On Saturday afternoon, junior receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones declared for the NFL Draft, electing to forgo his final season of eligibility.
It’s the second blow in as many days for Michigan’s offense, after junior center Cesar Ruiz declared for the draft on Friday. Peoples-Jones’ departure leaves the Wolverines without one of their top offensive weapons heading into 2020. Junior receiver Nico Collins has yet to make a decision.
“Coach Harbaugh and the University of Michigan have provided me with an exceptional college experience and I deeply value the relationships that I forged throughout my time in Ann Arbor,” Peoples-Jones said in a tweet Saturday. “… After much prayer and discussion, I have decided to forgo my senior season and will enter the 2020 draft! This has always been a lifelong dream of mine and I am excited for the new opportunities in store for me. God bless and Go Blue!”
Peoples-Jones arrived in Ann Arbor three years ago as one of the most heralded signings of the Jim Harbaugh era. He came in as a five-star recruit and the top-ranked receiver in the 2017 class.
For the next three seasons, though, those skills were only sporadically on display. His 79-yard touchdown against Michigan State in 2018 stands out as one of the most memorable moments in the Wolverines’ recent history.
However, Peoples-Jones finishes his Michigan career with just 103 receptions for 1327 yards and 14 touchdowns. In 2019, he was the Wolverines’ third-leading receiver with 438 yards and six touchdowns.
Still, the speed and raw talent that made him a top-15 recruit also have him projected as a probable Day Two NFL Draft pick. In his absence, Michigan will likely turn to sophomore receivers Mike Sainristil, Giles Jackson and Cornelius Johnson to take over larger roles in the offense and replace Peoples-Jones’ 34 receptions.