Your WAAAY Too Early 2017 NFL Draft Predictions (Michigan edition)

Submitted by Mr. Yost on May 1st, 2016 at 1:56 PM

Now that the draft is over...who do you think gets drafted next year and what round?



May 1st, 2016 at 2:12 PM ^

A team with a solid QB situation is going to have the worst record? Or a team with the worst record in football and a bad QB is going to pass on the most important position to take a good DE? No bias in that analysis at all haha

It'll be Deshaun Watson, I guarantee* it. 




*barring another injury


May 1st, 2016 at 2:17 PM ^

that's a bit bullish on Peppers in my opinion. he's not going to be an NFL corner. if he projects to a safety then he'll need to have one helluva year. The last safety pick taken top 5 was Eric Berry. Peppers has not had an Eric Berry career thus far. I would love to eat crow a year from now, which would mean Peppers has an absurdly good year.

By the way, here is a write up on Berry his soph year. He returned for his junior year. This is just a comparison to show you where Peppers should already be in order to be on the same top 5 trajectory as Berry.

"Prior to the season, despite being a sophomore, Berry was named a team captain.[12]

For the year, Berry tied for the national lead in interceptions with 7 and returned them for 265 yards and 2 touchdowns, breaking the record he set the year earlier. Combined with the yards he accumulated as a Freshman, Berry set the all-time career SEC record for interception return yards with 487 yards, only 14 yards shy of the NCAA record for interception return yards, set by Terrell Buckley during his time atFlorida State. He also finished the regular season with 72 tackles, 6 pass break-ups and 3 sacks.

Berry also took snaps on offense at quarterback and wide receiver, gaining 44 rushing yards on 7 carries. In addition, he gained 32 yards on 2 kick-off returns.

His early success had some journalists speculating that he could end up being the best defensive player in Tennessee history.[13] He was nominated as a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, the Lott Trophy, and the Chuck Bednarik Award.

Berry was named the SEC Defensive Player of the year and was a first-team All-SEC pick. He was also a unanimous first-team All American.[14]The Touchdown Club of Columbus also named him their winner of the 2008 Jack Tatum Award as well."


May 1st, 2016 at 3:10 PM ^

Maybe bullish, but only slightly. Peppers has as much athleticism as anyone who has ever played at Michigan. He was an All-American this past season in some locations and was absolutely dominant in his defensive role despite having missed enough of his first season to earn a redshirt. 

And he's not "just a safety." He is a hybrid defender that can cover receivers (if he grows in this area in '16, look out) and defend the run and destroy the edge of any offense. In today's football with spread formations the new norm, he is the rare player that can defend both run and pass in a dominant way.

His versatility will make him more desirable, not less. Just a few years ago an aging Charles Woodson won the NFL DPOY operating in the position that Peppers is born for. Every DC in the League wants a guy like him. 

The fact that he is called a "safety" is not because he plays a less critical position, but because he is so talented that restricting him to mere cornerbacking would be a waste of brilliant talent. So, comparisons with Berry's career accolades are not really the way to go (though Peppers compares pretty favorably, honestly). 

Peppers would've been a sure-fire first rounder this past Thursday had he been eligible. If his game continues to improve this season, he is going to be a dominant player that will be drafted extremely high.


May 1st, 2016 at 9:25 PM ^

c'mon, he's not going to magically redefine any positions on defense in the NFL. What general manager is going to look at his tweener/versatility as a must have, enough to take him as a top 5 pick overall? You need to be a lockdown corner or an absolutely physically imposing ass-kicking safety to justify a pick that high.

I appreciate your fandom, I really do. But the chances of Peppers going top 5 in the draft are slim to none.

Edit: ok, I'll taste a bit of crow right now as I just googled 2017 mock draft and see this guy has Peppers going 8th overall. I will admit that I was maybe a little tough on you with my post. Maybe he can actually vault into the top 5, we'll see.


May 2nd, 2016 at 5:42 AM ^

Berry is a great best case scenario comp.
- Spent a ton of time at TN near the LOS, covering receivers one on one and rushing the passer.
- Absolute elite athlete (crushed the combine/extremely high recruiting profile) and was prolific in every year he played college ball.
- Has been great in the NFL and could plausibly play CB, safety or the HSPish spots that have been around for a long time but teams keep coming up with new names for.
- Led his team to the playoffs and made the Pro Bowl this year coming back from Hodgkin's lymphoma.

If we get production from Peppers similar to Berry's sophomore year we will all be thrilled.


May 1st, 2016 at 5:31 PM ^

I agree with you UNC.  Taking the Wolverine blinders off for a second... Peppers was solid on D and had a positive impact on offense in limited duty.   Most of his accolades and hype come from his amazing athletic ability, versatility, physicality and instincts for the game.

He has played well so far, but not 1st round well.  Perhaps he blows up this season and earns a 1st round pick.  He may end up being one anyway, even if the on-field production does not match the hype and ability.  That seems to be the way this is heading...


May 1st, 2016 at 6:01 PM ^

1. Be drafted in the first round,
2. Likely top 10
3. Definitely higher than J Lewis.

NFL teams are not only looking at stats; they are looking at bodies. Peppers is the kind of NFL body that front offices wank over. Look at the Bears: they drafted Leonard Floyd over Shaq Lawson because Floyd has the body type and timed measurables of Aldon Smith.

Peppers looked bad in OSU game, but this year he will make himself money.

Some mock drafts already have Peopers in top 10.

I don't think Watson will have the same kind of year, and I don't think (educated, but still a thought and not a fact) that he or his team will be as good this year. Watson will be a late 1st to early 2nd if he is anywhere comparable to this year, but any faltering will drop his stock.

Leonard Fournette, if he dominates, will push for the top with Garrett.

Mr. Yost

May 1st, 2016 at 2:21 PM ^

I hear you, and I'm not going to argue with anyone over a shot in the dark prediction made a year in advance. Just thought it was interesting.

I'd say he'd be an uFA to someone like the Seahawks or the Falcons where they want big corners who play one half of the field.

If he doesn't start, he's not going to get invited to the postseason scouting bowls either. But you never know what will happen throughout this summer and the season.

I'll say...

  1. Jourdan Lewis (top 20)
  2. Jake Butt (late 1st)
  3. Jehu Chesson (2nd)
  4. Chris Wormley (late 2nd/early 3rd)
  5. Ryan Glasgow (late 3rd/early 4th)
  6. Amara Darboh (5th)
  7. Taco Charlton (6th)
  8. De'Veon Smith (6th)
  9. Kyle Kalis or Erik Magnusson (late 6th/early 7th)
  10. Dymonte Thomas (7th)

Kalis or Magnusson, Gedeon, McCray, Stribling, Clark, Hill all get picked up as uFAs.


May 1st, 2016 at 2:59 PM ^

You aren't the first to say that about Clark so I get it. I think it is pretty clear I am a Clark fan. Here is a guy that at this point last year never played corner in his life. Within months he was a starter for half a season. 

I think there are some things to consider when you talk Clark as a draftable prospect. Height, weight, speed, his lack of experenice as a positive and his ability to play press. 

From everything I've heard Clark should blow away the testing. Should be at least 6-3 in socks, weight over 205, run under 4.5 maybe 4,4 (at 6-3 he just needs to run under 4.6), jump over 40 inches. 

You don't go undrafted, while having no off-field concerns, while being able to do that kind of work. You just don't. 

The only other one I'll debate is Thomas but hey he still has to prove it. 


May 1st, 2016 at 2:08 PM ^

That's extremely optimistic. I think Lewis will be the first UM player off the board. Peppers is a freak and could go in the first, but I don't see him being taken above Lewis. Chesson will go in round 3 at the earliest. Think about it Funchess was a freak with incredible size and speed and he went in the second. Butt could play his way into the late first round, but I see him going in the second. Darboh and Thomas will go forth round at the earliest. I could see Clark and Glasgow being UFAs

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Stringer Bell

May 1st, 2016 at 2:12 PM ^

Chesson is 6'3, 207, and incredibly fast.  He's got great physical tools, and if he builds upon his 2nd half of the season last year and has a monster senior year (as many of us expect), I think he'll be a 1st rounder for sure.  Possibly the best receiver in the draft.  Funchess didn't really have the production to match his physical tools, so that's the difference I think.  Admittedly when I got to the end I kinda just threw names at the wall.  I do think Clark will be drafted though given his Richard Sherman-esque profile.

Mr. Yost

May 1st, 2016 at 2:04 PM ^

De'Veon Smith

Amara Darboh

Jehu Chesson

Jake Butt

Kyle Kalis

Erik Magnuson

Taco Charlton

Ryan Glasgow

Chris Wormley

J****** P****** (please win and Heisman can return to win another!)

Ben Gedeon

Jourdan Lewis

Channing Stribling

Jeremy Clark

Dymonte Thomas

Delano Hill


May 1st, 2016 at 5:47 PM ^

I think all those guys end up in a camp barring something happening with the majority being drafted. Might also add Braden - NFL teams never can have enough o lineman so you see a lot of fliers in the late rounds on guys who typically have the measurables and have played a lot of football.


May 1st, 2016 at 2:07 PM ^

This is so early....I love offseason hypotheticals. I'll go:

1. JD - Top 15, #1 corner

2. Mason Cole - Top 25, as a combo interior guy

3. Jake Butt - Top 25, #1 TE

4. Jehu Chesson - 2nd Round

5. Chris Wormley - 2nd Round

6. Amara Darboh - 3rd Round

7. Ryan Glasgow - 3rd Round

8. Taco Charlton - 3rd Round

9. Dymonte Thomas - 5th Round

10. Mike McCray - 6th Round

11 & 12. Whichever two OL progress the best this fall (say Kalis and Braden)


This is a wild guess that Peppers returns to finish his degree, get one more run at MSU/OSU at home (even though I think we beat both this fall), and take a shot at the Heisman and a top 5 overall pick instead of just a generic 1st rounder

Perkis-Size Me

May 1st, 2016 at 2:20 PM ^

Lewis - mid to late first round. Could get close to being a top 10 pick if he ups the takeaways. That was the one area where he was lacking this Fall.

Peppers has top 5 potential with his athleticism and versatility. He does everything well, but hasn't found a particular "home" yet, which could hurt him. As of right now I'd say he's a second round guy, but if he continues upping his game this Fall, that could change big time. He can play anywhere that isn't a line position, and coaches will love that. I just think he needs to find a permanent position that he is clearly "the guy" at. Being a jack of all trades, something that should help, could ironically hurt him if he's a master of none of them.

Butt - late first round to early second round. Best TE in college right now, and everyone is looking for the next Gronk.

Chesson - could work his way into Day 2 if he picks up where he left off last season. Has the speed to be a real downfield threat.

Wormley - like Chesson, could work his way into Day 2 with another big year.

Glasgow - probably a Day 3 guy right now, but if he comes back healthy and picks up where he left off, who knows?

Thomas, Clark, Darboh, Braden, Smith, and Kalis all could be drafted too, or they could all go undrafted too. Next year is put up or shut up time.

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May 1st, 2016 at 2:31 PM ^

Do we all agree that Lewis is likely a first rounder? I certainly hope so, and he is one of the best cornerbacks I have had the privilege to watch playing in a winged helmet, but I'm concerned that NFL scouts might knock him for his size. I just hope we don't see him slide because of his measurables.

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