The Wolverine

June/July 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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JUNE/JULY 2017 THE WOLVERINE 31 days at the NFL Combine, was also under the weather and being pumped full of fluids, which contributed to the watered-down result. "They didn't really question me on it … I really didn't have to convince any- body of anything," Peppers said of the test after he was selected. "My charac- ter speaks for itself. People can specu- late on what they want; I'm putting that behind me now. [Being drafted] is the best day of my life." While it became a major storyline in the draft day lead-up, it wasn't enough to keep the Heisman finalist out of the first round — although he admitted to being drafted earlier than he expected. Peppers became the first Michigan defensive back drafted in the first round since Leon Hall in 2007, and he is the program's highest-drafted safety since Thom Darden was selected 18th in 1972. "One of my favorite players in the draft," NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said dur- ing the broadcast. "He brings explosive energy in the locker room. The question is his ball skills and ball production [one collegiate interception]. I say forget about all of that. Have a plan for this kid. When people say it's a negative that they don't know how to play him, I see it as a positive." Three selections later, Charlton joined his fel- low defender as a first- ro u n d p i c k , g i v i n g Michigan multiple open- ing-round choices for the first time since 2005 and the eighth time in its history. The Wolverines were one of just seven programs with more than one pick among the top 32, and Charlton became the Wolverines' first first-round defen- sive end since Brandon Graham (No. 13) in 2010. Like Peppers, Charl- ton was projected to be picked in the first round by some analysts, while others thought he would come off the board later — but there's no arguing that he gives Dallas a long and much-needed pass rusher off the edge. Mayock compared him to Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap, who has made the Pro Bowl the last two years after being selected in the second round of the 2010 draft. "This kid has length, power and athletic ability. … Carlos Dunlap is a good comparison, except Dunlap ran 4.7 [in the 40-yard dash], and this kid ran 4.92," the expert noted. "I don't think he has quite the same twitch [as Dunlap]. However, he made plays. I thought his best game was Ohio State — he had 2.5 sacks, and he played really well in the run game. "I thought if he played like that — the way he did against Ohio State — every single week of the year, he would have been a top-10 pick." THIRD-ROUND RUN Michigan did hit a lull after Charlton heard his name called, with 46 picks passing until another Wolverine knew where he was headed. However, Chris Wormley — who was announced as a defensive end for the Baltimore Ra- vens' 3-4 alignment — started a third- round run for Michigan that featured a foursome of maize and blue picks. The obvious connec- tion for Wormley — his college head coach is the brother of his first pro- fessional head coach, John Harbaugh — and another not-so-obvious one — U-M defensive line mentor Greg Matti- son was John's defensive coordinator for two years before returning to Ann Arbor — both played a role in the selection, which was the 74th of the event. "He was one of the guys that Jim felt very strongly about … I don't think we would have taken him if he didn't," John told The Baltimore Sun. Wormley is expected to compete for the Ravens' starting five-technique defensive end spot right away after the club lost last year's starter, Law- rence Guy, to the Patriots via free agency. "Wormley is some- one who is made to be a five-technique at the next level," Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network ex- plained on its broadcast. "You can put him over a tackle and ask him to sit there and hold the point of attack using his length and his strength, and be able to push the pocket as a pass rusher. Worm- ley is a really good value pick right here." Michigan In The 2017 NFL Draft Pos. Name Round Overall Pick Team S Jabrill Peppers 1 25 Cleveland Browns DE Taco Charlton 1 28 Dallas Cowboys DE Chris Wormley 3 74 Baltimore Ravens CB Jourdan Lewis 3 92 Dallas Cowboys S Delano Hill 3 95 Seattle Seahawks WR Amara Darboh 3 106 Seattle Seahawks LB Ben Gedeon 4 120 Minnesota Vikings DT Ryan Glasgow 4 138 Cincinnati Bengals WR Jehu Chesson 4 139 Kansas City Chiefs TE Jake Butt 5 145 Denver Broncos CB Jeremy Clark 6 197 New York Jets Undrafted free agent signings: P Kenny Allen, Ravens; OL Ben Braden, Jets; DT Matt Godin, Texans; OL Kyle Kalis, Redskins; OT Erik Magnuson, 49ers; RB De'Veon Smith, Dolphins; CB Channing Stribling, Browns; and S Dymonte Thomas, Broncos Jabrill Peppers was the first Michigan product off the board in the 2017 NFL Draft, going to the Cleveland Browns at No. 25 to become the highest-drafted Wolverine since offensive lineman Taylor Lewan went 11th in 2014. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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