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Michigan Wolverines Top NFL Prospects for 2012 and Beyond


All offseason, NFL Mocks will be in conjunction with Big Ten Nation, a site devoted to one of the top athletic conferences in the entire country. The Big Ten features 12 top notch football programs that are always putting out some of the best NFL talent. Editors Nick Hlebichuk and Austin Bramley, along with myself, will be providing you readers with the top NFL prospects from the conference, and we start in Ann Arbor, where the Michigan Wolverines are experiencing a changing of the guard.

Michigan is known for it’s potent offensive attack and horrendous defense. Still, the Wolverines are able to draw in top recruits from around the country, and have done a solid job of developing that talent, on their way to being one of the sleeper teams in the conference in 2011. Nick Hlebichuk is Big Ten Nation’s Michigan expert, and gives us a look at some of the top NFL prospects in the program.

16 Denard Robinson QB (Junior): I fully expect “Shoelace” to return for his senior season.   The chances of Robinson turning pro after this season are as close to zero as you can get.  In fact, I cannot foresee a scenario in which ”Shoelace” would go pro.  Now that being said, if he does declare this season he will likely be drafted as a receiver or a running back in the 3rd to 4th round range.

12 Roy Roundtree WR (Junior RS): The chances of Roundtree going pro after this season are higher than Robinson’s.  I do believe, however, that Roundtree, like Robinson, would benefit immensely by returning for his senior season.  Roundtree will be a good player in the NFL someday, but he would probably jump up at least one round by returning to school next season.  If he does declare for the draft, look for him to be a 4th-5th rounder.  Seeing that he does not have top-end speed, as well as the fact that he will drop a occansional pass, he will likely be used as a slot receiver in the NFL.

21 Junior Hemingway WR (Senior RS): Hemingway will need to show that he can be a great receiver in the pro style offense this season.  He has great size, listed at 6 foot 1 inch and 227 pounds, ideal for a wide receiver in the NFL.  Hemingway did not excel as a pass catcher in the spread offense, however, he is probably the most sure-handed out of all the wide receivers on the squad this season.  The earliest round that I can see Hemingway being taken in is the 3rd round, but more likely he will be a late round pick.

9 Martavious Odoms WR (Senior): Odoms is best suited for the spread offense, which makes this season critical for his hopes to be drafted next year.  He is an extremely speedy, yet tiny receiver, who can also return kicks.  If Odoms can prove that he can operate in a pro style offense with some effectiveness out of the slot, he will be a 6th or 7th round pick next year.

50 David Molk C (Senior RS): Molk is one of the best centers in all of college football.  He is an extremely smart and gifted athlete, and has anchored the Michigan offensive line the past few seasons.  While injuries are a slight concern with Molk, he has proven when healthy that he is an absolute monster.  I expect him to be picked sometime in the 4th round next April.

86 Kevin Koger TE (Senior): Koger will need a monster season in order to be drafted next year.  While he has great size for a Tight End (6’4″ 255 Pounds) he simply has not seen enough action due to playing his first 3 years in a spread offense.  He will likely get picked in the 7th round if he does get drafted.

88 Craig Roh DE (Junior): Roh, like Robinson and Roundtree, would really benefit by staying for his senior season.  He was simply moved around too much under Rich Rodriguez and will need to use the extra year to improve his skills as pass rusher from the defensive end spot.  His 6’5″ frame, as well as his speed, suggests that he has the potential to be  an elite pass rusher, both in college and at the next level.  If he goes pro after this season I would expect him to be a late 5th round selection.

68 Mike Martin DT (Senior): Martin will likely be the first Michigan player selected in the draft next season.  He has been one of the few bright spots on woeful Wolverine defenses over the past few years.  Martin has consistently been around the ball, and is best suited for the 4-3 defense.  Kiper has him as the third best defensive tackle on his board next season, which will likely translate into a 2nd round pick.

53 Ryan Van Bergen DE (Senior RS): Van Bergen was also a bright spot on the defense last season.  He was one of the few players that could get pressure on the opposing QB, and with his 6’6″ frame, has the potential to be an even more dynamic player as he develops further.  While he is not as NFL ready as Mike Martin is, he has the potential to be a better playmaker in the NFL since he has better size.  I expect to see him go in the late 3rd round or early 4th round next April.

29 Troy Woolfolk CB (Senior RS): Woolfolk missed last season with an injury, so how he bounces back this season will have a major impact on his draft stock.  He is really a complete mystery to NFL teams, who really have not gotten a good look at how he can compete.  If I had to guess when he would go next year I would guess in the 6th round.

I expect that 4 or 5 Wolverines will get their name called in April next season.  Michigan fans shouldn’t lose too much sleep over the potential that Robinson, Roundtree, or Roh could go pro after this season, as I expect them all to return to school for their senior seasons.  The seniors, with the exceptions of Van Bergen, Martin, and Molk, will all need to have good seasons in order to hear their name called by a NFL team in the draft next season.