NFL Draft '07: Scouting Michigan

With Lloyd Carr's job on the line, Michigan hopes to compete for a Big Ten championship this season. And as is the case almost every year the program will put quality prospects into April's draft. Nearly a handful of seniors from the defensive side of the ball presently grade as first day selections.

Offensively most of the prospects are mid-round choices who could make a move up draft boards with good campaigns this season. Steve Breaston is an explosive receiver that also impacts the game as a return specialist. Effective running after the reception, Breaston is an elusive ball handler who consistently picks up positive yardage. Lacking true deep speed Breaston looks like a fourth receiver and punt returner for the next level. Tight end Tyler Ecker is another sure handed pass catcher efficient in all aspects. Possessing marginal size/speed numbers he grades as a late round selection who could be a second tight end in the NFL. Touted as potentially the best offensive lineman to come out of Ann Arbor, Jake Long returns after suffering numerous injuries the past year. A large blocker at right tackle, Long possesses terrific body strength and dominates the opposition. Best in a small area, durability is an issue for Long who can be selected anywhere from the late part of the first day through the final frames depending on his senior season. There is a pair of underclassmen to watch starting with quarterback Chad Henne. Possessing a live arm, Henne can deliver all the throws. Throwing with a poor delivery and low point of release, Henne's accuracy and ball placement is all over the place. Also making questionable decisions Henne needs to iron out both the fundamental and intellectual intangibles of his position. Mike Hart is a productive ball carrier and solid receiver out of the backfield. Running with good vision Hart waits for blocks to develop then finds the small creases in the defense. Possessing marginal playing speed and average size, Hart is a middle round pick when he enters the draft.

Michigan has an abundance of talent on the defensive side of the ball from both the senior class and underclassmen ranks. Cornerback Leon Hall is a terrific cover man with the ability to shut down opponents. Possessing outstanding size\speed numbers Hall his also an instinctive defensive back with good hands to pick. Fundamentally sound, he is quick in run support and should be a top 20 selection next April. While opinions are varied on LaMarr Woodley we think highly of the disruptive defender. Playing with good leverage Woodley wedges between blocks and swiftly pursues the action from the backside. Standing just a shade over six-feet-one-inch Woodley could stand-up over tackle as a rush linebacker for a 34 defense. Junior Alan Branch is a powerful defensive tackle and a load in the middle of the line. Tough move off the point Branch gets tremendous force going up the field and bulrushes opponents off the ball. Flashing the ability to make plays down the line of scrimmage, he offers great upside for the next level as a potential first round pick. Safety Willis Barringer is a solid middle round prospect who may be best suited for a zone system. Michigan offers a pair of linebackers to keep an eye on. Linebacker David Harris is a tackling machine who stacks well against the run. Possessing marginal range Harris offers starting potential on the inside for a 34 defense. Prescott Burgess has the size, speed and toughness for an NFL outside linebacker. Burgess does not display great range on the field and is very stiff, to the point where his tackles are broken. He does offer good upside yet needs to start making more plays on the field. Finally keep an eye on Rondell Biggs, a senior defensive end who forces the action up the field.

Michigan Prospect List

Full Name Pos # Year
Willis Barringer S 19 5Sr
Rondell Biggs DT 91 5Sr
Alan Branch DT 80 3Jr
Steve Breaston WR 15 5Sr
Prescott Burgess OLB 6 4Sr
Tyler Ecker TE 89 5Sr
Leon Hall CB 29 4Sr
David Harris ILB 45 5Sr
Mike Hart RB 20 3Jr
Chad Henne QB 7 3Jr
Jake Long T 77 4Sr
LaMarr Woodley DE 56 4Sr


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