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Michigan football likely won’t have a first round draft pick in 2023

Of the nine Michigan Wolverines heading to this year’s NFL Draft, none are projected higher than mid-2nd round.



Oct 2, 2021; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Chase Wolf (2) is sacked by Michigan Wolverines linebacker David Ojabo (55) and defensive end Mike Morris (90) during the fourth quarter at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Well, it’s that time of year again — the NFL Draft is fast approaching and much of the talent that made the 2022 college football season fun is preparing to make the jump to the next level. Michigan football is no stranger to this time of year, U-M holds the longest NFL Draft streak in the nation, though the Wolverines usually expect to have at least one of its star players go in the first round.

This year may be an exception to that, which is especially odd considering the fact that Michigan football won a Big Ten Championship a season ago and finished with a 13-1 record; in fact, the season before, the Michigan Wolverines saw similar success, going 12-2 and winning the Big Ten title. It’s an odd phenomenon, but don’t expect a ‘Michigan Man’ to get his name called on day one of the NFL Draft.

Who is Michigan football putting in the draft?

Despite having zero projected first rounders in this year’s NFL Draft, the Wolverines are putting the most talent into the league of any team in the conference. Michigan leads the Big Ten with nine players heading to the NFL Combine before the draft, though there is a chance that not all nine are picked up immediately, and may have to wait until after the draft to sign with a team.

Here are the nine Michigan Wolverines looking to make an NFL roster:

  1. Ronnie Bell, WR
  2. Ryan Hayes, OL
  3. Jake Moody, K
  4. Olu Oluwatimi, OL
  5. Mazi Smith, DL
  6. Mike Morris, DE
  7. Brad Robbins, P
  8. Luke Schoonmaker, TE
  9. DJ Turner, DB

Of these Wolverines, only one is projected to be drafted within the first two rounds of the NFL Draft: Mazi Smith. In fairness, some of this has to do with positional value — Robbins and Moody would be far higher on some mock drafts if punters and kickers were as valuable as running backs and wide outs.

Only one Wolverine projected to go in second round

According to’s most recent 3-round mock draft, Mazi Smith is the first Wolverine off the board, going No. 42 overall to the Cleveland Browns. There, he would join former Michigan legends Donovan Peoples-Jones and Chase Winovich.

After Smith, the next Michigan football alum off the board is Mike Morris, who is projected to go at No. 179 overall to the Indianapolis Colts — this would be a great fit for Smith, who is used to playing in Indy from his days as a Wolverine. The other seven Wolverines are all projected to go after the third round.

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