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The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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58 THE WOLVERINE MAY 2020 P ick after pick went by on the third day of the NFL Draft April 25 — hour after hour, Michi- gan fans waited for wide receiver Donovan Peoples- Jones' name to be called. The fourth round came and went, and then the fifth … in the sixth, the Miami Dolphins, owned by U-M alum and donor Stephen Ross, known for signing his share of former Wolverines, were on the clock with pick No. 6 and Peoples-Jones still available. Their choice? LSU long snapper Blake Ferguson. The stunning free fall fi- nally ended two picks later, when the Cleveland Browns took Peoples-Jones with the No. 187 overall pick. The receiver would be one of five Michigan players chosen in the sixth round, concluding with linebacker Jordan Glasgow's selection at No. 213 by the Indianapolis Colts. "DPJ," as he was called, was the 28th receiver taken in a deep draft for wideouts despite showing well at the NFL Combine. He measured 6-2, 212 pounds, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.48 seconds and posted a vertical jump of 44.5 inches, just 1.5 inches shy of the all-time record. Fair or not, he was also called an "underachiever" after catching only 1,327 yards in passes in his three years, never eclipsing 100 yards in a game. His production never matched his physical gifts, and even draft analysts speculated as to why. "He's got that catch radius that you want. He's got big hands," ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. said in March. "He just has to show a little bit more of a 'want to.' He's got first-round talent, but he didn't play like a first- rounder." Regardless,'s Matt Bowen called him the best pick of the sixth round, and it's hard to argue that it looks like a steal … at least on paper. The obvious question is, "How did it come to that?" Peoples-Jones admitted his fall stunned him, but he also made it clear he didn't agree with the assessment that he could have been more productive. "I do not think that is a fair criti- cism," he said. "I did what I could when I had the opportunity." The insinuation being what many in his camp had allegedly been grumbling about for a while — that he wasn't put in position to get enough of a chance to show his ability. In reality, college football is and always has been a "get what you give" sport. Those who give their all at all times for team success, keep grinding when they aren't getting theirs because it is the only way they know how, usually get noticed and often get what they deserve. Offensive guard Ben Bredeson, a fourth-rounder due to "limited athleticism," was one, going to John Harbaugh's Baltimore Ravens and getting a stamp of approval from both Harbaugh's brother, Michigan head coach Jim, and his father, Jack. "They said he's everything you want in a football player and a per- son," John Harbaugh said. "I think that went a long way, and I think those are the kinds of guys [Ravens general manager] Eric De- Costa likes to draft — smart, tough guys that are going to come to the building and be all in, all the time. That's our kind of guy." That description also fit Glasgow, the third of three brothers to walk on and make an impact at U-M fol- lowing linemen Graham and Ryan. Colts brass raved about his fearlessness and energy on film the same way U-M coaches did after seeing him in person every day. "I'm always willing to go the extra mile, do what I need to do, meeting extra, all that stuff," Glasgow said. "In terms of not fearing anything … in the context of football, whatever a team asks me to do, I'm going to try to do. I'm not going to shy away from that. "Whatever the Colts ask me to do when I come in as I go through my process with them, I'll have no fear taking that on." A lot of teams, he noted, say it doesn't matter where a guy's drafted — it only matters how he plays when he arrives. They want to win, after all, and it only makes sense to play the guys who give them the best shot at victory. "Even if that's not necessarily true and there's some preconceived notion … I'm used to that pre- conceived notion [as a walk-on]," Glasgow said. "Early in my college career, I was used to going through it, used to changing peoples' minds about me." Ironically, Peoples-Jones is now in that position, too — territory un- familiar to him, but with plenty of time to change the narrative. Chan- neling his inner Glasgow would be a wise first step toward making that happen. ❑ Chris Balas has been with The Wolver- ine since 1997. Contact him at cbalas@ and follow him on Twitter @Balas_Wolverine. INSIDE MICHIGAN   CHRIS BALAS A Tale Of Two Sixth Rounders's Matt Bowen tabbed U-M wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones as the best pick of the sixth round in the NFL Draft. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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