Below are the notable Michigan Wolverines players eligible for the 2018 NFL Draft. Few teams in the country will face a tougher test in replacing their lost starters than Michigan. The team, on both sides of the ball no less, was decimated by graduation rates. Very few returning starters are present and the Wolverines face a tough season in the Big Ten Conference in 2017.
Center Mason Cole – 6040, 305 – Senior
Cole is the stalwart along the offensive line this year for the Wolverines; his consistent presence in the middle will be greatly welcomed with so much change from last season. Cole was a highly regarded Tackle prospect leaving high school and has found his way inside; where he wins with quick hands and natural mobility. Yet Cole does have some work to do in order to improve. Most notably, he struggles against power players, having a hard time dropping his hops to absorb bull rushes. Cole’s stock would be helped immensely by showing a better anchor in 2017.
Quarterback Wilton Speight – 6060, 243 – Junior
Speight is back for another year with the Wolverines; but he’s no lock to win the starting job. Coach Jim Harbaugh has openly said the team is going to let the best player start at the position. Speight has a big frame and an even bigger arm; he still needs to learn how to use them both optimally. Too frequently Speight misfires on deep throws and forces receivers into perilous territory to finish a catch. He’ll need drastic improvement this season.
Defensive Tackle Maurice Hurst – 6020, 282 – Redshirt Senior
Hurst may be one of the best limited experience starters in the entire country. Hurst would not only start but be a standout on a better part of the many programs across the country; but he’s been shielded by depth during his time at Michigan. That ends this year, as Hurst is going to be relied upon as one of the leaders of the defensive unit. Hurst is quick, nimble and twitchy; always an exciting combination for interior defenders.
Linebacker Mike McCray – 6040, 248 – Senior
McCray is a big time thumper in the middle. He has size that would make traditional 3-4 coaches drool; and he does know how to put that pop to good use. Where McCray needs to show development this year is in his movement efficiency. That size does come with a cost, as McCray doesn’t have a great deal of lateral twitch. As a result; he needs to very much stay on top of his reads and technique to stay in a position to challenge the ball with consistency.