Could a *current* all-UofM team compete in NFL

Submitted by 1464 on October 10th, 2012 at 10:43 AM

EDIT: Updating list to encompass suggestions from the thread...

Good idea per TheTeamx3: Someone with a lot of time should assemble this all Michigan team on madden and sim a season.

Reading the NFL Wolverines breakdown got me to thinking, could an all-Michigan alumni team be competitive in the NFL?  Where would they fall in the 0-16 to 16-0 range?  Depth is obviously an issue, so let's assume we live in a happy world where injuries are just fanciful things that only exist in our imagination.  This also means Koger is healthy this year. 

RB and OL are our biggest concerns.  We'd have to shift a center over to guard, or do some similar movement on the line.

As a follow up, what other teams could make the claim? USC and ...? Texas? OSU and Bama don't have QB's for the league.  Nobody can really claim a two-deep without any holes.  Michigan may have the most evenly spread talent in the league. 

I'm sure I'm not the first to bring up this notion on this site, but I haven't seen a thread like this at all.  So here is my tentative two deep for the good guys:





Tom Brady
Chad Henne



Brandon Minor (?)
Mike Hart (?)
ummm... Chris Perry or BJ Askew (???)



Mario Manningham
Steve Breaston
Jason Avant
Braylon Edwards
Adrian Arrington


Kevin Koger
Steve Watson (?)



Jake Long
Jeff Backus



Steve Hutchinson

Steve Schilling



David Baas
Jonathon Goodwin
David Molk



Charles Woodson
Leon Hall
Stevie Brown (still amazes me that this is real)

Ryan Mundy

Donovan Warren

Morgan Trent



Larry Foote
David Harris
LaMarr Woodley
Jonas Mouton



Alan Branch
Mike Martin



Brandon Graham
Tim Jamison


Special Teams:


Jay Feely



Zoltan F. Mesko



Steve Breaston



  • Jim Harbaugh, HC
  • Cam Cameron, OC/QB
  • Bill Sheridan, DC
  • Mike DeBord/Terry Malone: WR/TE
  • Harold Goodwin/Andy Moeller (option 1): OL
  • Jerald Ingram, RB
  • Mike Trgovac, DL
  • Jim Herrmann/Andy Moller (option 2), LB
  •  Teryl Austin, DB



Michigan Shirt

October 10th, 2012 at 11:23 AM ^

Well if we are going back a few years, then we should look at Tim Biakabatuka. If I remember correctly (I was younger so I may not) didn't he have a fairly good rookie year and he looked like he was going to be a good RB if not for doestroying both of his knees in back-to-back years.


October 10th, 2012 at 10:51 AM ^

Um....notwithstanding we'd need to get a guy who is at best two years removed from football to play RB - God help this team if the starting QB goes down.

I think you'd be getting points to put it mildly.


October 10th, 2012 at 10:56 AM ^

RB would be a huge hole, for sure.  But RB's are not as crucial as they used to be and Tom Brady would ensure that there would be running lanes.

Also, Brady would be fine, as this is an amazing make believe land where dreams come true and injuries only happen to criminals and the homeless.  Don't you know how this works?


October 10th, 2012 at 10:58 AM ^

But short answer is, no chance in hell.  Opposing D would pin its ears back and be in Brady's grill on day -- zero running game to protect him, and dodgy line (even with Hutch, Long and Baas).


Defensive front 7 could compete (sort of), but secondary is obviously paper thin (and, frankly, not even full as a starter's unit).


Maybe they could beat the Titans if their punt/kick return coverage units were better than the Lions?


Edit: I'm dumb; obviously punt return coverage wouldn't be an issue with Zoltan punting lasers into the returner's facemask.


October 10th, 2012 at 10:57 AM ^

Are you looking at guys that are in the NFL, have played in the NFL, or had NFL potential? There are many more to add to this list than what you are looking at.

Martell Webb - TE - Was looked at by a few NFL teams after the draft, IIRC.

Ryan Van Bergen - DE / DT - Drafted by Carolina Panthers, but dropped I believe.

That is just two guys to name from the last few years that had NFL potential / were drafted. But to answer your question, no a team made up of Michigan alumni would not compete in the NFL. Too many good players on all teams in the league. 


October 10th, 2012 at 11:02 AM ^

Well Tom Brady would have all day to pass.  The problem would be our RBs/TEs wouldn't be anything special.  The defense would be decent at best and our Kicker/Punter would be good.  

I'd say that is a 6-10, 7-9 type team.  


October 10th, 2012 at 11:04 AM ^

There are no former U of M running/fullbacks in the NFL.  I think Askew may have played a little last year, but I do believe he's now gone.  That being said, who needs runningbacks when you have an incredible O-line, a legendary QB and one of the most amazing defenses that could possibly be assembled.


October 10th, 2012 at 11:04 AM ^

Would an all-time M team be 16-0 Super Bowl favorites? I'd think the obvious answer is yes, but how many decades would we need?

Michigan has 24 different All-Pro selections, with 30+ Pro Bowlers all time.


October 10th, 2012 at 11:36 AM ^

Harry Newman- QB/HB
Tom Brady- QB

Steve Hutchinson- OG

Dan Dierdorf- OT
Jake Long- OT
Mike Kenn- OT

Ron Kramer- TE

Anthony Carter- WR
Desmond Howard- WR

Len Ford- DE

Tom Keating- DT

Roger Zatkoff- LB
LaMarr Woodley- LB
David Harris- LB

Dwight Hicks- DB
Leon Hall- DB
Ty Law- DB
Keith Bostic- S
Rick Volk- S
Dave Brown- CB
Charles Woodson- CB

Ali Haji-Sheikh- K


October 10th, 2012 at 11:06 AM ^ to make your position choices.

I think that the team would have a pretty decent coaching staff comprised of former Michigan players and coaches:

  • Jim Harbaugh, HC
  • Cam Cameron, OC/QB
  • Bill Sheridan, DC
  • Mike DeBord/Terry Malone: WR/TE
  • Harold Goodwin/Andy Moeller (option 1): OL
  • Jerald Ingram, RB
  • Mike Trgovac, DL
  • Jim Herrmann/Andy Moller (option 2), LB
  • Teryl Austin, DB

PB-J Time

October 10th, 2012 at 1:26 PM ^

He was then actually picked up by the Eagles for 2011 but sustained ANOTHER season ending injury in camp (I believe it was Achilles...but with him who knows). But this year he was technically still on the team (he had been on IR) but the problems of missing 3 (!!!) straight seasons due to 3 different injuries effectiviely ended his career.


October 10th, 2012 at 11:14 AM ^

I have a hard time thinking any team could field a consistently competitive team.  If you just start by looking at the QBs in the league, a number of them went to schools that don't produce enough NFL players to even fill a roster.  When I look simply at starting QBs, I'm thinking Florida State, Tennessee, Georgia, Oklahoma, USC, Auburn, and UM.  So already looking at just one of 22 positions, the list is down to 7 that are possibilities.  Sure, you could look into backup QBs and make a case for someone like Texas or ND, but there's also a reason those guys are backups.  They can't win on a team filled with other talent, let alone a team scraping by at multiple positions.

As soon as you go into QB/RB combos, the crown thins even more.  You're down to Oklahoma, Tennessee, and USC.  There are two other X Factor teams that I didn't include in the original list that actually make the cut this far: Cal with Rodgers and Lynch, and Miss with Eli and Green-Ellis.  I'm just not sure without looking into it more that either of those schools produce enough at other positions.

Bottom line - no, a UM team could not compete in the league.  2-14 is probably a best-case scenario.  But I think that's true for almost any team.  Some schools, including UM, are probably 2-5 starters away from being able to compete just with starters, but then yes, the obvious depth issues are apparent.


October 10th, 2012 at 11:16 AM ^

Ryan Mundy? Would certainly help shore up the DB situation.

This is actually somthing that I used to do all the time. If I remember correctly, right around the time of Brady's NFL emergence Michigan could have fileded a pretty good team. I think the weak spot then was safety (surprise), and I remember slotting DeWayne Patmon in there because he was on a practice squad somewhere.

Right now, OL depth seems a bit of a problem, as do DBs, but we could assemble one hell of a starting front-7.

Also, as others have mentioned, the lack of RB doesn't really scare me. That position (especially in the NFL)  is more and more becoming a collection of interchangeable guys who you run until their legs collapse underneath them.


October 10th, 2012 at 11:19 AM ^

Looking across that roster, as much as I love those guys, the only spot where you're above average for an NFL team is QB.  O-line is maybe close to average, though it's pretty think on the interior, and the LB are probably a solid average as far as NFL starters go.

Do we get to count Jim Harbaugh as the coach?


October 10th, 2012 at 11:37 AM ^

I would think the O-Line is at the very least average if you move Goodwin - who has started every game since 08 - to gaurd along with Hutch (7x pro bowler). Then Long (4x pro bowler and best lineman in the leauge) paired with Backus, who as much heat as he takes has been above average his whole career. Then, Baas is an average center.