UMich NFL draft history

Submitted by blueheron on April 30th, 2012 at 7:15 AM

Last year around this time I posted a spreadsheet with information on UM and the NFL draft. You'll see an updated version here.

In 2011 I looked at three-year intervals; this year I extended them to four years. In the most recent ('09 to '12) four-year interval, UM had ten picks. That's the lowest number since '84 to '87 (also ten). Only the '83 to '86 run (eight picks) was worse in the modern era.

Taking a closer look at the high (rounds one to three) end, there were three such picks from '09 to '12. This has never happened in the modern era. In most four-year intervals there were at least twice that many.


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 three prior years. * Total number of "high" picks for that year. * Total number of "high" picks for that year and the three prior years.

Is it fair to use NFL draft results as a proxy for talent level? I believe so, at least to some degree. This would mean that the '08 team (whose players were draft-eligible from '09 to '12) is the least talented one we've had. Interestingly (to put it mildly) low draft numbers in the mid-'80s (when viewing overall picks) and the early '90s (high picks) didn't result in poor W-L records.

Anyway, I hope Hoke's recruiting success helps reestablish UMich as an NFL factory. It hasn't been one since around the time the '04 class was exiting.


* 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.)
* For obvious reasons, I didn't count Ryan Mallett (a "high" pick) and Toney Clemons (7th-rounder) in the recent years. Mr. Plow, btw, was not drafted by the NFL.



April 30th, 2012 at 8:47 AM ^

Cass Tech pipeline proudly on display.  Seabron, Huckleby and Greer, all former Technicians.  They played with Roosevelt Smith, a Michigan tailback from that same CT team.  I have mentioned this on the board before, but that CT team didn't even win the PSL championship that year.  Ralph Clayton (future Michigan slotback, and fellow draftee) was running wild as the Redford tailback and beat that loaded Cass Tech team.  In those days, only the top team from each Region made the playoffs, so the Technicians did not make the dance.  I still find that amazing.


April 30th, 2012 at 10:36 AM ^

It's unfair to Rodriguez to infer that substandard player development under his regime is to blame. Bill Martin wouldn't hire Rodriguez' first choice for defensive coordinator! Lloyd Carr was mean! Michael Rosenberg!

-no need to thank me


April 30th, 2012 at 10:48 AM ^

Hopefully Section1  has a Rivals account so he can go read what a former DL starter who played for both coaches, has said about our previous staff, especially the part about their substandard recruiting and player development.

Thankfully, with how Hoke is recruiting and developing talent, the NFL will be littered with Michigan players sooner rather than later, like the good ol days!


April 30th, 2012 at 1:18 PM ^

He was 2nd team all Big Ten under Robinson in 2010, despite playing on an injured ankle for the second half of the season.  In 2011 under Mattison he was 2nd team all Big Ten.  He would have gotten drafted if I had been his coach. 

Our recruiting classes from 2005 to 2007 were simply not very good, despite their high ranking.  Rich Rodriguez isn't the reason Marques Slocum flunked out of school or Eugene Germany transferred to a JC or James McKinney transferred to Louisville or Kevin Grady loved the hooch or Antonio Bass' knee exploded and Cory Zirbel's did the same or that Justin Schifano left the program before he arrived.  That is just from the 2005 class and that doesn't include Richards and Sears, whose premature departures meant that we didn't add a single corner in the class.  A year later we didn't even bother to sign a single corner and our safety haul consisted of two guys who would go on to be all-conference linebackers.  The 4-star guys who were left all had nice careers (Manningham, Moosman who started for a couple years, Harrison who contributed, and Taylor who got drafted). 

Guys can't get developed by a coaching staff if that staff never gets to coach them.  Invisible people also make shitty football players.




April 30th, 2012 at 11:07 AM ^

we went 6-6. Before Rich, this was the last really bad season we had. I guess the draft records align accordingly.

Of course I wonder how much the draft records are a result of team records, or are they a measure of talent level (and thus the team records are a result). There is probably a mix in there.


April 30th, 2012 at 12:15 PM ^

I'd love to see their careers tracked--how long were they in the NFL, how many games did they start.

Also: salaries. Basebal now has detailed salary information going back some ways and I expect they'll have it for the NFL as well eventually. I can't wait to dive into that, since how much they're paid relative to players at their positions is not perfectly accurate but the very liquidity of it makes it probablly the most accurate method for tracking a player's ultimate value.


April 30th, 2012 at 12:25 PM ^

in football is the rookie wage issues (that have now been fixed). I mean, Jake Long deserved to be the highest OL in the NFL without playing a down, but did Jamarcus Russell or even Sam Bradford deserve to get Brady/Manning money before they took an NFL snap?

I don't know when the top draft picks' salaries started to skyrocket, but that could affect the salary portion of your analysis