Ten Wolverines selected in NFL Draft

Saturday, April 25, 2020 - 8:11pm

Cesar Ruiz was one of 10 players drafted from Michigan in the NFL draft

Cesar Ruiz was one of 10 players drafted from Michigan in the NFL draft Buy this photo
Alexis Rankin/Daily

Ten Michigan players were selected in the NFL Draft this weekend, the second-most of any school.

That stat is a bit misleading given that just two of those players — center Cesar Ruiz and linebacker Josh Uche — were selected in the first two days of the draft. Still, the Wolverines were one off their program record of 11 players drafted, set in 2017. They also continued their streak of 82 consecutive years with at least one player drafted, tied for the longest in the country with USC.

Michigan’s offensive line was the star of the show. All four players in the draft — Ruiz, tackle Jon Runyan and guards Michael Onwenu and Ben Bredeson — were drafted, a testament to Ed Warinner’s work with the unit after his hire in 2018. Ruiz, one of the Wolverines’ two early entrants, was drafted 24th overall by the New Orleans Saints. Bredeson went in the fourth round to the Baltimore Ravens while Onwenu and Runyan were selected in the sixth — the former by the New England Patriots and the latter by the Green Bay Packers.

The rest of the offense, however, had a disappointing showing. Donovan Peoples-Jones, once a five-star recruit, fell all the way to the sixth round before being selected by the Cleveland Browns. Quarterback Shea Patterson and tight end Sean McKeon went undrafted, though McKeon has since signed a free-agent deal with the Dallas Cowboys, according to 247Sports.

Uche highlighted Michigan’s defensive picks after being selected in the second round by the Patriots. In Foxboro, Uche will join Onwenu and former Wolverine defensive end Chase Winovich.

None of Michigan’s other defensive players were projected surefire draftees, but four of the five saw themselves drafted. VIPER Khaleke Hudson was selected in the fifth round by Washington, while defensive end Michael Danna went later that round to the Kansas City Chiefs. Safety Josh Metellus and linebacker Jordan Glasgow were both sixth-round picks, with Metellus going to the Minnesota Vikings and Glasgow to the Indianapolis Colts.

Defensive back Lavert Hill somewhat surprisingly went undrafted, but signed a free-agent deal with the Chiefs shortly after the draft. Hill nearly went pro last season but decided to return to school; his fellow corner David Long was a third-round pick in 2019.

Neither Glasgow nor Danna were invited to the NFL Draft Combine, and with Michigan’s pro day canceled due to COVID-19, both were somewhat surprising selections. Like his brothers, Glasgow completed his rise from walk-on to the NFL. Meanwhile, Danna, a graduate transfer from Central Michigan, made the most of his year in Ann Arbor. Just one other school had multiple draftees who were not invited to the combine.

Overall, the draft was a mixed bag for the Wolverines. Despite a large number of selections, most came in the late rounds and Peoples-Jones’ in particular was indicative of untapped potential. But Michigan also showed its ability to turn unheralded recruits — such as Glasgow, Metellus, Hudson and Danna — into draft picks.