Friday, December 27, 2019

Michigan Thursday: The Defensive Line Problem

Michigan's major flaw this year was on the defensive line and the 3 games they lost, that was very evident.   We will also see the difference between Bama's OL and Michigan's DL on Wednesday.  Michigan has had trouble recruiting DT and lost two very talented DE's to the NFL a year ago.  
The lack of depth at that position had the Wolverines trying their fullback at DT, which failed.  

So now what?

Michigan got some good news last night as Kwity Paye elected to come back for his senior season.  Paye is a good pass rusher that could become great with another year.  Coming back to Ann Arbor was a good decision for him and the 2020 Wolverines.  Carlo Kemp is also expected back for his 5th year.  Carlo is a good player but not a nose, I would like to see the Wolverines move him around more next year.  Mike Dwumfour is also expected back for a 5th year but always seems to be injuired and Adrian Hutchinson will also be a Junior DE starter.  

Here are other options for 2020 on the roster (Michigan lists DT/DE as DL):
-Chris Hinton - True Sophomore
-Luiji Vilain - Junior with a few injury redshirts - clearly a DE 
-Mazi Smith - Redshirt Freshman 
-David Ojabo - Redshirt Freshman - DE 
-Julius Welschof - Redshirt Junior 
-Donovan Jeter - Senior 
-Phil Paea - Senior 
-Mike Morris- Redshirt Freshman 
-Taylor Upshaw-Senior
-Gabe Newburg - Redshirt Freshman 

The rest are either Walk-on's or True Freshman.  (Michigan currently has 0 traditional DT's in the 2020 class) 

Chris Hinton got some snaps this year and I know the coaches are excited about Mazi Smith.  Still this doesn't seem like a big up grade from where we are at right now?

Jimmy and Don Brown both know that, so off to the transfer portal we go:

Michigan is reportedly looking at two guys from Stanford: Jovan Swan and Michael Williams both are currently redshirt Seniors.  Williams is more of NT vs. Swan a DE.  Williams has also confirmed he spoke with the Wolverine coaches.  Swan is 6'2 270 has lots of playing experience and had 8.5 sacks in two years.  Williams is 6'2 290 and had 64 tackles the last 2 years with 2 sacks.  

Next is Michael Thompson from Oklahoma - He hasn't played yet due to an ACL but is a huge human being at 6'5 336 pounds from the 2018 class.  He could be a DT or OG and you never know with an injury.   He might need to sit a year via the transfer rules, but could have a number of years in Ann Arbor.  He was an Army All American in the 2018 class.

Long Shots:

Ike Walker from UCF - hasn't played and is currently a RS Freshman at 6'4 350.  

Almosse Titi from Iowa Western CC and is 6'3 310 pounds from France.  We know the issues with getting into Michigan from a junior college and Titi probably hasn't played that much football.  

We know the Stanford kids can get passed the Michigan admission transfer issues, but are they an upgrade on what we have today?  Swan is from Indiana and could give a nice pass rush if he wants to play inside.   I do like the idea of a big body at NT and Williams and/or Thompson could fill that role.  Thompson seems to be a bit risky but with a higher upside.  

  • UW's Jacob Eason is heading to the NFL and won't get to open next year's season against Don Brown's defense.  
  • MSU plays today in warm New York City

1 comment:

Goblu said...

Big10 nearly perfect in bowls. Let’s go blue!!