Western Michigan – Treshaun Hayward, Linebacker, Senior
Second-team All-American by Sporting News, MAC Defensive Player of the Year and first-team All-MAC. Needless to say, the 2019 season was a strong one for Treshaun Hayward. Despite all those accolades, he still chose to return to Western Michigan for his senior season, which could be the framework for another push towards the 2021 NFL Draft.
Before we get into his outlook for 2020, we have to look back at everything Hayward accomplished in 2019. In addition to his various honors, Hayward compiled a team-high 142 tackles which ranked third in the nation. He was also able to log 10.5 tackles for loss and five sacks for the Western Michigan defense, being one of just five players in the country to have at least 130 tackles and 10 tackles for loss.
Now looking ahead, Hayward is already being pegged as one of the best players in the conference. Sporting News and Phil Steele are both projecting him to be First Team All-MAC again with Steele going a step further and naming him a preseason All-American. He has also been placed on the watch lists for the Nagurski Trophy and Butkus Award.
Hayward did enough in 2019 to most likely be drafted had he declared, but in returning, he opens the door to improve his draft stock even more in 2020. Should he come close to his numbers from last season he should absolutely hear his name called during the 2021 NFL Draft.