a flyer on him late in the 7th round -- perhaps Pittsburgh, which has a ton of picks at the end of that round. San Diego's also a possibility there at #250, or Arizona at #221.
I would've had Kevin Koger as a late (6-7th round) pick before the Achilles surgery.
Undrafted free agents who will at least get a shot at a camp:
All right, have at it everyone.
BRAND NEW CHARLIE
When we last left our story, Charlie Blockham awoke to the sounds of
his mother telling him to get ready for school. She also pointed out his hair,
which has grown to monumental proportions in the two months since the
strip has began. What's a full-headed boy to do?
(Click the image to view full size)
I'm very proud to announce that we're doing something very different and
special this week over at the Blockhams.com and @TheBlockhams on Twitter,
affectionately and not-so-eloquently titled...
That's right-- The Blockhams Goes Temporarily Daily!!
For one week only we'll be honoring the hair and style of Ryan Van Bergen and others with AN ENTIRE WEEK OF BLOCKHAMS STRIPS!! The young Blockham has embraced his new identity and the changes that have arrived with it... but what will happen when the new and imrpoved Charlie takes the act to East Pneumonia Elementary???
Join Michigan's only illustrated family as they explore the follicular exploits of Team 132 and beyond! Visit www.theblockhams.com every day to follow the story and celebrate the phenomenon known throughout Schembechler Hall as #Flow.
THE BLOCKHAMS™ runs every Tuesday here at MGoBlog, and at least every
Thursday on its official home page. Also, don't forget to check out our newest
feature, Friday Roughs, a spontaneous low-end comic based on trending
Michigan events, available on Twitter and Facebook every Friday.
Follow THE BLOCKHAMS™ on Twitter at @theblockhams.
And do not forget to LIKE THE BLOCKHAMS™ on Facebook at www.facebook.com/theblockhams. Hurry up, because new exclusive
Blockhams content is coming to Facebook and ONLY Facebook-- Visit now!
Finally, follow the one and only Ryan Van Bergen on Twitter at @VanBergen53.
*programming note, got busy during the holidays, sorry if anyone was looking for scouting reports. Things have slowed down now, so expect a Nebraska game wrap next week, or the week after, depending on if I feel like writing anything about the SEC non-championship exhibition game.
Winners find a way to win.
It started as a joke, but now no one can deny the awesome power that is Brady Hoke's magical golden poop. Everything he touches turns into roses. When he walks through a forest, flowers bloom in his wake. Youtube is sadly lacking in good golden poop videos, so a unicorn farting rainbows of destruction was the best I could find. I hope it's not too disturbing.
Our ND friends gave us the wonderfully self-fulfilling cliche' "Winners find a way to win, losers find a way to lose." But we'll just focus on the first half of that, and they can focus on the 2nd half, thank you very much.
Was Brady Hoke lucky that Tressel was caught lying? Maybe. Maybe he pulled a Peter Wiggin and dropped a few well placed emails. Was it luck when we fumbled on the 1 yard line against ND and Denard scooped and scored a walk in? Maybe. Maybe Hoke used his secret telekinesis.
I don't know, I don't care. At this point I'm just happy to be along for the ride.
But how else can you explain what happened?
How does a sure INT on a fake FG where no receivers went into pass patterns end up in the arms of the long snapper for a first down? How does what looks like a TD to 80% of the twitterverse get reversed in OT? How have all the great things that have happened this year happen to one team, in one year? It boggles the mind.
They say you make your own luck. They say that "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." But whether it's luck, or karmic retribution, or a secret plot by an undercover invisible agency from the future, it can't be sustained at this high of a level. So let's just enjoy it while we can.
On to the pics.
Al. Al? ALLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!
This week's love-hate relationship status with Al Borges is .... .... Love? That's odd, because during the game there were times when the needle was strongly tilted towards hate. But after a second look at the game film, the final analysis, just like the outcome of the game, is slightly positive.
Much like the Iowa game, the lack of production on offense wasn't really his fault so much as it was a combination of a lack of execution, personnel limitations, and a darn good defense.
Oh sure, there's plenty of things he could have done better and a few stinkers that make you want to pull out your hair... hmmm....nevermind. And I'll get to those in a moment, but overall, we did what we've done all year. And many of the plays should have worked.
I mean, Molk getting injured and having this
happen on two consecutive plays to kill the first drive can't really be blamed on Al. Maybe it would have been better to go under center with the backup playing, but after we've been crying all year for more shotgun, you can understand why he didn't. Luckily Molk came back in, but wasn't at 100% which probably put a dent in our selection of play calls.
And give VT credit. They played a lot of Man-Free forcing Denard to make tough passes to the outside, which frankly, we all know is not his comfort zone.
Yes, the manball mentality is frustrating especially when VT is putting 9 men in the box.
(It's 8 because Denard going backwards is not a threat to run.) But it's there to setup big plays.
With both safeties up like this, the thing you have to do is make them pay for it.
But with two defenders beating their blockers, Denard has pressure right up in his face resulting in this jump pass.
It's not Al's fault that Denard threw to the wrong guy. Roundtree had a step on his man and Jr. was getting interfered with. Despite the interception, you can't argue that it wasn't the right play call.
[ED: More after the jump.]
I'm curious what the board thinks of some of our seniors' draft potential, but specifically RVB. I know it seems that Molk is highly rated, even though he is a little undersized, and Martin is a beast, although a bit on the small side for a DT as well. But what about Van Bergen? I feel like he could be a very solid NFL defensive lineman. He's got the size (6'6", 288), I think it's apparent he's got the smarts (as evidenced by him talking about the decisions he and Mike make on the field), yet CBS Sports has him ranked as the #25 DE in this class (LINK). I'm just curious why. Compared to other, more highly-rated prospects on their list, he's definitely not under-sized. His 40-time is a little slower than some of the fastest guys there, but those guys don't have the size that he does, and does one-tenth of a second really make that much of a difference? I haven't read a scouting report on him, so I don't know much more than what I've observed the last few years, but I feel like he could be a Kyle Vanden Bosch-type defensive end (and not just because they both have Van in their last name). What say the rest of you?