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Money, I need help with Michigan


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I originally was going to simply PM Money with this request but then thought it would make more sense to open it up to all of our current collegiate posters or recent alumni. I'm a big believer in firsthand witness accounts. Some of you may have had the pleasure of seeing some of this years draft talent live over the course of their college careers. I wanted to know your thoughts on the players you saw. While I'm sure several of us have seen some of this year's draft class in a game or two, I'm really looking for insights from undergrads who attended games throughout the season at their alma mater. I think over the course of a season you get to see a player's strengths and weaknesses.

 

Money, I already know how you feel about DT Gabe Watson but what other Michigan players can you give me your insights on. The only other one I'm aware of that carries a possible first day grade is WR Jason Avant. I haven't seen much of him so I'd welcome your thoughts. Kind of a down year for Michigan draft prospects huh? Who's in the pipeline that I should be keeping an eye on this season?

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To recap some of my thoughts on Gabe Watson:

 

Gabe has probably been the most frustrating player at UM in recent memory. He was an elite prep recruit, he has a nearly unparalleled combinition of size, strength, and athleticism.

 

But he's lazy. During his college career he was either out of shape, which limited his playing time, or his gave poor effort. Simply put, the guy plays when he wants to play. The words "max effort" and "high motor" will never be attached to his names, and rightfully so. He was out of shape for the majority of his senior season, and Carr benched him.

 

Tantalizing talent and ability, but a guy who was forced to sit as a senior while playing on UM's worst team in over a decade. Of course, when Senior Bowl rolls around, Gabe shows up in shape and becomes a one-man wrecking crew, ensuring a 1st round grade.

 

I'd have very mixed emotions if he's taken with pick 25.

 

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As for other UM prospects, this is a major down year. Aside from Avant, here is a brief overview of guys who might get drafted (all these guys are Day 2 at best):

 

Adam Stenavich -- LT at Michigan, will play OG in the pros. Good technique, not much raw ability. Back-up material in the NFL.

 

Matt Lentz -- Another overachiever-type OG. Nothing to write home about.

 

Tim Massaquoi -- TE with some talent and good hands. Really underachieved at UM, only had 11 catches as a senior. Likely undrafted.

 

Pierre Woods -- DE/OLB tweener with great size and ability ... never materialized into anything at Michigan. Might get drafted because of his physical tools, probably fits best as a 3-4 OLB

 

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Re: pipeline. Everyone knows about Henne and Hart, here are some other names to keep an eye on:

 

Mario Manningham -- WR, caught the winning TD vs. Penn State, maybe next in a long line of excellent UM wideouts

 

Steve Breaston -- WR/KR/PR, electric return man, ability to make big plays at WR but has been inconsistent and gets dinged up

 

Kevin Grady -- RB, resembles a bowling ball at 5'9 230, moves well with great power, had a ball secuirty problem early on as Freshman but seems to have moved past it, probably a better pro prospect than Hart

 

Mike Massey -- TE, could make some noise this year, will see lots of playing time now that Massaquoi is gone

 

Prescot Burgess -- OLB, great athleticism, plays best in space, had an INT in the Rose Bowl last year vs. Texas

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Money ... you managed to write that entire post without commenting on Avant. What's his story?

 

A bit on the slow side, but he's smart, knows how to run patterns, and can catch. He won't be a dud like Marquis Walker.

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Your report pretty much matches up to what I've read about him.

 

Pro's: Excellent hands. Fearless over the middle. Good route runner. Good smarts. Excellent strength. Uses his large frame well to block the defender from the ball.

 

Con's: Speed lacking. Not a good leaper. Doesn't do much after the catch. Likely limited to a possession receiver role.

 

Thanks for the feedback.

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