The Wolverine

May 2021 Issue

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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MAY 2021 THE WOLVERINE 41 third option who can swing out, catch passes and quickly turn upfield. "He can make linebackers miss and has some appeal from that perspec- tive. Is he a great blocker and good at taking on defensive ends, tackles and linebackers? Probably not. He was underutilized at Michigan, especially later in his career. Eubanks showed good movement on film and made plays with the ball since he's a good athlete, but he just wasn't a big part of U-M's offense. "I don't know if he'll get drafted, but he could ultimately be a better and more productive player in the NFL than he was at Michigan." RUNNING BACK CHRIS EVANS Brugler: "I wish we would've seen more from him last year — he touched the ball just 25 times. I think he has a lot more to offer, especially as a pass catcher. "Evans is a do-everything guy who can play in the slot or in the backfield — you can use him on swing screens and get creative. That versatility is enticing and he's a prime candidate to be a better pro than college player because of the way he can impact the passing game. "Evans has a level of versatil- ity that will give him a chance to be drafted somewhere in the later rounds." Trapasso: "He played better earlier in his Michigan career than he did this past season. It wouldn't shock me if he's a seventh-round pick or someone we see on a team in Sep- tember playing in the preseason. "There were flashes of juice down the field and good wiggle in space, though he never lived up to the hype. I'm not sure how good his contact bal- ance is, and that's something you need. "He's pretty athletic and can catch out of the backfield, and that could be enough for a team to take a chance on him. You need three or four rush- ers on your roster in today's NFL. If Evans isn't drafted, I could see him being an integral part of a team's undrafted free agent class and then making a team in September." DEFENSIVE LINEMAN CARLO KEMP Brugler: "He'll be somewhere be- tween a defensive end and a tackle in the NFL — probably more of a base end. He's 281 pounds but doesn't have the longest arm, and that's where teams will struggle with him. "Kemp might be a guy without a true position. He will probably have to play on the outside and win with that first-step quickness. I think he'll be signed as a free agent and will have a shot to make a team in train- ing camp." Trapasso: "He fits the undersized mold that teams want in their pass- rushing defensive tackles. The pro- duction at Michigan wasn't really there, and I don't know if he meets most NFL standards athletically. "Teams want quickness though, and if you're playing as a three-tech- nique, it's usually more of a slashy tackle position than just a space- eater. Kemp could make a team as an undrafted free agent." FULLBACK BEN MASON Brugler: "I like Ben Mason quite a bit and think he has a chance to be drafted because of the way he can impact the game in so many different ways. He can play on special teams, and serve as a blocker or pass catcher — he's just a hard-nosed football player. "While doing my research, I no- ticed he played defensive line at Michigan as well, and that tells me something about him. Mason just wants to go out and play the game as a competitor. That competitiveness resonates with coaches at the next level. He's a violent blocker, but the receiving production was not there as a pass catcher. "When he was targeted, he looked like he knew what he was doing. Ma- son has a chance to be drafted and be a three-way player on special teams, a pass catcher out of the backfield and a lead blocker. The versatility is what's key with him." Trapasso: "He's the top consensus fullback in this draft class. The Balti- more Ravens and San Francisco 49ers still utilize a fullback at times. Ma- son's athleticism and blocking abili- ties are good, and he could go in the sixth or seventh round. "We've seen some fullbacks, snap- pers and punters go in that range. It wouldn't surprise me if he's picked, because we know he's not just stocky and can be more than a blocker — he has receiving qualities to his game as well. What he did at Michigan over the past few seasons should help him get drafted late on day three." OFFENSIVE LINEMAN JALEN MAYFIELD Brugler: "I graded him as a sec- ond-round player and a borderline top-50 pick. He's still very young and doesn't turn 21 years old until May. The ability he shows is very enticing at 6-5, 326 pounds. "Mayfield played right tackle for Michigan, but I actually like him bet- ter at guard because he has position versatility in what he can do. He has a lot of core strength and power that he showed in 2020 — the way he could uproot defenders was encouraging, and I liked the way he used his hands. "He also collapsed down the line well to create run lanes. Mayfield is still learning how to use his ability to be the best player he can be. Who- ever drafts him will be betting on his upside and projection. "He could be a starter by the end of his rookie year once he gets coached up, but there will be an acclimation period while he adjusts and learns what it takes to be successful at the NFL level." Trapasso: "The first round is a little high for him, mostly because it's such a good offensive tackle class. I don't know if that will help or hurt him, but there are so many names after [Oregon's] Penei Sewell and [North- western's] Rashawn Slater who will go in the first round. I don't know if This year's NFL Draft is loaded with offen- sive tackle prospects, and versatile offen- sive lineman Jalen Mayfield could be a late first-round or early second-round selection. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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