NFL Draft 2020: Which Wolverines will be picked on day three?
Through two days of the NFL Draft, just two Michigan football players have been taken: Center Cesar Ruiz was selected 24th overall by the New Orleans Saints, while New England Patriots took linebacker/defensive edge Josh Uche with the 60th overall pick. Day three should be more Michigan-heavy, based on most projections, but the number of Wolverines selected could still vary wildly.
Below, we break down Michigan’s remaining draft candidates, and assess whether they will be drafted in the final four rounds, or have to wait until undrafted free-agent opportunities come knocking.
Weight: 212 pounds
Age: 21 years old
Projections: According to CBS Sports’ latest seven-round mock draft, Peoples-Jones is projected to be take 109th overall by the Detroit Lions. CBSSports’ top-500 prospect big board ranks him as the 92nd overall prospect. According to NFL.com ‘s Daniel Jeremiah, Peoples-Jones is the No. 131 overall prospect. NFL.com ‘s Chad Rueter has Peoples-Jones being selected 154th overall by the Miami Dolphins. The Athletic ’s Dane Brugler projects Peoples-Jones to go 115th overall to the Cleveland Browns. FiveThirtyEight projects Peoples-Jones to be drafted 105th overall, with a range of 54th to 220th.
At Michigan: A former five-star recruit from Detroit, Peoples Jones was a three-year starter totaling 37 games and 26 starts with the Wolverines. He caught 103 passes for 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns in three seasons, with 612 yards and eight touchdowns coming in his sophomore season. He also added 743 punt-return yards and two touchdowns, averaging 8.3 yards per punt return. He was a third-team All-Big Ten honoree in 2018 and an honorable mention this past fall.
At the NFL Combine: Peoples-Jones was dominant at the NFL Combine, posting the best SPARQ all-around score among receivers, one that equates to the 99th athleticism percentile among NFL players. He led all receivers with a vertical leap of 44.5 inches and a broad jump of 11 feet, seven inches. His 40-yard dash time of 4.48 was strong for his weight and 17th overall, though his 10-yard split of 1.54 seconds was 26th among receivers. He did not participate in any other measurable drills.
247Sports’ take: Clearly the rumors of Donovan Peoples-Jones sliding were legitimate, as 16 wide receivers were taken yet Peoples-Jones is left waiting to find out his fate Saturday. As some analysts have noted, teams may be more willing to take a risk on a talented yet uneven prospect in the fourth or fifth rounds. While many teams have already filled up on receiver, we predict that Peoples-Jones is one of the next three receivers off the board, and ends up as a fourth-round pick.
Weight: 315 pounds
Age: 22 years old
Projections: According to CBS Sports’ latest seven-round mock draft, Bredeson is projected to be take 86th overall by the Detroit Lions. CBSSports’ top-500 prospect ranking has Bredeson 122nd overall. According to NFL.com ‘s Daniel Jeremiah, Bredeson is not one of the top-150 prospects in the draft. NFL.com ‘s Chad Rueter has Bredeson going 86th overall to the Detroit Lions. The Athletic ’s Dane Brugler projects Peoples-Jones to go 107th overall to the Cincinnati Bengals. FiveThirtyEight predicts Bredeson to go 118th overall, with a range of 74th to 191st.
At Michigan: Arguably the most accomplished Michigan player in this draft class, there wasn’t much more Bredeson could have done individually with the Wolverines. Bredeson played in 52 games and made 47 starts in four years with the Wolverines and becoming Michigan’s first two-year captain since Jake Ryan. He was named second-team All-Big Ten in 2017 and 2018, then earned first-team honors in 2019. This fall, he was also a second-team All-American according to Walter Camp, and a third-team honoree by the Associated press. He was named the Best Pass-Blocking guard in the country by PFF College, with 451 snaps spent in pass protection without allowing a quarterback hit or sack.
247Sports’ take: We predicted that Ben Bredeson would be taken Friday, so obviously we’re sold on him to be drafted overall. Many teams are still looking for interior linemen, and will begin to be more aggressive in their searches Saturday. Bredeson is low-risk and checks seemingly every box at least at a medium level, so we’ll predict he’s a fourth- or fifth-round pick.
Weight: 190 pounds
Age: 21 years old
Mock drafts and projections: According to CBS Sports’ latest seven-round mock draft, Hill is projected to go 194th overall to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. CBSSports’ prospect ranking slots Hill at 165th overall and the No. 21 cornerback. According to NFL.com ‘s Daniel Jeremiah, Hill s is not one of the top-150 prospects in the draft. NFL.com ‘s Chad Rueter does not project Hill to be drafted. The Athletic ’s Dane Brugler does not project Hill to be drafted, either. FiveThirtyEight projects Hill to be taken 164th, with a range of 88th to undrafted.
At Michigan: After one season spent preparing behind Jourdan Lewis, Channing Stribling and Jeremy Clark, Hill was a three-year standout cornerback with the Wolverines. The Detroit native and former four-star recruit played in 48 games with the Wolverines including 38 starts, finishing his career with 57 tackles, seven tackles for loss, 29 pass breakups, six interceptions, a fumble recovery and even two interceptions returned for touchdowns.
For his efforts, Hill was named first-team All-Big Ten in both 2018 and 2019, and was a second-team honoree in 2017. He finished his career with the sixth-most pass breakups in school history, one of just four players in school history with multiple pick-sixes and was a third-team All-American by the Associated Press in 2018.
247Sports’ take: Hill’s projections are all over the place, so no prediction should be taken too heavily. But with a handful of undersized cornerbacks already selected in the draft, we think a team will look past Hill’s limitations in exchange for the gamer that he has proven to be. We’ll guess a fifth-round pick for the Detroit native, as his man coverage prowess eventually proves too valuable to ignore.