The Wolverine

2018 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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THE WOLVERINE 2018 FOOTBALL PREVIEW ■ 165 "The big fella in the middle — Mo Hurst — there's no question he learned a lot on how to play the position at the program he came from, and was there for five years. He uses his hands in coordination with his speed, and the guy knows how to get after the quarterback. With those two [Hurst and Oakland Raiders third-round pick Arden Key out of LSU], I'm hoping they become the big steals … and expect them to play well for us." — Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie on whether or not Hurst was a "steal" in the fifth round "They're excited about [quarterback] Patrick Ma- homes in Kansas City, and they should be — he's noth- ing if not exciting. But he's also 22 years old and has one NFL game under his belt. There's a non-zero chance he ends up not being ready, and if that's the case, [Chad] Henne is the veteran backup who could help win a game or two." — ESPN's Dan Graziano, on backup quarterbacks who could make a difference in 2018 "Potential breakout players are hard to come by on the Minnesota Vikings, mostly because they have one of the best, if not the best, rosters in the league. Nearly every starting job is already set with little com - petition heading into training camp. One player the Vikings could see a meteoric rise from is Ben Gedeon, a second-year linebacker out of Michigan. Drafted in the fourth round last year, Gedeon started nine games and projects to be the Vikings starting WILL linebacker. Playing next to Anthony Barr and Eric Ken - dricks, two of the best linebackers in the league, can only help Gedeon in his second year." — NFLMocks. com's George Stockburger "[Tennessee Titans] left tackle Taylor Lewan has steadily improved all four years in the NFL and turned in another outstanding performance last season. It doesn't take a grade to see Lewan's importance. Not only is he terrific as a blocker, but he brings a tenacity that radiates along the Titans' offensive line. Left tackle is arguably the second-most important offensive posi - tion, and Lewan is one of the league's best. He's due for a big pay day in the near future with the fifth and final year of his rookie contract coming in 2018. While there are question marks all over the interior of the Titans' offensive line, they appear to have long-term answers at the two tackle spots [with Jack Conklin manning the other position]. Finding one dominant tackle is difficult. The fact the Titans have two young ones puts them in a good position to compete on offense for a long time." —'s Kyle Madson Quotable " The responsibility now on [DEVIN] FUNCHESS as the Panthers' No. 1 receiver is vast. There are more veteran players now in the room, including Torrey Smith and Jarius Wright, but the expectation of Funchess is that he, as the most- practiced target of quarterback Cam Newton and the "X" receiver, be a star in a division full of big-name re - ceivers. And yet another thing: he's expecting his first child this fall." PHOTO BY MELISSA MELVIN-RODRIGUEZ/CAROLINA PANTHERS Jake Rudock QB 2 Detroit Lions Appeared in three games and completed 3 of 5 passes for 24 yards and an interception. Jake Ryan LB 3 Green Bay Packers Started 12 of his 15 appearances, and racked up 81 tackles, one sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Michael Schofield OT 4 Los Angeles Chargers Started five of the 15 games he appeared in with the Chargers, and signed a two- year extension with the team March 14. De'Veon Smith RB 1 Free Agent The undrafted free agent caught three passes for 27 yards in five games for Miami. Channing Stribling CB 1 Indianapolis Colts Spent time with the Colts' and 49ers' practice squads last fall before being cut by both. Indianapolis signed him a second time May 29. Dymonte Thomas S 1 Denver Broncos Activated from the practice squad Dec. 14, played in three games and made eight stops. Fitzgerald Toussaint RB 4 Pittsburgh Steelers Participated in six contests for Pittsburgh, totaling six carries for 25 yards and two recep- tions for nine yards. Also played in his team's playoff game, but didn't record any stats. Matt Wile P 2 Pittsburgh Steelers Released by the Cardinals Sept. 4, and did not appear in any NFL games in 2017. Signed a reserve/future contract with the Steelers Jan. 19. Jarrod Wilson S 2 Jacksonville Jaguars Competed in 15 games for the AFC South champions, and tallied 11 tackles with a fumble recovery. Also appeared in three postseason games and tallied one tackle. Chris Wormley DE 1 Baltimore Ravens Started two of the seven contests he took part in, totaling five tackles. Undrafted free agent rookies: FB Khalid Hill, Seattle Seahawks; LB Mike McCray, Miami Dolphins; and FB Henry Poggi, Oakland Raiders. ^ Finished career at a school other than Michigan Former Wolverines With New Teams In 2018 Player 2017 Team 2018 Team CB Leon Hall San Francisco 49ers Oakland Raiders QB Chad Henne Jacksonville Jaguars Kansas City Chiefs OL Patrick Omameh Jacksonville Jaguars New York Giants RB Thomas Rawls Seattle Seahawks New York Jets P Matt Wile Arizona Cardinals Pittsburgh Steelers — Charlotte Observer writer Jourdan Rodriguez

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