Monday, July 10, 2017

Michigan Monday: Are The Wolverines Too Young?

I just heard Phil Steele on Mike and Mike this morning.  Golic said, he heard it was going to be a down year for Michigan and Phil responded they are young and play a difficult schedule.

Phil went on to say that Michigan is one of the youngest teams in the country with only 5 starters returning but for example they are very strong on the defensive line. 

That got me thinking, where are the biggest inexperience risk areas for the Wolverines?  Below are the position groups that have the most risk.

Youth Scale Rating System 0-5

5 = High Risk
1= Low Risk
0=No Risk

QB = Michigan has a returning starter = 0
RB = Michigan has a ton of guys returning who have experience = 0
TE = Bunting and Wheatley have played a bunch = 1
OL= Mixing guys with experience and guys that haven't played much = 3
WR =  These guys are very young but very talented = 4

DL = These guys could have been considered starters last year with amount they played = 0
LB = Returning Starter and a couple of new guys, including trying to replace a Heisman finalist = 3
DB's = Biggest risk to the team are the DB's, these guys are young and lack experience = 5

Special Teams
P = Brad Robbins committed on NSD and will walk into a starting role in the Big House = 5
K = Nordin at least has one year on campus already, still didn't play much last year = 4

My Expected Starters:

QB = Speight
RB = Evans & Hill at FB
TE = Bunting and Wheatley
WR = Crawford, Black, Slot = Grant Perry (if not suspended)
OL = LT Cole, LG Bredeson, C Kugler, RG Onwenu, RT Runyan

DL = Gary, Mone, Hurst, Winovich
LB = Hudson, McCray, Bush
S = Kinnel and Metellus
CB = Hill and Washington  (Long in the mix here as well)

What Does that mean for the Wolverines?

If you are an OC facing Michigan, you will look to take advantage of the youth in the secondary.  Your QB won't have a ton of time with the quick pass rush, so I see a bunch of two step drops and quick passes.   Michigan's best pass defense will be a strong pass rush this year.

If your are a DC facing the Wolverines, you will try to stop the run and take advantage of the right side of Michigan's line.  They will learn very quickly how talented the Michigan WR's are.  They are big, fast and I expect great things from that unit and only a few youthful mistakes.    I expect a huge year from Bunting and Wheatley. 

Special Teams =  I don't have too much concern about Robbins as all he has to do is Punt.   Nordin is clearly talented and will be put in tough positions to get Michigan points.   His accuracy could be the difference in wins and losses this year.

The punt returner role is open and probably will be asked to just catch the damn ball.   I like McDoom in this role.

  • Caris and DJ are playing well in the Summer League so far.
  • THJ contract was not matched by the Hawks, so he is a NY Knick.


Tim said...

For kicks I looked up least experienced teams from 2016. Alabama was least experienced in SEC, Clemson was least in ACC and OSU was least in B10.

Solid coaching and top athletes can make all the difference.

I agree with your assessment, our DB's cause me the most concern.

Scott K said...

I was actually thinking along the same lines Tim. Last year everyone was talking about how osu was going to be down, because they lost so many player to the NFL and were starting too little experience....


Voice of Reason said...

Nice write up and evaluation. I would imagine that the starters would be based primarily upon game experience as potential starters and then have the talented youngsters rotate into the mix. For example the WR core could be based upon Crawford, McDoom, and Grant (who will likely play because of the legal deals probably being worked out). They know the speed of the game and the playbook instinctively.
I expect Black and the other freshman to rotate in however, McDoom has played the slot and should start with the advantage. These little nuances are important when you're starting against a Florida team. Therefore, I personally would give the position group a Defcon 3 rating until the new kids on the block can catch up.

The OL's major question is RT, "How solid is Jon Runyan, Jr." I saw his father play and I would imagine that he taught his son at least how to play the tackle position even if his son "may not" have the body for it. Junior was solid and aggressive in high school. We also know that they have options of JBB and NU with limited experience. The second question would be is Kugler solid enough to play the center position? He has experience and should at least start with Ruiz rotating in and could rotate at Guard as well. For me the OL is a Defcon 2.5

The LB group won't have the experienced depth but we know Bush played quite a bit and will start, along with McCray a starter, but Hudson is the question mark. He's a talented guy and he did play some Safety last year and this Viper position seems to me to be a hybrid of LB/SS. Coach Brown indicated that he had picked up the position so well that he's moved Metellus full time to Safety. Which is great news because Metellus is also experienced in the DB field. That to me is comforting because they also have Kinnel who is experienced at Safety playing and calling the plays. What I am saying is that having understanding of the playbook and being comfortable with game speed especially against top teams "should" make the transition "somewhat" seamless. So I am at Defon 2 at the LB and Safety positions.

The CB positions concerns me the most but even then we know that Lavert Hill has game experience playing in nine games and David Long played CB in four games. Washington along with these two have limited game experience and know the playbook. This doesn't mean they won't have hiccups along the way, but the team isn't starting from scratch either which should give them some stability. Defcon 3 -IMHO!!!

Cormac said...

>I don't have too much concern about Robbins as all he has to do is Punt.

All I want to know is "does he know how to fall on the GD ball? A couple of years ago, someone tried to play the hero and it cost Michigan the game. All he had to do was to fall on the ball and game over.

Bob said...

Great comments guys! love the research as well!