Looking online for some other things this afternoon, I came across an interesting article from last month regarding Michigan’s lack of “NFL Caliber” players over the last few years.
Considering the best player for New England has come out of Michigan (ie: Tom Brady) it seemed pretty hard to believe.
However according to the Toledo Blade the NFL drafts historically haven’t exactly been stellar in terms of the number of Michigan players being taken by NFL Clubs.
From 2000-2005, the Blade points out that Michigan placed six players in both the first and second rounds and 16 others in rounds 3-7. Only nine Wolverines were picked in the first round during the 1990s.
Last year they had two players drafted- fourth-rounder Terrance Taylor and sixth-rounder Morgan Trent. Taylor was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts, but never made the team and has since been with Carolina and Detroit, with the Lions waiving him last month. Meanwhile Trent made the team with the Bengals and actually had 28 tackles and a sack last season.
In 2010 they had two players they felt confident would be taken fairly early on. Defensive End Brandon Graham was taken in the first round, but their second prospect – Cornerback Donovan Warren – went undrafted and was signed by the Jets.
Mesko and Brandon Minor were guys who were projected as later round picks, but only Mesko was taken (5th round by New England) while Minor went undrafted and later joined Warren with the Jets.
|5th Round Pick Punter Zoltan Mesko|
It’s an interesting take on the lack of quality players coming out of that university. We won’t see what Mesko can do until camp opens, but early reports have been pretty positive and from what fans have seen so far he’s got a terrific personality. With Chris Hansen having left to test the free agent market, he’ll be battling with Australian Rules Football semipro player David King for the starting punting job for New England.
We’ll also hopefully get to see what former Michigan linebacker Shawn Crable can do. Crable has been hampered by injuries since being taken in the 3rd round of the 2008 draft by the Patriots, and has yet to play a down of football after missing 2008 & 2009.
He recently told the Boston Globe expects to be ready to contribute when camp opens.