Flip 5 Big Ten Players to Michigan

Submitted by LKLIII on July 13th, 2017 at 3:29 PM

Slow day at work; low content until fall camp begins.  Let's see how this speculative thread plays out....

If you could have a magic wand and instantly remove 5 Big Ten football players from their respective rosters & put them on the Michigan squad, what 5 players would you choose and why?

Variables to consider:

  • Overall talent of the player & ability to make an instant impact on our squad after just attending fall camp.
  • Our own needs/weakness on the Michigan roster.
  • How the removal of that player would negatively impact a potential opponent.

For example, if a players would undeniably upgrade our own team and that player was on a team we don't play this season, maybe you take him regardless.  But on the other hand, maybe there is a player you'd like to flip over to us, not so much becasue we are terrible at that position, but because it'd be a crippling blow to the other team to lose him.

Assume this is for one season only, so a talented freshman or sophomore isn't intrinsically more valuable than a talented RS Senior.

My 5 would be:

  • Saquan Barkley, RB, PSU
  • Trace McSorley, QB PSU
  • Jamarco Jones, LT, OSU
  • Billy Price, OL, OSU
  • Nick Bosa, DE, OSU

Rationales--I don't see a reason to pick any member from a team we don't play, and in terms of winning the Big Ten East, we can afford to lose to Wisconsin & Florida.  So for me, the most benefit would be to materially damage the prospects of our two Big Ten East rivals--PSU & OSU.  Maybe other posters will think differently & decide to take some lock-down CB or LT somehwere in the Big Ten West or something (if one exists).

The PSU picks aren't really shoring up significant weakness on our own roster, but taking them would be a crippling blow to the PSU offense.  Stack the box against them without Barkley & McSorley, and force the 2nd stringer to throw up desperation throws as he struggles through progressions, and choke out the ability of (now fist string) Sanders to help his QB out with the running game.

The OSU picks are simply about tilting the balance in the trenches more in Michigan's direction.  You shore up the interior with an All American caliber lineman that is an insurance policy in case Kugler or Ruiz isn't ready or if Onwenu doesn't have the stamina, and take their best tackle off the board.  Michigan would still have to plug the hole at one tackle position, but with Mason Cole suddenly freed up from the LT slot, you've got a bunch more options.  Bosa is their best pass rusher, and removing him helps make the job of our offensive tackles much easier and also gives us even more depth/rotation possiblities on our DL.

My picks don't address our weakness/raw WR corps or the defensive backfield.  Nor does it address out lack of depth at DT.  But I think the picks materially increase our chances of winning both the PSU & OSU games, which was my main focus.

So, have at it.  What's your top 5 you'd love to flip?  Do you try to hurt key opponents?  Or simply select for our own weaknesses?  Do you target a team broadly to take their best players?  Or just annihilate their depth chart at one key spot, like taking the top 3 or 4 QBs off of OSU's depth chart, regardless if it directly helps our own roster deficiencies?




July 13th, 2017 at 4:14 PM ^

1.  Saquan Barkley, PSU

2.  Jamarco Jones, OSU

3.  The 3 top QBs on OSU's depth chart. I'd like our chances of beating them if they have an unseasoned, 4th string QB coming into the Big House.

Mr. Yost

July 14th, 2017 at 4:56 AM ^

Exactly...or give me their best 4 and McSorley from PSU.

They can all come sit the bench for us...but if you're allowed to take players to hurt the other team, that's far more important.

I like the exercise more when you "clone" players and take the hurting the other team thought process out. Then it's more based on Michigan team need and not making your opponent weaker by taking their QB, LT, etc.


July 13th, 2017 at 4:27 PM ^

Jamarco Jones | We need help on the OL, take away from OSU.

Price | We need help on the OL, take away from OSU.

Denzel Ward | Proven DB, take away from OSU.

Stephen Richardson or Jaleel Johnson | It'd be nice to be able to cycle in some upper-classmen interior DL.

Barkley | He's a beast, high character kid, and really fun to watch.


July 13th, 2017 at 4:33 PM ^

Nobody who complains about draftaggedon better reply to this post. Otherwise, it is just jealousy that fuels their annimosity.

My 5:

Saquan Barkley RB PSU is a solid choice. I like our stable at RB, but he is on another level. He also moves the PSU game comfortably into the W column. There's no need to get anyone else from PSU. 

Jamarco Jones LT OSU sures up a glaring hole at tackle and weakens our main rival.

Denzel Ward CB OSU Gives us some experience in an area where that is desparately lacking. There is huge value to a lock down corner, especially one who takes playing time from two first round picks. Also hurts our main rival.

Troy Fumagalli TE UW After losing two awesome TEs (not to mention our top two receivers) we could use a sure bet here in the Harboffense. It also potentially would move the needle enough in this toss up game.

For the last spot, going for pain by taking Barret is tempting, as is getting more depth at DT. I think that upgrading the OL with Price and taking 2 of 5 OSU starters would be optimal though.

Man, this just upped the anxiety over the real OSU game. Thanks OP.


July 13th, 2017 at 6:58 PM ^

And here I am. I'd be able to answer the OPs question more efficiently with a simple list of the best players in the B1G and position group rankings (complete with witty banter). Draftageddon complaints aren't about substance, they're about formatting.

To wit, here's the same thing I said above with a very minor formatting change:


Formatting makes a difference to readability. That's all I'm saying. Oh, and also take the 5 best O linemen available.




July 13th, 2017 at 4:43 PM ^

to have had another year from Clark, and Peppers come back to school. Also had Lewis redshirtted..and would be a 5th year SR. 


Then I'd snag the 2 best tackles in the conference.  

Perkis-Size Me

July 13th, 2017 at 4:43 PM ^

This is painful because most of my choices are OSU players, but whatever:

Barkley at RB. He has rushed for over 1,000 yards each season with an AWFUL OL. Imagine what he could do behind a really good line. Or at least one that's better than what he'll find at PSU. 

Bosa at DE. Him and Gary together would equate to at least one sack on every opposing possession. 

Billy Price or Jamarco Jones on the OL. Someone take the load off of Cole and show the newbies the ropes. 

Denzel Ward at CB - would be a huge help for a position sorely lacking experience. 

Simmie Cobbs at WR - would be somewhat of a gamble given his injury last season, but if he's healthy he's one of the better wideouts in the conference. Harbaugh would make great use of his talents, whereas Mike DeBord is going to do nothing but ruin them. 


July 13th, 2017 at 4:54 PM ^

Trace McSorely PSU- QB

JT Barrett- OSU-QB

Dwayne Haskins OSU-QB

Joe Burrow OSU-QB

Tate Martell OSU-QB. 

Let's see how those assholes play without any quarterbacks. 


July 13th, 2017 at 5:24 PM ^

Give me the best 5 OL in the B1G, 2T, 2G, 1C. I think everyone we already have would be enough to win any game with a top-level OL. I sincerely believe that's a playoff team. I just want a dominant OL again.


July 13th, 2017 at 5:40 PM ^

Going back to the days of the Big 2, Little 8, I grew up caring mostly about the OSU game. So, for maximum impact, I'd simply look at the OSU roster and take the top five CBs off their depth chart. Forces them into coverage decisions Harbaugh can exploit and there's enough talent there to help us considerably all season long, no matter what the opponent.


July 13th, 2017 at 8:49 PM ^


Sean Welsh (Iowa)
Isaiah Prince (reform school)
Billy Price (reform school)
Brian Allen (couch burner)
Cole Van Lanen (Wiskey and for growth 2019)

PSU I have no respect for, deliberately rejecting all players.


July 13th, 2017 at 6:22 PM ^

1) Saquon Barkley | RB | PSU - Obvious.  A dynamic 1st round RB in a Harbaughffense would be awesome.

2 & 3) Billy Price | OC | OSU & Jamarco Jones | OT | OSU - Start a line of Cole / Bredeson / Price / Onwenu / Jones with Kugler, Beatty, Runyan, Filiaga, Ruiz all around for depth.  Yes please.

4 & 5) Nick Bosa | DE | OSU & Sam Hubbard | DE | OSU - Yeah, this would be an ultra-dominant DL.

Both our OL/DL would be unstoppable.  OSU's lines would both be decimated.  PSU without Barkley is an average team.  This isn't saying much since you're essentially adding 5 all-stars from a power 5 conference but yes, we'd win the natty with all of this.  Don't need to take anyone's QBs or DBs with these lines.  Speight, Long, Hill, Washington, etc. would be fine.  Speight would have 11 seconds to throw on every down and opposing QBs would have < 3.5.  

Thinking about this has me looking forward to a seasoned Gary, Solomon, Vilain, Hudson, DL next year.


July 13th, 2017 at 6:43 PM ^

OSUs starting offensive line. They would lose a few games and we would win the game. Thats a great season for me. Coaches can figure out who starts for us.


July 13th, 2017 at 7:09 PM ^

I would not have picked their QB if you gave me 15 options. That being said, others picked him so maybe I'm wrong.

I think/hope the magical Hail Mary gods come back to reality for them this year.


July 14th, 2017 at 1:09 PM ^

I think the reason that I picked McSorley in my OP (and why others maybe picked him too) isn't because we think he'd be some huge upgrade for our own team.  In fact, in my own scenario, I'd fully expect him to basically ride the bench.

The goals was to cripple PSU.  Some folks thing that taking either/or McSorley & Barkley would be enough.  I elected to go the belts & suspenders route and remove both of them from PSU since it's the most hostile away game we play all year.  McSorley's Hail Mary luck might run out, but if we are doing a night game white-out at Happy Valley, I'd rather not test that theory on our young defensive backfield.




July 13th, 2017 at 8:17 PM ^

My five picks:

Saquan Barkley - RB - Penn State 

Billy Price - OG/OC - Ohio State

I think the Barkley/Price combo would virtually fix any run game issues on their own. 

Nick Bosa - DE - Ohio State - Imagine him and Gary on opposite ends

Jack Cichy - LB - Wisconsin 

Denzel Ward - CB - Ohio State 

These picks accomplish many things. Helps the run game, adds experience to the defense at each level, takes key players away from rivals. 


July 14th, 2017 at 1:22 PM ^

Some guys have simply said "take the top 5 OSU athletes" or "take the full starting OL for OSU."  Maybe that would work.  But my fear is that they are so damned deep that taking their starters doesn't necessarily weaken them a whole lot.

Conversely, if you go the unorhodox approach and just obliterate a certain position group down to the 3rd or 4th string, you create some major glaring weakness for Harbaugh to exploit.  For example, a guy up the thread mentioned "take the top 5 of OSU's cornerbacks".

On a related note, it seems to me taking JT Barrett is really an all-or-nothing proposition. Unless you think he'd be a huge upgrade to Michigan's squad (great legs but can't throw downfield, so in my mind the upgrade would be zero or modest), taking Barrett away from OSU isn't necessarily going to harm them.  They won a NC on the back of their 3rd stringer for pete's sake. 

So in my mind, if you're going the "hurt OSU at QB" route, you need to basically burn a good 3-4 of your picks to ensure that they dig far enough down their depth chart where their QB situation is truly bad.  And in my opinion, burning 3-4 picks just to do that doesn't seem like it's a good value to me.  I'd rather use those 3-4 picks to do other things.


July 14th, 2017 at 12:33 PM ^

I think barkley or mcsorley would effective neuter PSU to the point we'd win easily.

Then I'd pick OSU's best DL, LB, DB, and OL for the other four.


We can afford to lose to Wisconsin so long as we win against PSU and OSU.  And with say Barkley, and the best OSU players we would probably fair very well against Wisconsin.




July 14th, 2017 at 1:02 PM ^

If you took Jamarco Jones and Billy Price away from Ohio state, it would decimate their offensive plans this year.  Their O-lne is going to be a major improvement from last year.  Their young guys who struggled last year have an entire season and off-season as starters, but Price and Jones are the linchpins.  Losing an All Big10 at Tackle and Center would destroy Kevin Wilson's new plan for a downfield passing attack and even their staple power run offense would struggle.

So not only would Michigan's O-line be a strength, but OSU would struggle all season.


Besides those 2 I think the picks have to be Barkely from PSU.  He's the best offensive player in the conference and behind Michigan's new stacked line would be a heisman candadate.


To fill out the list I would pick Nick Bosa and Denzel Ward from OSU.  They are both difference makers on defense.  Ward would be the number 1 corner and make it easier on the rest of the secondary by filling secondary roles.  


Bosa adds to an already strong defensive front abd has more upside than anyone on the unit other than maybe Gary.  With Gary and Bosa you could be looking at 2 All-Americans on the line, that added with Ward and an excellent coaching staff would be scary.  Plus facing a now depleted OSU line in Ann Arbor would make Michgian heavy favorites.  Although losing Bosa wouldn't have a drastic effect on a stacked defensive front for OSU, the benefit for Michigan is too good to pass on.


Taking JT away from OSU wouldn't have near the impact that other guys in this thread would.  Unless you take the next 2 QBS off their roster (Haskins and Burrow) that position would still be a strength for them.  


So it's

Jamarco Jones OSU

Billy Price OSU

Saquan Barkley PSU

Nick Bosa OSU

Denzel Ward OSU



July 14th, 2017 at 6:03 PM ^

Our team is fine so I say you take Barkley from PSU to cripple them then Barrett and OSU's 3 best other players to weaken them. I don't even care if any of them play for Michigan I just want the other teams to lose.