The Wolverine

2022 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Former Wolverines With New Teams In 2022 Player 2021 Team 2022 Team Ben Braden Green Bay Packers Denver Broncos Taco Charlton Pittsburgh Steelers New Orleans Saints Mason Cole Minnesota Vikings Pittsburgh Steelers Devin Funchess San Francisco 49ers Detroit Lions Jabrill Peppers New York Giants New England Patriots Chase Winovich New England Patriots Cleveland Browns BY THE NUMBERS: THE 2021 NFL SEASON 40 Days is all it took for Tampa Bay Buccaneers quar- terback Tom Brady to decide he was not ready for retirement. The seven-time Super Bowl champion initially stepped away from the game on Feb. 1, citing the desire to spend more time with his family. He feels he has at least one more run in him and the fire that burns to add another trophy to his résumé, reversing his decision on March 13 and return- ing to the Bucs. Brady finished second in NFL MVP voting last season to Aaron Rodgers and missed out on a trip to the NFC Championship Game thanks to the eventual champion Los Angeles Rams. Look for him to internalize those slights and make it the rest of the league's problem in 2022. 13 Starts were made by Ten- nessee Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan coming off a torn ACL suffered during the 2020 season after five games played. This offseason, he feels like he has gotten back to his normal self after the injury recovery last year. "Football is fun for me again," Le- wan said, via SB Nation's Music City Miracles. "If there's a difference be- tween last year and this year, I'm en- joying the hell out of myself again. Last year, let's not get it twisted, that s**t was f***ing miserable. It was miserable. That first game [versus the Arizona Cardi- nals] was terrible. It got better towards the end of last year, but damn, it wasn't fun. I didn't feel my best every week. You make 100 excuses in your head. I couldn't pretend like it didn't happen. I had to figure it out. I feel more like myself than I ever have now." 9.5 Sacks helped cement RASHAN GARY as one of 2021's breakout players and allowed the former No. 12 overall pick to finally put it all together with Green Bay. Injuries thrust him into a larger role with the Packers last season, and he answered the call with 16 starts, a career- high number of quarterback takedowns and a seventh-place finish in the league with 23 QB hits. The club picked up his fifth-year option this offseason, locking him up through the 2023 season. 5 Wolverines were selected in the 2022 NFL Draft — defen- sive end Aidan Hutchinson (No. 2 overall, Detroit Lions), safety Daxton Hill (No. 31, Cincinnati Bengals), linebacker David Ojabo (No. 45, Baltimore Ravens), running back Hassan Haskins (No. 131, Tennessee Titans) and offensive tackle An- drew Stueber (No. 245 overall, New England Patriots). 1 Michigan player has been selected higher than Hutchin- son in the NFL Draft during the last 14 years, and that was offensive tackle Jake Long, the No. 1 overall pick of the Miami Dolphins in the 2008 NFL Draft. Hutchinson surpassed Charles Woodson (No. 4 overall, 1998) as the highest-drafted defensive Wolverine in program history. PHOTO BY EVAN SIEGLE/COURTESY GREEN BAY PACKERS 144 ■ THE WOLVERINE 2022 FOOTBALL PREVIEW

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