The Wolverine

June July 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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JUNE/JULY 2018 THE WOLVERINE 9 BY ANDREW VAILLIENCOURT I t's been 10 years since a Michigan player was selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft (offensive tackle Jake Long by the Miami Dolphins in 2008), but the 2019 draft could change that. A number of 2019 mock drafts have already been re- leased, and several Michigan players are being projected as first-round picks — including two that are in conten- tion for the No. 1 overall pick. is pro- jecting junior defensive end Rashan Gary to be the first choice, while has junior quarterback Shea Patterson as the top selection. Gary is considered a top-15 lock and has the upside to be taken in the top five picks, while Patterson is seen as someone who could go anywhere from first overall to the end of the first round. His play this season as Michigan's signal-caller will determine that. Junior linebacker Devin Bush Jr. is also considered a first-round talent and is being projected to go as high as the middle of the first round. If two of those three are selected among the first 10 picks, it will mark the first time since 1945 that Michigan has had two players taken in the top 10 of an NFL Draft. If all three players and fifth-year senior defensive end Chase Winovich are taken in the opening round, it would be the first time in history that U-M has four players selected in the first stanza. The Wolverines last had three players taken in the first round in 2001, when wide receiver David Terrell (No. 8), offensive guard Steve Hutchinson (No. 17) and offensive tackle Jeff Backus (No. 18) were drafted by the Chicago Bears, Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions, respectively. If two U-M players go in the first round, it'd be the first time since 2017, when safety Jabrill Peppers (No. 25) and defensive end Taco Charlton (No. 28) both were taken. The last time Michigan had multiple players with eligi- bility remaining drafted was in 2008, when wide receivers Mario Manningham (No. 95, third round) and Adrian Ar- rington (No. 237, seventh) left school early.'s Dane Brugler projects Gary, Bush, Patterson and Winovich all to be taken in the first round. Other outlets, such as CBS Sports and, only project two or three Wolverines taken in the opening round. ESPN's Todd McShay has Gary going third overall to the New York Giants, but he was the lone U-M player predicted to be picked in the first round by McShay. Early player rankings have Gary as a clear-cut top-five player overall., Bleacher Report, and CBS Sports all have him ranked between third and fifth in the event. Michigan could have up to nine players selected in the 2019 NFL Draft: Gary, Patterson, Bush, Winovich, senior running back Karan Higdon, junior cornerbacks Lavert Hill and David Long, junior linebacker/viper Khaleke Hudson and senior safety Tyree Kinnel. There's also the possibility that other juniors, such as tight ends Sean McKeon and Zach Gentry (who is a redshirt junior), offen- sive guard Ben Bredeson and safety Josh Metellus — who would all viewed as long shots right now — could declare if they have strong seasons. Michigan should be loaded with NFL talent during the 2018 season. Keeping an eye on the talented juniors will be something to follow throughout the fall. Inside Michigan ATHLETICS Will The No. 1 Overall Pick In The 2019 NFL Draft Be From Michigan? is projecting junior defensive end Rashan Gary to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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