Michigan Football: Wolverine NFL Draft Predictions


Oct 5, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines tight end Devin Funchess (87) celebrates his forty six yard reception with quarterback Devin Gardner (98) in the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Michigan Stadium. Michigan won 42-13. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

We are just 11 days from the 2015 NFL Draft and some former Michigan Wolverines are close to having their dreams realized. Devin Funchess, Jake Ryan, Devin Gardner, and Frank Clark all have a chance to hear their names called in Chicago. Here are some Wolverine NFL Draft predictions for those four former Michigan Football standouts.

Wide receiver Devin Funchess is the top Michigan prospect in the draft and is the only one who has a chance to hear his name called on the first night. Funchess had a solid combine but a somewhat disappointing 40 yard dash time. He showed great improvement in his 40 at the Michigan Pro Day and that has solidified him as a borderline first round pick. Teams like Baltimore, Denver, and New Orleans could consider him late in the first but he is more likely a second rounder. I predict the Saints will take him with the 12th pick in the second round to help replace Jimmy Graham.

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The only other Michigan prospect that will likely go in the first four rounds is linebacker Jake Ryan. Ryan can play both outside and inside linebacker, and that added versatility should help his stock. He has a lot of talent, intelligence, and is really an underrated prospect. His most likely landing spot will be in round three or four. The Kansas City Chiefs have a couple of third round picks and I predict they will use the second of those two third rounders to select Ryan. He is an Andy Reid type of player and Chiefs need depth at linebacker.

Frank Clark has the talent to be a mid round pick but his off field troubles will move him to the later rounds, if he even gets drafted. One thing in Clark’s favor is that his domestic violence charge has been reduced to just disorderly conduct. He has still likely scared off a lot of teams but should now get drafted. The Seattle Seahawks recently had Clark in for a visit and that would be a great organization for him to end up with. Seattle has three 6th round picks and I predict they will use one of the later 6th rounders to draft Clark.

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The last Wolverine that could get drafted is Devin Gardner. Gardner is converting from quarterback to wide receiver for his transition to the pros. Gardner was not invited to the combine but had a solid pro day and has been on a number of pre-draft visits. Gardner is a consummate professional and has tremendous toughness. Gardner recently visited the Bengals and Steelers and both would be good landing spots. Cincinnati has pick 238 in the 7th round and Pittsburgh has pick 239.  I predict the Bengals will select him in round seven just before the Steelers. Marvin Lewis is known for taking chances and Gardner is a good bet.

I see all four major Michigan prospects being drafted. The draft is always a lot of fun and it will be interesting to see where the former Wolverines land. All four of these Michigan prospects have a chance to not only get drafted, but to have solid careers in the NFL.