10 of the best Michigan players of the Jim Harbaugh era

Jim Harbaugh is officially heading back to the NFL as he and the Los Angeles Chargers finalize a deal to make him their next head coach. So looking back at his time at Michigan, who were the players to play under him?
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh lifts the trophy as players and coaches celebrate on stage after they won the National Championship.
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh lifts the trophy as players and coaches celebrate on stage after they won the National Championship. / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

Okay, now you can panic Michigan fans. Jim Harbaugh has now finalized a contract to become the next head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers. Every heart in Ann Arbor is breaking all at once as the news breaks.

Jim Harbaugh had an 89-25 record over nine seasons at Michigan. He coached hundreds of players, many of them that went on to play in the NFL. The final number of players that Harbaugh will have drafted if undecided yet as his 2023 roster has lots of players heading to the 2024 NFL draft.

So let's take a look at 10 of the best Michigan players from the Jim Harbaugh era.

#10 DE Chris Wormley

Chris Worlmey played at Michigan from 2013-2016 so he was there for Harbaugh's first two seasons. In his last two seasons, Wormley had 42 solo tackles, 81 total tackles, and 23.0 sacks. Wormley was a force to be reckoned with on the Michigan defense.

Wormley was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens, the team that Jim Harbaugh's brother, John Harbaugh coaches for, in the 2017 NFL Draft. He played three seasons with the Ravens, then went on to play three seasons with the Ravens' division rival Pittsburgh Steelers, and played this most recent NFL season with the Carolina Panthers.

In his NFL career, Wormley has 81 solo tackles, 146 total tackles, 11 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery.

#9 DE Taco Charlton

Taco Charlton was another player who only played two seasons under Harbaugh after he took over the program in 2015. Charlton had two solid seasons under Harbaugh with 41 solo tackles, 72 total tackles, 22.0 sacks, and one forced fumble.

Charlton was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2017 NFL Draft and spent two seasons with them. Since then, Charlton has bounced around the league a little bit playing only one season with the Miami Dolphins, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Chicago Bears. Charlton was not with a team in the 2023-2024 season.

In his NFL career, Charlton had 54 solo tackles, 95 total tackles, 11.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery.

#8 LB/DB Jabrill Peppers

Jabrill Peppers only played three seasons at Michigan, his last two were under Harbaugh. Peppers was a very versatile player used in a lot of different areas for the Wolverines. Peppers was used both on the offensive and the defensive side of the ball. He was used in the rushing and receiving game and also did kickoff and punt returns.

On the defensive side of the ball, Peppers under Harbaugh had 80 solo tackles, 112 total tackles, 24 sacks, and one interception. Peppers was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the 2017 NFL Draft and played two seasons there. Peppers then went on to play three seasons in New York with the Giants and then played his last two seasons with the New England Patriots.

Over his NFL career, Peppers has 310 solo tackles, 470 total tackles, 5.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, 6 interceptions, and one touchdown.

#7 K Jake Moody

Yes, there is a kicker on this list. Jake Moody is a good kicker, he is about to play in the NFC Championship with the San Fransisco 49ers. Moody played under Harbaugh his entire time at Michigan from 2018 to 2022.

In his career at Michigan, Moody hit 69 field goals and 148 PATs. Moody was drafted by the 49ers in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

In his first year in San Fransisco, Moody is 21-25 on field goals, having hit 2-3 field goals from 50+ yards, his longest field goal of the season being 57 yards.

#6 WR Donovan Peoples-Jones

Donovan Peoples-Jones played at Michigan for three years from 2017-2019. Peoples-Jones played in 37 games for the Wolverines reeling in 103 catches for 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also was used in the punt and kick return game, scoring two punt return touchdowns, one in each of his first two seasons.

Peoples-Jones was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the 2020 NFL draft. He played four and a half seasons with the Browns before going to the Detroit Lions for the rest of the 2023 season.

During his NFL career, Peoples-Jones has 122 catches for 1,895 yards and eight touchdowns. He did have a punt return for a touchdown in 2022.

#5 DL Mike Danna

Mike Danna only played at Michigan for one season in 2019. He made the most of his time at Michigan however 20 solo tackles, 28 total tackles, three sacks, and one force fumble on the defensive line.

Danna was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2020. Danna has been to two Super Bowls with the Chiefs, losing the 2020-2021 Super Bowl to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and winning the 2022-2023 Super Bowl against the Philadelphia Eagles.

In his career with the Chiefs Danna is a big part of Steve Spagnuolo's defense with 68 solo tackles, 128 total tackles, 17 sacks, and four forced fumbles.

#4 WR Nico Collins

Nico Collins was in the Harbaugh era from 2017 to 2019 but left after his junior year for the NFL draft. Collins had a solid career under Harbaugh with 78 catches for 1,388 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Collings was drafted in the 2021 NFL draft after he opted out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. He has spent the last three seasons with the Houston Texans, finishing his last season just last week in the Divisional round of the NFL Playoffs against the No. 1 seed Baltimore Ravens.

Collin became one of rookie quarterback CJ Stroud's favorite targets but unfortunately was sidelined for part of the 2023 season due to injury. Collins has 150 receptions for 2,224 yards and 11 touchdowns so far in his young three-year career.

#3 DE Aiden Hutchinson

Aiden Hutchinson had a phenomenal career under Jim Harbaugh at Michigan. Hutchinson played four seasons with the Wolverines from 2018 to 2021. In his time under Jim Harbaugh, Hutchinson had 81 solo tackles, 153 total tackles, 25 tackles for loss, 15.5 sacks, and four forced fumbles.

Hutchinson was quite the story in the 2022 NFL Draft as he was drafted second overall to the Detroit Lions, so he didn't have to move too far from home. He has played every game with the Lions in his short two-year career and is currently preparing for the NFC Championship game this week against the San Fransisco 49ers.

In his young career, Hutchinson got voted to the NFL Pro Bowl in just his second season. Hutchinson's current career stats are 70 solo tackles, 103 total tackles, 21 sacks, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and four interceptions.

#2 RB Blake Corum

Blake Corum just finished his fourth season with the Wolverines and under Jim Harbaugh. Corum capped off his 2023 season with a National Championship win to add to his resume before leaving for the NFL Draft.

Corum had a solid career at Michigan with 3,737 rushing yards and 58 rushing touchdowns. He was also used effectively in the passing game with 56 catches for 411 yards and three touchdowns. Corum is going to be an effective player for any team that chooses to draft him.

#1 QB JJ McCarthy

JJ McCarthy is by far the best quarterback Jim Harbaugh coached in his time at Michigan. The Heisman finalist was the focal point for the Michigan offense that lit up the scoreboard all season long. The offense was the biggest part of what helped Michigan have an undefeated season and win the National Championship.

McCarthy also declared for the NFL draft shortly after the National Championship win. The young junior had a stellar three-year career for the Wolverines, a career that included three straight wins over rival Ohio State.

At Michigan, McCarthy had 482 career completions, 6,226 passing yards, and 49 touchdowns. He also contributed to the running game with 632 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.