don't fade unless you have Jeremy Gallon [Eric Upchurch]
Sponsor note. If you've got a business that needs creating or safeguarding or shepherding, Richard Hoeg will make you contracts and get you registered and generally set you on the path to being the world's first atomic sled tycoon. What's an atomic sled? I don't know! It's your idea. Need to work on your elevator speech, because I got nothin'.
Hoeg Law: when you figure out what an atomic sled is. We are good at ads.
The goal line fade! Don't do it. Data from NFL two-point conversions:
Coaches! Check out my article on two-point conversions. I recorded every 2-point conversion attempt from the past 7 NFL seasons and did a statistical analysis on the success rates of the different play calls.https://t.co/DmRIty477Fpic.twitter.com/N994fxn253
Also intriguing that every color commentator's favorite option—the rollout pass—is the second-worst decision. Probably because everyone in the world thinks it's a good decision.
Slot corner. The Athletic engages Mike Renner of PFF to detail Michigan's 2019 NFL draft prospects. Many of the same stats you've seen on PFF's tweets—David Long's silly numbers, Chase Winovich's general relentlessness—feature but the most interesting new bit is a negative one on Tyree Kinnel. Not a surprising one, really:
Kinnel was a full-time safety for Michigan who also covered the slot at times. In the NFL and in college, he projects much better to the former. On 91 snaps covering the slot, he allowed 208 yards and a passer rating of 110.7. As a deep safety, he looked much more comfortable.
It is my contention that opposition WRs caught more than their fair share of heavily contested balls against Kinnel a year ago and that even if he's the same player that should be less of an issue this year. But if they've got three really good corners they should probably put one on the slot whenever the opposition has a passing down.
Some good news from the article is that PFF doesn't think Hudson has an NFL position right now and Lavert Hill isn't a slam dunk early entry guy, so Michigan could get them back next year.
Carton's previously said he intends to take trips to all of his six finalists before deciding in late summer, so this is not a commit watch situation. Still, given his stated decision criteria...
“The most significant factors in the choice are just… getting me to my future,” he said. “Who can develop me the most (to) become NBA ready, winning, and just the relationships. I want a team that I can call my brothers and stuff like that… that I can go back in like 60 years from now and still know those guys and still talk to them. So, I want my team to feel family-like, and get me to my dream.”
...and Michigan's unmatched ability to put recruits ranked significantly lower than Carton into the NBA, Beilein and company have to feel pretty good here. Also of note: Carton credits Yaklich for initiating his relationship with him while he was at Illinois State; Yaklich is also Jalen Wilson's primary recruiter. Pay that man his money.
ESPN has scouts that avoided the axe. At least in basketball. ESPN's released a new 2019 top 100 featuring Carton at #28; their accompanying article mentions him and a couple other targets. Carton is one of the "fastest risers":
Carton didn't make the final cut of USA Basketball U-18 national team, but he nonetheless opened eyes over the first four days of trials. That, followed by a solid showing at the NBPA Top 100 Camp, helped him go from unranked to top 30.
The southpaw lead guard plays at multiple speeds and navigates well in ball screens by creating separation between defenders. He is a high assist maker both in the open floor with the advance pass or in tight spaces as he reads the defense.
Potential 2020 one-and-done RJ Hampton, Jalen Wilson's best bro, is super super highly touted:
R.J. Hampton, No. 3 in 2020
PG, 6-4, 180, Little Elm (Texas)
Hampton is a big point guard with speed and scoring ability. He is more comfortable putting points on the board at this stage in his development, but he continues to show the vision and the ability to read the game.
The NBA covets big point guards and Hampton checks a ton of boxes. Strength and a consistent jump shot are what he needs most.
Camp Sanderson and John Beilein SEEM LIKE A GOOD IDEA SIR. FWIW, Michigan is in on #3 Cole Anthony (sort of) and #4 Jaden McDaniels, though those guys are in a stratosphere Michigan's recruiting rarely touches. Jalen Wilson is #68.
Also I have just discovered that Fran McCaffrey's kid Patrick is #50. Naturally, he is a 6'9" guy.
HOEG. Richard Hoeg does small business law. Need to incorporate? Need some contracts? Need to talk about Star Control? Richard will do all three, and only charge you for the first two.
Anyway, Star Control. Star Control was a mindblowing video game because stuff happened in it and if you took too long you could lose the game as your allies fell to the great galactic menace. Losing is fun.
Having a bad contract and either getting sued or having to settle on unfavorable terms is not fun, and Richard Hoeg can help craft contracts for you that will avoid this eventuality. Police horses!
Tiller-era in more ways than one. This twitter bomb(!) from one of Purdue's recruiting yokels is frankly baffling:
Why pick a fight with a program that held you to 15 yards in the second half last year? Why get mad about Michigan getting recruits? You're at Purdue! With limited exceptions for legacies and locals the number of bonafide recruiting battles you're winning against Michigan—against, hell, most of the Big Ten, is zero. Also Purdue's leading receiver averaged 3.6 catches a game.
I feel like this guy bought a Big Dogs shirt for the first time and was overwhelmed by it while near his phone, and he'll return to a mild-mannered citizen tomorrow when he puts his Ron Jon back on. It happens. It's good, really. It's fun when Purdue has a bunch of ornery passing maniacs who talk shit and bend rules.
[After THE JUMP: a bunch of stuff! And porpoises!]
Items. Isaiah Hole has launched a new Michigan site called Wolverines Wire, and has started off with some insider takes on the team. Another walk-on WR is making a name for himself:
While we’re told that second-year WRs Donovan Peoples-Jones and Tarik Black have continued their impressive ascent from a year ago, a name we keep hearing come up is a fellow second-year receiver from Solon(OH): walk-on Jake McCurry.
One source told WolverinesWire that McCurry’s ascent has been notable across the entire team.
That take was endorsed by various Michigan players on Twitter, which is unusual. McCurry probably isn't going to have much opportunity what with Black and DPJ and Grant Perry looking set as the top options at each of the three starting slots, plus a reasonable amount of highly-rated depth. But he could get some run.
You'll never compete with Alabama until you start looking like Alabama. Michigan's new strength staff has them headed in that direction. Karan Higdon 2017 vs. 2018 pic.twitter.com/TDKHbPi6Qg
Hurst has been more than a pleasant surprise for Oakland in that he is running with the first-team defense in its 4-3 base at left defensive tackle (last year's starter, Eddie Vanderdoes, is rehabbing from a torn ACL) and has starred in the offseason. Beating All-Pro Kelechi Osemele when he flipped sides not only opened the eyes of the coaches, but also got the attention of Osemele, who gave the rookie the, ahem, business. -- Paul Gutierrez
Gonna be a lot more embarrassed NFL guards in the near future. His DC:
The 6-2, 290-pounder is a perfect fit for Guenther’s 4-3 defense that relies heavily on defensive lineman to create pressure without blitzing. His skill set is comparable to six-time Pro Bowler Geno Atkins, who saw some of his most productive seasons under Guenther when he was the Bengals defensive coordinator from 2014-2017.
“He has great off,” added Guenther. “The three-technique is the penetrator of our defense. He does a great job with that. He’s going to have to learn big man’s game a little bit where you don’t get the double teams as much in college. You’re going to get a lot more of that in the NFL. Then obviously in the pass rush. He’s slippery in the pass rush. He has good side to side movement. He’s a powerful guy.”
Hopefully Hurst becomes infamous as the second-worst scouted NFL draft pick in Michigan history.
[After THE JUMP: the trolliest NBA career, hockey rule changes, and hockey scouting.]
Dives. Washtenaw County dive bars surveyed. Self-recommending header picture is above. Also:
It turned out that the day that worked best for us to embark on the trip was a random Tuesday at the end of May. “Are dive bars open on Tuesdays?” I texted my friend. “They are if they want to be considered BEST OF WASHTENAW COUNTY,” he responded.
The penguin is in Saline, FWIW.
I guess this is all but official? We've been waiting for an official confirmation, or at least more than one person reporting, on this for a while now:
Jim Harbaugh referenced 2 players leaving Michigan yesterday...I’m told that internet speculation is true: Kareem Walker & Kekoa Crawford are transferring.
As a result we haven't talked about a piece of news since we were waiting to post their respective Exits. /shakes fist at transfer gray areas
Assuming this turns out to be true—and given the way Harbaugh has talked about the RB and WR groups since spring it's almost certainly true—that's two highly ranked guys out the door. Crawford's departure is probably the result of a plunge down the depth chart that saw him omitted from any spring discussion; that plunge down the depth chart is not a surprise given his flatly terrible play in 2017.
Walker flashed promise as a Brandon Minor-esque rage back in limited carries last year and would be an unfortunate loss. He'd publicly struggled with the transition to Michigan but seemed to get things on track last year; it would be really disappointing if he couldn't manage it, and Michigan could help him enough to do so.
Neither departure is likely to have much impact on the field this year; Michigan returns its top two backs and every WR outside of Crawford. Walker's presumed absence could bite next year.
FWIW, I wouldn't start getting worried about O'Maury Samuels yet. Harbaugh's mention of Tru Wilson as the #3 guy on the depth chart was immediately followed by a Samuels mention and a reference to his hamstring holding him back this spring. Meeanwhile, the WRs:
"I feel like our wide receivers have come along," Harbaugh told reporters during the 'Best of the Midwest' event. "Coach Mac has done a great job coaching them. Tarik, Donovan have probably done the best job of anybody in spring practice. Nate Schoenle, Oliver Martin, Nico Collins also did extremely well. Nico was slowed a little bit by a shoulder. Was going for a ball when we were working with pads and hurt his shoulder. He fought through that. I think he's got some real good upside. Those four guys there probably had the best spring."
Those four guys are actually five guys and Crawford is not amongst them. The lines are not hard to read between.
Unfortunately, a miss. ALSO JACK HUGHES?! Oliver Wahlstrom will play at BC next year. Michigan is still waiting on Jack Hughes, who everyone says will either play at the NTDP next year or accelerate like Zach Werenski. Mike Spath just said today on Inside the Huddle that Hughes hasn't made a decision yet, but: "there's a very strong likelihood" that he accelerates and that he's "in position to do so."
Per Spath, the potential catch is that if Quinn Hughes gets drafted and decides to sign, a major motivation for Jack to accelerate goes away. The upshot: "if Quinn and the family decide to come back for one more year at Michigan, look for Jack to join him."
Zach Shaw suggests you'd prefer the Rangers or Red Wings grab Hughes, then.
The Big Ten hockey schedule is bad again. Prepare for another year with the vast majority of Michigan hockey's home games in the fall semester, when everything is happening. The Big Ten schedule features just four home games after the break:
2018-19 Michigan B1G Schedule Nov. 9-10 -- Notre Dame Nov. 16-17 -- at Penn State Nov. 23-24 -- Wisconsin Nov. 30 -- at Michigan State Dec. 1 -- Michigan State Dec. 7-8 -- Minnesota Jan. 4-5, 2019 -- at Notre Dame Jan. 11-12 -- at Ohio State Jan. 24 -- Penn State Jan. 26 -- Penn State (Super Saturday, New York, N.Y.) Feb. 1-2 -- at Minnesota Feb. 8 -- Michigan State Feb. 9 -- vs. Michigan State (site TBA) Feb. 22-23 -- Ohio State March 1-2 -- at Wisconsin
Notable bad things: two(!) bye weeks, the Notre Dame series are not home-and-homes, and Michigan is shipping a Penn State game to NYC. The latter is payback for PSU doing the same thing. While it's slightly annoying for season ticket holders at least 1) the AD didn't announce this after season tickets were due, 2) after asserting a price cut that moving the MSU game actually turned into a price increase, and 3) to play in front of nobody in an outdoor game in Chicago. Announced attendance at the first game was almost 14k.
Hopefully Michigan can fill in those blank spots with nonconference home dates, but even then those are more likely to be Arizona State-ish teams than actually compelling games.
Also of interest: the Michigan State game that is traditionally at the Joe is now listed as TBA. The new version of the JLA might be too crowded to accommodate them? If so they should probably just move those games back to campus. There's no other arena worth having an MSU-M game in.
According to WTKA’s Michael Spath, the Michigan hockey team will return its game to the great outdoors this winter, as the Wolverines are slated to face off against Notre Dame at the Fighting Irish’s football stadium as part of the festivities surrounding the 2019 NHL Winter Classic.
The main event, which will pit the Chicago Blackhawks against the Boston Bruins at Notre Dame Stadium for the 11th installment of the event, will take place Jan. 1, 2019. While official details for Michigan’s game have yet to be announced, a source indicated to WTKA’s Inside The Huddle that the game is set to take place Jan. 5, one week after the Wolverines’ annual participation in the Great Lakes Invitational in downtown Detroit.
My tolerance for outdoor games has about bottomed out but this one passes muster. It'll be jam-packed. Hopefully the appeal of that outdoor game is an incentive to return for Quinn and attend for Jack.
“Really just trying to wear all my options out,” Matthews said while attending a workout with the Denver Nuggets this week. “Basically go through all of the workouts that I have scheduled and just reconcile with my family and do what we feel is best. …
“It has been really good, especially if I do come back to school,” Matthews said. “Get some good experience to know what this process is like. If I choose to stay in, raise my confidence overall.”
Should he keep his name in the draft, experts don't think his name will be called on June 21. ESPN's Jonathan Givony projects Matthews as a late first-round pick in next year's draft, as does NBAdraft.net. Givony does not list Matthews among his top 100 prospects at this time.
Last year, 137 college underclassmen declared for the draft, many without signing an agent. Eighty-four of them were not invited to the combine. Only four of the non-invitees kept their name in the draft; none were selected.
So you return unless you can't go back to school because of your academics or are staring down the prospect of getting 15 minutes a game because Tom Izzo's got his eye on a walk-on. I'd imagine Matthews returns for a final year, a la Moe.
LET'S GOOOOOOO. Our long national nightmare is finally, finally, finally over:
BREAKING: Jim Connor, who spent the past several years playing football fanatic Larry Culpepper in Dr. Pepper commercials, has told me that the company will not feature Culpepper in commercials going forward. Connor says the decision “Rocked my world” and was “An incredible gig.” pic.twitter.com/an0DJBKO0w
The Nets don't have much in the way of shooting in the frontcourt and aren't really committed to any 4s or 5s long term besides promising rookie Jarrett Allen and the dead-weight contract of Timofey Mozgov.
Wagner brings floor spacing and a high-energy style of play. He was one of the breakout players of March, leading Michigan to a Big Ten title and a surprise run to the NCAA championship game.
The Raptors have traded that pick to the Nets, so that would mean Caris Levert, Nik Stauskas, and Wagner were all… uh… Nets. Since mock drafts are deadly accurate, NY-based Michigan grads should buy their season tickets now.
This is not a layup-focused point guard. IA PG DJ Carton's latest highlight video is mostly nasty contested dunks.
I preferred our previous ignorance about Crisler's scorer, because back in those innocent days I could point out that Michigan's defensive renassaince was in no small part because they were elite at forcing non-rim twos. Now I can only suspect that. Now I know that some part of that is a home scorer who thinks only uncontested dunks or layups are "at the rim."
One of the more telling sequences from Amazon’s behind-the-scenes look at Michigan’s 2017 season came during the Wolverines’ 42–13 loss at Penn State. After another failed drive, Michigan quarterback John O’Korn came to the sideline. “No blocking,” O’Korn told Harbaugh. “There’s no blocking.”
Andy Staples inserts that into a piece about Shea Patterson's attempt to save Michigan's offense. I do have an issue with Staples citing raw yards per carry numbers from Michigan's less successful outings on the ground:
Last season, they averaged 2.6 yards a carry against Michigan State, 2.5 yards a carry against Penn State, 1.5 yards a carry against Wisconsin, 2.8 yards a carry against Ohio State and 2.2 yards a carry against South Carolina. That places even more pressure on the quarterback, figuratively (because he’s expected to do it all) and literally (because blocking poorly leads to large humans in the quarterback’s face and the lack of a run game means defenses can dedicate more bodies to covering potential targets).
Once you move sacks to the correct bin, Michigan averaged 3.9, 4.3, 2.2, 4.6, and 2.9 YPC in those games, which is not good but is a considerably more accurate evaluation than sack-included numbers for the #117 pass pro team in the country.
Another thing to note on this one is the safety who eventually tackled Evans: he is rotated back by the motion and spends a second or two reading the play out before barreling downfield. That makes for a good gain instead of good blocks and three yards. The difference between that nine yard gain and this three yard one is evident:
PSU safety to top of screen
PSU also got a DT out there on a stunt, but that's just a thing that happened. It's not a trend. The trend is the safeties firing at Michigan's ground game with impunity. PSU's safety froze on the first one because he didn't know what he was looking at. Once he saw the play once he was able to fire because nobody cares about Michigan's passing game. That's a version of what happened to early Rodriguez offenses where the new stuff would work for a bit and then when the defense had seen it they curled up and died, because they could only do one thing.
Michigan's lack of a passing game stifled their run game, not vice versa. Patterson's worst case scenario is a thousand times better than what Michigan got from the spot a year ago. It'll all go to hell if Michigan can't pass protect better, but Patterson really does solve a swath of Michigan's issues just by being a proven P5 quarteback.
Speaking of. If you can stomach it, James Light highlighted a couple of Michigan's many, many missed opportnities against Ohio State:
Patterson certainly would have won that game, for one.
Can anyone catch up? A Jalen Wilson post-visit interview($) is mostly unrevealing, but he does omit UCLA as a contender and say he's going to commit before his school year starts. Wilson's visit generated a big Michigan run on the crystal ball, with both Steve Lorenz and Josh Henschke joining various others.
Wilson has as-of-yet unscheduled visits he wants to take to Baylor, Marquette, Oklahoma State, and Kansas. Hopefully those remain vague.
Pitino flips! In the media! The Washington Post has an extensive story on new IU recruit Romeo Langford's college decision featuring one Rick Pitino:
In January 2017, Pitino said, two Adidas officials met with him to discuss their efforts to keep Nike and Under Armour from landing Langford, whom Pitino was recruiting. Pitino’s account was supported by text messages he shared with The Washington Post for a previous story.
“The way they phrased it, it was [whichever shoe company] was going to pay the dad’s AAU program the most money, gets it,” Pitino said in a recent phone interview. A few days later, Adidas’s league added a new team: Twenty Two Vision, featuring Romeo Langford on the court and Tim Langford as team director. Shoe company sponsorships can reach $100,000 to $150,000, and team directors who limit expenses can pay themselves salaries from those amounts.
“That’s the way that world works,” Pitino said. “Which is completely legal, by the way.”
This space is in full heighten the contradictions mode about college basketball and welcomes any and all revelations about how ineffectual the NCAA's attempts to prevent money from flowing to folks with marketable skills are. A pissed-off Rick Pitino napalming everyone he can in the Washington Post is a boon for everyone.
This is the kind of stuff I can't see from the broadcast angle. One caveat: pretty sure that's Rutgers providing the opposition. Michigan had almost as many sacks (5) as Rutgers had completions (8) in that game, thus allowing things like "deep centerfield safety gets his nose on a ballcarrier at the line of scrimmage."
I would not trade John Beilein for anyone. Brad Stevens makes you think, though.
WELCOME YOUR NEW GOD GAMBLOR. The Supreme Court struck down a federal ban on sports gambling, thus paving the way for every state hard up for a little cash to legalize and regulate the wildly popular activity. (Probably: Richard Hoeg has more law-talking details.) And if college athletic departments have their hand out…
Source: Tentative agreement in West Virginia would give WVU and Marshall a cut of sports betting. Would be first two NCAA programs with such an arrangement.
"If this is legalized, what the ADs said is that we'll have to spend more money on compliance and we're going to have increased risk," McMillen told ESPN in a Thursday phone interview. "What was shown, at schools with regulated [sports betting] markets -- Nevada, UNLV -- they spend considerably more on compliance, because it's more open, more transparent, more in your face than the other schools where it's illegal. The fact of the matter is that the onus is going to fall on Marshall and West Virginia."
Those compliance departments have to send out way more than one tweet in March about not joining an NCAA pool? They have to have a workshop about how gambling on sports is bad if you play sports? I'm not sure what the big expense is.
"We believe that students ought to be able to benefit from name, image and likeness but you can’t decide a program until you know the legal parameters,” Rice told USA TODAY Sports. “That was the point. I think some of the commentary suggested that we didn’t really speak on this issue. I think we did speak on this issue, it’s just that we understand there’s a legal framework that has to be developed first.”
Rice said she thought the commission’s report was “pretty clear” in its support of athletes being able to cash in once the various legal issues are resolved. But she maintains that the NCAA cannot do this while a pair of ongoing cases are pending.
"I think people may have looked at the fact that we said there's a legal framework to be developed and said, 'Oh, well, maybe they're punting on this.' Nobody was intending to punt on it."
As something that costs the NCAA nothing, has broad public support, cuts down on a bunch of self-contradictory rulings, and would pave the way for the return of NCAA Football, restoring NIL rights to college athletes is an obvious slam dunk. It thus has a 37% chance of actually happening.
We don’t yet know the order in which the freshmen of 2017-18 will be selected, of course, but, by Jonathan Givony’s lights, we may be due for a similar evaluative echo next month on draft night.
RSCI 2017 Projection 2018
Marvin Bagley III 1 3
Michael Porter, Jr. 2 8
Deandre Ayton 3 1
Mohamed Bamba 4 5
Trevon Duval 5 45
Collin Sexton 6 9
Wendell Carter, Jr. 7 7
Mitchell Robinson 8 22
Jaren Jackson, Jr. 9 4
Kevin Knox 10 15
Yes, Duval stands out, and, sure, projected No. 6 pick Trae Young made very good use of the one additional year of evaluation afforded to NBA teams. The question then becomes whether one-and-done earns its evaluative keep simply by having flagged the fact that Duval “should” drop 40 spots and Young “should” jump 20.
That’s pretty much all the current eligibility requirement is accomplishing in terms of player evaluations. Otherwise, we could have held this draft a year ago, and it would have looked highly similar to what will (we think) transpire next month.
Actually, even that gives one-and-done too much evaluative credit. In an alternate reality where players could be drafted straight out of high school, it’s possible Duval would have been a 2017 pick — but Young, surely, would have gone undrafted. Then, after the amazing freshman season that we now know happened, Young would have been a 2018 lottery pick. In this scenario, then, the lone evaluative function of one-and-done with regard to the top of the board is to prevent Duval from having been a high draft pick a year ago, period.
And Duval had to enter the draft anyway because Duke recruited over him with authority. There are probably some extraordinary busts the NBA has avoided, but the one-and-done rationale about preventing Kwame Browns is extremely flimsy.
No. 16 Kentucky vs. UIC | 2:30 p.m. ET Friday on WatchESPN
Michigan vs. Notre Dame | 12 p.m. Friday on ESPN2
Softball regionals are, well, regional, so that's not a definite statement that Michigan was #17, but if they weren't they were fairly close. Unfortunately, Michigan is entering the tournament on a skid after getting blown out twice at the Big Ten tourney.
Iggy can dunk. But he has still not set a video of himself to Lust for Life.
this bullet mentions Charles Matthews and Nick Ward [Marc-Gregor Campredon]
Implications of exclusion. Charles Matthews was not invited to the NBA draft combine, and MLive's Kyle Austin has some data on what that means:
In the two NBA drafts since 2016, when college players were first allowed to return to school after declaring, 254 college players have declared early. Of them, the majority (157) didn't receive a combine invite.
Most prospects in that situation opt to return to school -- a total of 130 players have withdrawn from the draft in the last two years. But 47 of those players have opted stayed in the draft despite no combine invitation. None of those 47 players were drafted.
Many of the 47 who stayed in had reasons: they were going to be ineligible or were never going to be NBA players anyway and wanted to get on with overseas careers. (CC: Nick Ward?) A few have worked their way into the league after going undrafted, but it's a rough way to attempt to break in.
Another year of John Beilein Development™ is a better path to the league for Matthews, who clearly has NBA upside if he can just learn to shoot some.
WOULD BE NICE. Standard offseason new position coach articles do come with a little more oomph when the coach in question has the track record of Ed Warinner. Angelique Chengelis got a hell of a quote from Stephen Spanellis:
“It’s really amazing,” lineman Stephen Spanellis said during the team’s trip to Paris this past week. “Coach Warinner’s philosophy, he tells us that he doesn’t to start calculus before everybody can pass Algebra 1. I felt like before we would go straight to rocket science and try to cover everything possible in every meeting. And some guys can’t keep up and it doesn’t have value for a guy to sit in a meeting and they have no idea what’s going on fundamentally with normal plays like inside zone or power.
“So why not slow it down and learn all the basics before you progress? What makes it hard is our defense is so complex, that they break a lot of rules and you have to advance a little bit. But fundamentally, slowing it down a little bit has a lot of value especially for the younger guys who are still learning the offense. For example, James Hudson coming over from defense, it takes a long time to learn the offense in general. Why leave a guy like that at a disadvantage by making it too complicated?”
"No idea what's going on with normal plays" is unfortunately the story of every Michigan line since 2011, and the most depressing thing about last year was that disease following Michigan through a third head coach, and the one who should have been least susceptible to such a thing. But at least the ax fell.
It will not be another off year for Michigan in the NFL draft. The league's official site put out a list of 150 guys to watch for next year's draft, and Michigan players are liberally sprinkled throughout:
#3 Rashan Gary: "A big man with linebacker-like movement skills"
#10(!) Devin Bush: "the new prototype for linebacker in college and the NFL -- not necessarily big, but fast and aggressive."
#25 Shea Patterson: "shows off great escapability on the run and an ability to move the ball through the air."
#47 Chase Winovich: "can rush from a two- or three-point stance. He can also be effective bringing pressure from the interior."
#65 Karan Higdon: "clearly superior to Ohio State's Mike Weber."
#76 Khaleke Hudson
#112 Lavert Hill
David Long's continued absence from these lists is baffling.
Per Zach Shaw, Michigan has the fourth-most players on the list, behind Clemson, Alabama, and OSU. A couple of OSU's are a little… uh… speculative. JK Dobbins, who isn't eligible for the upcoming draft, is there. So is Dwayne Haskins, who hasn't started a game yet.
On Mo Hurst in the NFL. Hurst dropped to the fifth round because of his heart issue, and the Raiders picking him prompted a bunch of criticism from everyone's favorite, the Anonymous NFL Insider. A former NFL team doctor reps his bros in response:
I actually think it is not only unfair and inaccurate but also irresponsible for a scout to characterize the drafting as "irresponsible." There is no way for a non-medical person to know.
As an orthopedic surgeon and physician, even I would rely on my primary care doctor and cardiology consultants to weigh in.
I do not see how a personnel person can make this proclamation. This opinion should carry the same weight as a team physician publicly criticizing Baker Mayfield as not worthy of the first pick in the draft.
I also don't know what's going on with Hurst's heart; hopefully everything works out for him.
Apparent hockey exit. The USHL's various drafts are ongoing—I won't bother you with the details—but since one weird hockey thing is that transfers will often return to the USHL for their NCAA mandated sit-out year, you occasionally get roster news. Roster news:
Wisconsin's JD Greenway selected 7th by Chicago; Michigan's James Sanchez selected 8th by Dubuque. A good indication that both are leaving their respective programs to return to juniors.
Sanchez had 8 points in 27 games last year after playing in 34 as a freshman; he was stuck on the fourth line and probably had a talk about whether that was ever going to change.
Also in USHL draft news, highly touted 2020 commit Owen Power went 7th overall to Chicago in a different USHL draft—yes there are like seven different ways to get in this league—after being an early second-round pick in the OHL draft. That's a good sign for this edition of Michigan's never-ending blood war with the OHL.
Fellow touted 2020 commit Cole Perfetti went in the third round, also to Chicago. He went fifth overall in the OHL draft and will either be traded to a different OHL team for a bushel of picks in August or September and report or stick with his commitment. Due to yet more details about junior hockey that you don't need to know*, a high OHL draft selection is not necessarily the kiss of death. As Antonio Stranges demonstrated, it's more about location than draft slot.
*[OK, fine: Saginaw has a nearly full roster this year with or without Perfetti and will get a compensatory pick one slot lower than Perfetti's #5 selection next year if he doesn't report and is declared "defective."]