Aug 31, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines defensive end Taco Charlton (33) celebrate with fans after the game against the Central Michigan Chippewas at Michigan Stadium. Michigan won 59-9. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan Football: After Spring Practices -- Part I

Posted at 7:30am — 4/18/2014

Michigan Football: After Spring Practices — Part I

My key players for 2014—based on (opinion) spring practices.

1) Ben Braden (#71):

My be the most important player in terms of development in the off-season.

Nov 30, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback Devin Gardner (98) is lifted into the air by offensive linesman Ben Braden (71) after scoring a touchdown in the first quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

With Erik Magnuson (#78) injury, and our lack of depth at the offensive tackle position, it is critical that Braden steps up and grabs that right tackle position.

Braden (again IMO) had a pretty good spring. His injury, as I have stated before, prevented him from being able to use is hands effectively especially during pass protection. But, he showed some toughness.

Braden is going to get every opportunity to win the position, so much so that if he is not the opening day starter at right tackle I would project his future at Michigan in terms of ever being a starter will be in question.

In order for all the other pieces of the offensive line to come together, Braden at this point, may be the key.

November 10, 2012; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Northwestern Wildcats running back Venric Mark (5) is tackled by Michigan Wolverines player Amara Darboh (82) and linebacker Brandin Hawthorne (7) in the first quarter at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

2) Amara Darboh (#82):

Devin Funchess (#87) is starter, Jehu Chesson (#86) at this point is also a starter, but his production has been limited. Freddy Canteen (#17) has shown some flashes especially his speed and ability to get open. However, both Funchess and Canteen at times has shown some inconsistencies when it comes to catching the ball.

Csont’e York (#81) and Da’Mario Jones (#10) will contribute, but Darboh has all the elements needed to make the wide receiver group more productive. He is the most physical receiver on the team, he has the best hands by far, and he is one of our better athletes along with being one of the leaders in terms of work ethic.

Darboh to me takes a position group that has some question marks to a group that could be very productive.

3) Taco Charlton (#33):

I know I have repeated this often, but Taco is just one of those talented potential impact type of player Michigan lacks.

With Frank Clark (#57) on one side and a productive Taco on the other teams would have a tough time protecting their quarterback. Add to this our interior defensive line’s showing signs of being able to push back the pocket physically you have a big improvement in the area Michigan has been very weak for the past 4-5 years.

Brennen Beyer (#97) at this point is the starter and played very well in spring, but just based on potential Taco is just physically more talented.

Part II at noon today with the final five players.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — MaizeMan

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Tags: Amara Darboh Ben Braden Brennen Beyer Csont'e York Da'Mario Jones Devin Funchess Erik Magnuson Football Frank Clark Freddy Canteen Jehu Chesson Michigan Football Michigan Wolverines Spring Football Taco Charlton

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