Following their thrashing of Ohio State in “The Game ” Michigan is looking to secure their 2nd starting Big 10 championship and playoff berth, scheduled to kickoff at 8pm on Saturday in Indianapolis. Purdue on the other hand is looking to do something they often do, play spoiler. Michigan has the upper hand here with all the NFL talent. DJ Porter vs Charlie Jones will be an intriguing matchup for scouts. It’ll also be interesting to see how the Michigan interior line is able to perform vs a strong underclass Purdue interior.
WR Charlie Jones
A breakout season for Charlie Jones was super exciting to watch. The former Buffalo walk-on transferred to Iowa in 2020 where he didn’t play. Then in 2021, he only put up 323 yards and three touchdowns but showed flashes as a returner with 25 kick returns for 635 yards and three touchdowns. In 2022, he transferred again to Purdue and absolutely exploded with 1199 yards and 12 touchdowns on 97 receptions, leading the Big10 in all three categories. He’s a fantastic route runner with great speed and natural hands. He’s a prototypical slot receiver in the NFL
TE Payne Durham
Durham has the ability to skyrocket in this year’s draft. He’s a physical beast and just loves doing everything a tight end does. With over 500 career blocking snaps, he’s yet to allow a pressure and wins in the run game often. He posted 550 yards and eight touchdowns on just 54 receptions in 2022. He is great pre-catch and fights off contact instantly.
CB Cory Trice
Trice’s best trait is his size and athletic combination at 6-4, 215 lbs, and he’ll likely run in the 4.4s for his 40 yard dash. He only has 817 career coverage snaps but has yet to allow 800 yards off 102 targets and just 51 receptions allowed. He’s also added five interceptions, and 21 breakups over his career. A truly physical corner that just loves to play press coverage and engage first.
HB Blake Corum
Corum is the best running back in college right now and likely a lock for a top 70 selection come April. He’s explosive, powerful, and shifty between the tackles but in open space is nearly impossible to bring down. He’s 5-8, 200 lbs, but runs somewhere in the low 4.3s, high 4.4s. He has 2489 yards, 31 touchdowns on 417 attempts in 24 games, while adding 294 yards and four touchdowns in the air on just 38 receptions.
C Olu Oluwatimi
Oluwatimi is a fantastic center and incredibly athletic. He’s the biggest reason for Michigan’s fantastic running game and that’ll continue in the NFL. The Wolverines do a fantastic job letting Oluwatimi just win off the block and get to the second level and then to the third level. He averaged 6.2 yards per carry as a lead blocker over his career and in 2077 pass block snaps only allowed 50 pressures and seven sacks.
G Zak Zinter
Zinter is a run blocking traditional guard, he’s 6-6, 315 lbs. He doesn’t hold up well in pass protection for his lack of lower body movement and just not being able to really get around quick enough on interior rushers. However, he constantly wins at the point of attack in the run game and works his strength well. If he can find a way into a scheme allowing him to use pure power he may end up playing well in the NFL.
LT Ryan Hayes
Hayes has faced a gauntlet of pass rushers this year and has allowed a grand total of zero sacks and nine pressures in 287 snaps. There’s a lot to like with Hayes starting with his 6-8, 305 lb frame and elite lower body quickness. He has the length, power, and speed to be a good tackle in the NFL. It’ll be interesting to see where he lands and how he develops.
DT Mazi Smith
Smith exploded onto the scene this year and will only continue his rise during the pre-draft process. He’s 6-3, 330 lbs with 20 pressures, two sacks and three TFLs this year but pass rush isn’t his strong spot. He’s a true run defender with 51 career stops in 498 run defense snaps. He led the entire FBS in run stop win percentage and stop rate.
DT Mike Morris
Morris also had a breakout year for the Wolverines and is their star pass rusher in the interior. At 6-7, 294 pounds as an interior lineman there’s not much he can’t do. Throwing the ball over his head is nearly impossible, and he simply pushes interior lineman out of the way. With 35 pressures, eight sacks, and a forced fumble in just 206 pass rush snaps, this year the sky’s the limit for him.
CB DJ Turner
Turner had a breakout season in 2022. He’s super athletic and can play between the outside and nickel. He’s fluid in zone, man, and press coverage and while he currently sits as a fourth round prospect, expect him to rise to as high as the first potentially. He’s athletic and skilled. Only allowed 27 of 60 targets for 320 yards, one TD this year while adding two interceptions and nine breakups.