June 25, 2024

On Thursday evening, the 2024 NFL Draft commences in Detroit, marking the start of a three-day event where NFL teams will make a total of 257 selections over seven rounds.

Michigan football is anticipated to have a significant presence at the draft, with a record-setting 18 players from its 2023 roster having received invitations to the NFL Draft Combine. This suggests that more than a dozen Wolverines could be drafted this year.

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The Wolverines have been eyeing the opportunity to surpass Georgia’s 2022 record of 15 players taken in a single draft. Head coach Jim Harbaugh expressed optimism about breaking this record, stating, “I think we’ll have 20 guys picked (in the next NFL Draft).”

While the actual number won’t reach 20 due to some players opting to stay at Michigan for another season, the team’s success and the high number of Combine invitations signal the potential for 16 or more Michigan players to be drafted this weekend.

However, this outcome is not guaranteed. Pro Football Focus, ESPN.com, NFL.com, and other sources have varying projections, with some listing only 13 or 14 Michigan players among their top selections. Despite these uncertainties, Michigan remains poised to make a significant impact on this year’s NFL Draft.

In summary, Michigan football is poised to make significant waves at the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft, with expectations of potentially setting program and Big Ten records.

The Wolverines may need some teams to show interest in their players as seventh-round selections to break Georgia’s record of 15 players drafted in a single year.

This has been a recurring scenario in the past, with Michigan’s emphasis on special teams, film study, and toughness often leading to undervalued players still getting selected. However, as of Thursday morning, the likelihood of Michigan setting the record is viewed as a 50-50 proposition.

One standout player expected to make history at the draft is quarterback JJ McCarthy, who is on track to become the first Michigan quarterback selected in the first round since Jim Harbaugh in 1987.

If McCarthy is drafted in the top 20 picks, he will be the first Wolverine quarterback to achieve this feat since 1943. Additionally, if McCarthy is chosen higher than 10th overall, he will set a new record as Michigan’s highest-drafted quarterback ever.

Beyond McCarthy, Michigan’s draft class includes several long-time contributors who opted to return for another season after winning the national title.

These players, along with transfer portal additions, exemplify the team’s loyalty and contributions to the program. Notably, Michigan may use this draft to demonstrate how transfer portal players can leverage their time at Michigan to launch successful NFL careers.

Lastly, there are several other intriguing storylines to watch at the draft, including Michigan’s streak of consecutive drafts with at least one player selected, the potential for offensive linemen to dominate the draft, and the presence of NFL head coaches with ties to the Wolverines’ program.

Overall, Michigan’s strong representation at the draft reflects the program’s continued success in developing NFL-caliber talent.

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