Two Michigan football players in too-early 2024 NFL mock draft
Now that the 2023 NFL draft is in the books, draftniks are prognosticating the 2023 college football season in order to predict what the next draft will look like.
And if all goes as planned, that means things have gone really well for Michigan football.
The latest NFL mock draft comes courtesy of The Athletic ($) and draft guru Dane Brugler. Compiling his first round, he has two Michigan football players going, but surprisingly neither are running back Blake Corum — though it’s a little less surprising when you consider that aside from this year, running backs tend to not be first-round picks.
If it goes as Brugler predicts, it would mean Michigan has had a really good year. Because, though he has him as the fourth quarterback, if J.J. McCarthy departs a year early and goes into the first round, that means that the Wolverines probably made it back to the College Football Playoff.
15. Las Vegas Raiders: J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan
The fourth quarterback drafted in this mock, and you don’t need to squint to see the talent with McCarthy. He is a loose athlete for his size with NFL-level arm strength and the poise to make plays.
If Michigan doesn’t reach its goals, it’s difficult to see McCarthy either being drafted so high, or him leaving the program. Seeing him with the Raiders would be a weird fit, given McCarthy’s boyish persona mixed with that of Las Vegas’ bad boy perception.
Additionally, the second pick for Brugler would indicate that the Wolverines are on solid footing, because if Kris Jenkins is selected in the first round, it’s an indication that that side of the ball truly reloaded.
22. Baltimore Ravens: Kris Jenkins, DT, Michigan
I gave Jenkins a second-round grade based on his 2022 tape. If he takes the next step in his development in 2023, the first round could be in range. He is quick off the ball to make plays versus the run and as a pass rusher.
That would be big for Jenkins in particular, considering that the son of the former NFL great was just a three-star prospect during his recruitment.
Perhaps surprising, beyond Corum, is the lack of Donovan Edwards — who could be seen as a higher-rated draft pick given his versatility — or guard Zak Zinter. It wouldn’t be a shock if Trevor Keegan, Junior Colson, or Rod Moore play themselves into the first round this upcoming season, either.
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