Mel Kiper Jr. breaks down multiple Michigan players headed to 2020 NFL Draft
Before too long, the NFL Scouting Combine will overtake Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, allowing draft prospects the opportunity to improve their stock before late April arrives. But, before any of that happens, ESPN’s NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. has some thoughts on several potential selections.
On Wednesday, while on a conference call with reporters about draft prospects, Kiper was asked about several former Michigan stars who will be pursuing their dreams of playing in the NFL. Kiper’s evaluations varied, but he does think there’s a good chance several former Wolverines hear their name called come Draft Day.
Kiper was particularly high on offensive guard Ben Bredeson and linebacker/edge Josh Uche while speaking with reporters.
“If you look at the pure guards, a lot of these guys can be versatile,” Kiper said, according to Aaron McMann of MLive.com. “If you look at pure guards, I think he’s arguably the best in the draft.
“I would probably say third-round area. Maybe second.”
Uche also received high praise from Kiper. The expert believes that Uche’s skill set could catapult him into the first round, if teams are in need of pass-rushers come the NFL Draft.
“The pass-rush ability he has, the bend off the edge and with the Senior Bowl week and all that, I wouldn’t be shocked if he jumped into the late first because pass-rushers go,” Kiper said of Uche.
Kiper is also a fan of offensive lineman Cesar Ruiz, who he’s recently compared to Wisconsin’s Tyler Biadasz. In his latest Mock Draft 2.0, Kiper listed Ruiz as a late-first round projection, headed to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones and quarterback Shea Patterson didn’t quite receive the high projections like the previous three mentioned, but could see both being selected late in the draft.
“I just saw some inconsistencies with him,” Kiper said of Peoples-Jones, according to Angelique Chengelis of The Detroit News. “I want to see him become more of a power forward and take advantage of that size advantage that he has a little bit better and more effectively and more consistently than he did.”
Peoples-Jones ended last season with 438 yards and six touchdowns on 34 receptions.
Right now, Kiper is also listing Patterson anywhere from the sixth round to a priority undrafted free agent. The Michigan quarterback threw for 3,061 yards and 23 touchdowns while completing just over 56 percent of his passes last year.
“Patterson, I have an undrafted free agent grade on him,” Kiper said. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the sixth or seventh round. I have him labeled as a priority undrafted free agent.”
The NFL Scouting Combine will begin on Sunday, giving all players a chance to improve their standing and evaluation.