The University of Michigan has a proud history of gridiron success. In fact— I don’t know if you’ve heard this before—, they are the winningest program in the history of college football. The prodigious annals of Wolverine football are littered with crowning accomplishments and glorious achievements. The 2018 NFL Draft was neither of those things.
Over the three days of the draft, only two Michigan men had their names called; center Mason Cole went 97th to the Arizona Cardinals, and defensive tackle Maurice Hurst went 140th to the Oakland Raiders. Of course, for comparison, the Ohio State Buckeyes had seven players selected, including the No. 4 overall pick, Denzel Ward (not to mention Billy Price going to the Bengals with the 21st pick).
However, the Buckeyes weren’t the only Big Ten team to have a player selected before Jim Harbaugh’s squad did. Penn State’s Saquon Barkley went second to the New York Giants and Maryland wide receiver D.J. Moore was selected by the Carolina Panthers with the 24th pick in the first round. The second round saw two players from Iowa selected, along with another from both PSU and OSU (Tyquan Lewis), and Rutgers’ Kemoko Turay heard his name called with the 20th pick of the round.
Yes, that’s right, Rutgers had a player selected in the 2018 NFL Draft before the venerable UM football institution did.
In the third round, the Buckeyes’ Jerome Baker and Sam Hubbard were selected before Cole finally got Michigan on the board. However, it wasn’t just the B1G that was lapping the Wolverines in terms of selections, but it was the Football Championship Subdivision and Division II as well.
FCS program’s South Carolina State (Darius Lenard), South Dakota State (Dallas Goedert), and Sam Houston State (P.J. Hill) were represented by the fourth, 17th, and 25th picks of the second round, respectively. Similarly, DII’s Fort Hays State (Nathan Shepherd) and Humboldt State (Alex Cappa) both had players selected before Cole was picked.
But, That Team Up North’s draft troubles weren’t just limited to when their first player was picked, but also extended to how many players, in total, were taken. Alabama led the way with 12 selections this season, and Ohio State was top in the B1G with seven. Michigan was tied with Indiana, Maryland, and Rutgers with two players picked. Penn State (6), Wisconsin (5), and Iowa (3) came in behind the Buckeyes, and before the Maize and Blue.
In terms of selections— with two total— the Wolverines were in the company of football factories like SMU (3), Southern Miss (3), Temple (2), Tulane (2), Western Kentucky (2), and Western Michigan (2).
Now, since the Wolverines found out last week that Ole Miss transfer quarterback Shea Patterson is officially eligible to play for Harbaugh’s squad, things could turn around for them in the future.
Who knows, maybe they will finish better than third in the B1G East this season.