RVB Draft Potential?

Submitted by Moleskyn on December 6th, 2011 at 1:05 PM

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?



December 6th, 2011 at 1:21 PM ^

Sadly, I don't see anyway Odoms gets drafted.  He's a good slot at the college level, but he's not big enough for the next level and will have a hard time blocking LBs on running plays.  Also, he hasn't done anything to prove he's a good return man.  I think he'll be able to get on to a practice squad for a few years, but not much else.  Future WR coach at Michigan sounds real nice though!

Mr. Yost

December 6th, 2011 at 1:10 PM ^

I think it depends on how he tests...but he's a late rounder/undrafted FA

However, I think he's a guy that stays on a NFL roster for 5-7 years.

Mr. Yost

December 6th, 2011 at 1:22 PM ^

I'm basing what I said on every scouting report I've read on Van Bergen.

Many talk about his good leadership, productive senior year, high motor...but he's limited athletically, doesn't have the "get off" some would like at DE and isn't big enough to play inside at DT. I've seen him decribed as "stiff" at times.

Also, just if you go back and look at the last year 10 years...guys similar to RVB all seem to get drafted in the 6th or 7th round...or they're undrafted. They make the team and they stick for longer than most people imagine. They're quality backups and some get decent PT, others are very good practice squad players.

I'm not saying RVB can't break the mold, I'm just giving my predicition based on what I've read and history.


December 6th, 2011 at 1:12 PM ^

I think a team that runs a 3-4 could do a hell of a lot worse than RVB.  A guy who has played inside and outside, is big, strong, tough, and smart seems like a nice asset for an NFL team.


December 6th, 2011 at 1:29 PM ^

Yeah, he'll need to put on about 20 pounds but he's got the skill set of a 3-4 end for sure. Can anchor against double teams while possessing enough quickness to split them. Good interior pass rush moves. 

And with more teams now running the 3-4, he's in a better spot then he would have been, say 8 years ago.


December 6th, 2011 at 9:29 PM ^

Ya I thought he would make a solid to good 3-4 DE. He seems to have the ability to put on more size and still retain his speed (which isn't great). He has experience all along the line and has the smarts and character to develop. I don't have a lot of football experience but I think he could go anywhere from round 4-7.


December 6th, 2011 at 4:05 PM ^

No doubt. He will get drafted higher than usual because of the prevelance of 3-4 teams, which he is perfect for on the next level. I don't think anyone will tag him to be their starter, but he'll be drafted for depth.


December 6th, 2011 at 1:14 PM ^

I think the gerneal concensus is that he won't be a "playmaker" at the next level. I see him more of a steady backup in the NFL. If I were to compare him to anybody I'd have to go with Brett Keisel. 


December 6th, 2011 at 1:21 PM ^

rvb was consistant with some impact plays but i see him as a guy that most teams would pass on for a higher ceiling type.  it's possible a team has a need and they like him enough to use a 7th round pick but likely he'll be a ud signee.  he'll have to show he can stand up to nfl linemen to make a roster or practice squad.  ps i know diddly


December 6th, 2011 at 1:22 PM ^

I definitely think he'll play and he can help a team at DE. I don't think he would start right out of the gate, but I don't doubt he can have a good enough career to earn a starting job somewhere. At the minimum, he's a great choice as a backup on any team, I think.


December 6th, 2011 at 1:23 PM ^

RVB has always been praised for motor and effort - not really for athleticism and skill. In college, you can sometimes get by with one, but not really in the NFL.


December 6th, 2011 at 1:30 PM ^

The guy on our team that has the most NFL potential IMO is Kevin Koger. You give that kid a chance to play with a solid drop-back NFL QB and he will be a player in the league. And he seems like a good kid with solid leadership skills.

Mr. Yost

December 6th, 2011 at 1:37 PM ^

I think Martin has the best potential and will be draft the highest...I think he's a natural DT in the 4-3 or DT in the 3-4 (which is more of a strongside DE).

I don't think he'll play NG at the next level, but I think he'll find a home at DT in either defense because of his athleticism. We've used him as a LB this year!


Note: One thing we better not underestimiate is the opinion of Greg Mattison, teams will be calling him for SURE. Don't be surprised to see any of these guys in Baltimore next year.

Mr. Yost

December 6th, 2011 at 1:37 PM ^

If I had to guess...I'd say:

Mike Martin - 4th Round
Kevin Koger - 6th Round
Ryan Van Bergan - 6th or 7th Round
David Molk - 6th or 7th Round
Junior Hemingway - 7th Round
Mark Huyge - UFA
Mike Shaw - UFA
Troy Woolfolk - UFA

I know some people are going to get mad...but take it as a compliment to the coaching over me (or anyone) slighting our guys.

Remember, we had very few guys even make 1st or 2nd team All-Conference. So to expect them to by high draft picks is going to be a stretch.


December 6th, 2011 at 1:39 PM ^

As some others have pointed out, Van Bergen seems like a guy who's destined for a role as a defensive end in a 3-4 and who probably won't be a star at the next level.  He seems to be everything that the Steelers ever wanted in a 3-4 end.  I think some of the posters here are short-changing him a little bit for his athleticism - he played linebacker in high school and never really seemed athletically overmatched in college.  He was pretty consistent in his production from 2009-2011, but the second half of 2011 has been excellent, in my opinion.

I think he'll be a 6th or 7th rounder and have a decent NFL career as a backup.


December 6th, 2011 at 2:22 PM ^



You hit the nail on the head, as he has the ideal size for a 3-4 end. He could be an Aaron Smith type of player who does the dirty work to keep the OLB free to make plays. I would imagine that he would be drafted somewhere near the end, but that he would have the potential to have a long and successful career given his intelligence and the amount of improvement he has made.


December 6th, 2011 at 1:41 PM ^

I think Koger looks the part of an NFL tight end, especially with the increased emphasis on that position in the pros.  But he's going to have to test really well and look good at a senior bowl type of event.  He just didn't have enough opportunities to show his skills in college and dropped enough passes to be a concern.   

But it is hard to argue much with the predictions Mr. Yost made.  I think Martin and Molk might sneak into higher rounds, but the rest seem about right.  Huyge/Shaw/Woolfolk probably won't even get training camp invites. 

I'd like to think there's a place in the league for someone with Hemingway's size and hands, but if Adrian Arrington and Marquise Walker can't get above the practice squad I'm not sure.  (Yes, I know Arrington has had a couple of cameos).  Maybe he can fill the Jason Avant role as the unhearlded WR who catches everything, does the dirty work, and is never the one gettng negative headlines like his more famous teammates. 


December 6th, 2011 at 1:45 PM ^

Just about everbody who plays at all at Michigan can score a camp invite.  Even Ezeh got to spend three weeks in Redskins camp after getting benched as a senior and running a really slow 40 at pro day.  Those three probably won't stick around too long, but I can't imagine nobody wanting to at least take a look at them up close (especially considering the speed Woolfolk and Shaw bring to the table).


December 6th, 2011 at 1:57 PM ^

He seems like the kind of player that would end up in the Steelers rotation, I'm thinking along the lines of Brett Keisel (even though I hate the Steelers with a blind rage).  I'm not sure if he'll get drafted though.

Webber's Pimp

December 6th, 2011 at 2:18 PM ^

I'm not a scout so I won't opinine on this. I will say that I love this kid and I really hope he makes it if that's his career goal...I wouldn't bet against him either. He's shown allot of heart.

Space Coyote

December 6th, 2011 at 3:11 PM ^

Molk - Rounds 3-5.  It's always hard to tell with interior linemen.  It depends on who else is going and what needs are.  Molk would be very good in a primarily zone scheme, but still struggles in-line blocking.  This leaves him a select group of teams, so I would assume he is probably toward the later end of my projection, and probably a round 5 type.

Martin - Rounds 4-6.  The problem with Martin isn't his skill set, it's where he fits in.  By NFL standards he is too small to play NT.  But he's seldom played the 3-tech, where he would fit best.  He has the size to be a 3-4 DE, but his style is more slasher and get penetration than to hold up to doubles.  I think he gets drafter for where his potential suits him best, as a 3-tech, but I think because of a lack of film of him at that position moves him down.  I think teams will like his ability to play multiple positions if crunched into it, and they will see how Michigan used him as their most feared D-linemen, and my guess is round 5 as well.

RVB - Rounds 6-FA.  I think RVB gets drafted.  He was never athletically overmatched, he has some flexibility in terms of position, but not as much as he did in college.  He is a 3-4 DE.  He is still undersized for that.  He will not play a DE in a 4-3 IMO, and he is well undersized for a 3-tech.  This limits his options.  That being said, I expect him to put on some weight between the end of the season and pro-day in an attempt to get closer to 300 lbs.  I think talking to Mattiison and finding out his intelligence will greatly help him.  In my mind he would make a solid 3-4 DE, whose job usually doesn't get them in the highlight real, but opens up opportunities for people like Woodley.  My final guess, Round 7.

Hemingway - Rounds 7-FA.  I don't think Hemingway gets drafted.  I think he has the skill to potentially, but he is similar to Adrian Arrington, except that he is probably a bit shorter and never really had a break out performance.  Neither really had crazy stats in a single season.  Hemingway doesn't have break away speed and struggles to get seperation.  He is good at high-pointing the ball, but against better athletes in the NFL that only gets you so far.  I don't think there is enough upside or enough history with Hemingway for him to get drafted.  There are probably 5 WRs that Michigan played that will go before Hemingway (from ND, MSU, Iowa, Illinois, and potentially OSU or Western).  That doesn't exactly bode well for him.  I think he gets a few tryouts, but that's about it.  My guess FA.

Koger - FA.  Koger was never really productive enough in college, and when he had an opportunity he had quite a few drops.  I like Koger, have always been a fan of his attitude and abilities.  But I don't think he reached his ultimate potential that was set for him when he came to Michigan.  Koger is decent at everything.  He had good speed, but not great.  He isn't going to be lined up as a big WR at any time in the NFL.  He isn't a great blocker.  He is good enough as a college TE but not outstanding enough to get drafted as a blocking TE in the NFL.  He can make some amazing catches, but he also drops some easier ones.  In the end only a select number of TEs get drafted, and there are other TEs that are better now and have more upside than Koger.  Again, I like Koger and love his leadership for this team, but I don't see him getting drafted or sticking on a roster after tryouts.  Prediction, FA.

I really don't see any other seniors getting drafted from this years class or really even having a good shot on an NFL roster. 


December 6th, 2011 at 3:22 PM ^

Thanks (to you and everyone else) for the insightful opinions. I guess I'm disappointed to hear that RVB will probably go so low in the draft. He's become one of my favorite players over the course of the last few years. But, in reality, if he makes it onto an NFL team in any capacity, that's gotta be a win for him. And he definitely seems like someone who will have a successful career down the road, no matter what he chooses to do.


December 6th, 2011 at 4:19 PM ^

Through Ohio State, RVB has played in 46 games, 13 sacks, 26 Tackles for loss

For comparison:

Grant Bowman: 37 games, 10 sacks, 24 TFL

Norman Heuer: 36 games, 8.5 sacks, 18 TFL

Pat Massey: 39 games, 10 sacks, 14 TFL

Dan Rumishek: 33 games, 11.5 sacks, 17 TFL

Larry Stevens: 45 games, 12 sacks, 25 TFL

According to the ESPN DraftTracker, none of the above five Wolverines were drafted.

Starting with the 2001 draft through the 2011 NFL draft, a grand total of 5 Michigan defensive linemen have been drafted. That includes Lamarr Woodley, who is actually listed as a LB.

For comparison through the same time period, LSU has had 15 defensive linemen selected in the NFL draft.


December 6th, 2011 at 4:32 PM ^

It would have been interesting to see how Van Bergen would have done under a competent defensive staff throughout his career.  He's been pretty good this year, but he was just okay the past couple seasons.  I think Van Bergen is better than most of the guys you listed; unfortunately, he was surrounded by less talent than most of those guys.


December 6th, 2011 at 4:23 PM ^

And I mean that as a HUGE compliment.

Not a perfect comparison, but Pickelman like RVB is often lost in the shadow of Jerel Worthy (Mike Martin).

Both had humble beginings (Pick's were very humble (a MAC TE)) and have developed into extremely valuable cogs in the middle of their respective defenses.  Hard work and minimal pub.  The definition of football players.


December 6th, 2011 at 4:26 PM ^

So much of whether someone who's not an all-world talent makes it in the NFL depends on whether they end up on the right team, running the right scheme to take advantage of their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. The consensus on RVB above is a good example. Dude will never make it as a 4-3 end or a 3-technique DT. But he's got the frame and the motor to be a solid if unspectacular 5-tech as a 3-4 DE for someone like the Steelers or Pats, who want their DEs to occupy doubles and take on the trash so their LBs can make big plays.

Molk is a warrior, and smart as hell, and a great technician. But he is really small for an NFL interior lineman, and he already looks pretty maxed out physically, so an NFL strength program isn't going to put another 20 pounds on him. He will struggle to anchor against massive nose tackles like Haloti Ngata or B.J. Raji or stand up to bull rushes.

Still, he's got a shot. The model for Molk having a long career in the NFL is guys like Mark Stepnoski (Cowboys center in the 1990s) and Jeff Saturday of the Colts. Stepnoski was *really* undersized, but he had massive dudes on both sides of him on those great Cowboys line, and played with superior technique and leverage. Saturday is also undersized, but has had a great career -- again, because of smarts, great technique, and in his case, playing in a zone-based running scheme where athleticism and technique matter more than brawn.